Mad Max was a vision so viable it lead to a string of sloppy imitators. Here are 10 films that followed George Miller's post-apocalyptic designs to a fault.
It's a concept as old as the films themselves. A lone man, fighting against insurmountable odds, lets his guard down for the moment and becomes vulnerable to those out to destroy him. Before long, there's a group of rogues out to ruin our last honorable hero. In between, there's a damsel in distress, or a widow with a outdated mortgage, or a kid in trouble, and our lead lends a hand, which only increases his other risks.
It's a narrative formula that's been used in everything from sword and sorcery to Westerns, crime stories to sci-fi and fantasy. But in 1981, Australian auteur George Miller found a way to make this otherwise arcane plot come to life -- motorized life. His Road Warrior remains an action epic staple, an post-apocalyptic nightmare fueled by gallons of "guzzoline" and thousands of RPMs.
Now, nearly 34 years after that gargantuan game-changer comes Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth film in the Mad Max series and a fresh start for a filmmaker lost in normal mainstream fare (Lorenzo's Oil, The Witches of Eastwick) and Oscar winning children's films (Happy Feet). Of course, the last time he brought his story of a violence-torn Outback overloaded with angry vehicular mayhem to moviegoers around the world, the planet responded with a series of ridiculous rip-offs.
Indeed, it seemed like everyone wanted to go "beyond Thunderdome" and do their own version of Miller's magnificent road rage. With that in mind, here are ten often-hilarious examples of such car carnage copycats. While a few don't even feature automobiles, they almost all have the society gone goofy that makes this reconfigured narrative so special/specious. Let's begin with a real bad one: