‘Mad Max’ is Still Fast and Furious After 40 Years
Photo: Sunset Boulevard (Getty Images)
The original Mad Max screeched into theaters 40 years ago, leaving cinematic skid marks across Hollywood that you can still see today. The fast and furious film franchise that George Miller created in 1979 was car lengths ahead of its time in terms of vision and guerilla filmmaking ingenuity.
Mad Max was a scrappy Australian production stitched together by a former ER doctor featuring a bunch of nameless faces, including a real-like biker gang. The stories are legendary, from Miller and producer Byron Kennedy raising part of the $400K budget by going on mobile medical calls to acting student Mel Gibson showing up to his audition bruised and battered after getting into a bar fight.
The DIY film would go onto earn over $100 million worldwide, holding the Guinness World Record for the most profitable film ever until it was unseated by another surprise indie film, The Blair Witch Project, also celebrating a big anniversary this year.
Mad Max would make Gibson a Hollywood leading man, give Miller a decades-long career, create a roadmap for future post-apocalyptic films, and spawn an unlikely franchise with sequels that actually exceed the original (excluding Beyond Thunderdome). Here’s a look back at the Miller’s 1979 cult classic through a series of GIFs.