Caught the end of this years ago on HBO or TMC. A few weeks ago it popped up again on Hulu. Not on anymore. It’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, starring Mel Gibson in the title role. This came out in 1985 from Warner Brothers, and it’s a strange movie. Details are from Wikipedia.
It’s some time in the future in apocalyptic Australia (where else), and there’s a wagon with rubber tires being pulled by a line of camels across a flat desert landscape. See.
Max is driving, and the wagon contains all his worldly possessions. From out of nowhere he is attacked by a jerry-rigged airplane, piloted by a strange kid (Adam Cockburn) and his even stranger father (Bruce Spence). They swoop down, knocking Max off the driver’s seat, leaving him stranded as they take his wagon.
It gets stranger. Max follows the trail of his wagon to Bartertown, another bizarre scene in this desolate landscape. It appears everything is negotiable here, even human life. Without diving into the plot, I will explain that Max is cajoled into engaging in a death duel of some sort that takes place inside a huge metal cage, which I take to be Thunderdome. His unearthly opponent is defeated, here mourned by a midget side-kick.
The nexus root is an overbearing feminist megalomaniac called Aunty Entity and played by Tina Turner. Her exact reason for being is never made clear.
Max gets exiled from Bartertown and is picked up out on the desert and rescued by a survivalist cult that makes its home in a bountiful canyon. They have water to spare.
The cult is refuge for some strange characters, even for a survivalist cult.
The cult comprises children of passengers of a 747 airliner that crashed years previous, leaving all stranded in the wilderness. They have mistaken Max for the mythical flight captain, come back to rescue them.
A trek back toward Bartertown ends in disaster, and a chase by Aunty Entity’s gang ensues as they make their escape on a stolen train. The running battle involving the train and the cobbled together road vehicles is a sight to see, filled with horrific crashes and terrible death.
Holy shit! The train tracks are blocked by Jedediah Jr., the weird kid, bent on train robbery. This is more than he bargained for, and he alerts father Jedediah, and preparations are made for all the cultists and Max to escape in the haphazard airplane.
Max winds up battling Aunty Entity’s storm troops so the others can make a getaway.
Jedediah Sr. and Jedediah Jr. mourn their lost savior.
This is a sequel to a sequel, a chain that started with Mad Max, previously reviewed. That also featured post apocalyptic Australia, but how Max the highway cop became Max lost in the wilderness is not clear. In between was Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, which central theme seemed to be a tussle over the dwindling supply of petroleum fuel. I have seen that and may review it. I’m waiting for it to pop up on Amazon or Hulu.