Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Road Warrior

As I've mentioned before, in looking back my 1982 movie experiences, sometimes I have no idea where I actually saw a movie, and other times, the memory is so clear, it's like I went last week. For The Road Warrior, it's like the latter, as I instantly remembered that my parents and I went to see it on a Saturday at the Stonestown Twin.

How come it's always the crappy theaters that are still around? Indeed, the Stonestown is still around, although these days it shows mainly indie and foreign films. But, come to think of it, The Road Warrior is technically a foreign film, isn't it?

So, at the time, I had not seen the first movie, Mad Max, though I did know of its existence and was aware that Road Warrior was kind of a sequel, but kind of not, which is to say, you really didn't need to see that first one to get any enjoyment from its follow-up. (And in fact, I've only seen parts of Mad Max since, and only the badly-dubbed version that was forced upon American audiences for years.)

And enjoy The Road Warrior I did. I mean, come on. The movie is nuts.

In re-watching it now, its flaws show through a little stronger. The car chases and crashes are certainly still spectacular, but the movie is pretty low budget, so director George Miller relies on speeding up the film a lot of times, (especially whenever "nitro" is engaged), and there's also some weird reverse motion stuff here and there. Also, the autogyro moments are pretty lame. While I'm definitely a proponent for using traditional effects when possible, there were many moments in watching it again when I wished CG had been in use way back then.

It's also kind of sad watching it now, knowing the trajectory Mel Gibson would eventually follow. He's definitely amazing in the movie, and man, was he a handsome mofo. But I have to admit I'm not that upset that he's not the star of the latest Mad Max movie that will be coming our way...

There are a few things in my Genre Book to include here. The first is an ad that includes a blurb from Herb Caen, who wasn't a movie critic, but had enough local name recognition as a columnist that I guess he had some influence when it came to such matters...

And here are few capsule reviews, from the Examiner, the East Bay Express, and the Chronicle.

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