Images are startling in their clarity, especially considering this was a low-budget Australian effort from the days before the Down Under film industry grew up.
The audio, while nothing special, does deliver the original Australian actors’ dialogue (“fixed” for the original U.S. theatrical release by some boneheads at AIP).
The Blu-ray’s half-hour docu “Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon” breathlessly claims that “Mad Max” invented the modern post-apocalyptic film. That honor, rightly, would go to its sequel, the hell-raising “The Road Warrior” (already out on Blu-ray).
While “Mad Max” throws down plenty of sound and fury, it’s hard to recall what all the fuss was back in 1979. Baby-faced Mel Gibson provided a hip Clint Eastwood change-up — the marketing tagged him “the maximum force of the future” — but the movie seems in line with the era’s other high-octane revenge flicks. Still, the “Mad Max” cult lives on today.
The mind-blowing futurism was yet to come, once Gibson and director Miller made that quantum leap to “The Road Warrior,” which revived the apocalyptic genre and influenced just about every hard-core action movie that followed.
Neither Gibson nor Miller participated in the “Mad Max” Blu-ray docu or commentary track, both of which are repeated from the special edition DVD. There are no new extras on the double-disc Blu-ray edition.
We’re still waiting for “Beyond Thunderdome” on Blu-ray.
Meanwhile, Miller is getting ready to shoot a new Mad Max film, “Fury Road,” this time with British actor Tom Hardy in the lead. Gibson pronounced himself “a bit old and long in the tooth for that number.”
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