Setting Mel Gibson on a sure path to superstardom, this highly acclaimed "crazy collide-o-scope"(Newsweek) of highway mayhem "cinematically defined the postapocalyptic landscape" (TV Guide). Featuring eye-popping stunts that are "electrifying and very convincing" (Variety) and "an authentically nihilistic spirit" (The Village Voice), Mad Max is "pure cinematic poetry" (Time). In the ravaged near future, a savage motorcycle gang rules the road. Terrorizing innocent civilians while tearing up the streets, the ruthless gang laughs in the face ofa police force hell-bent on stopping them. But they underestimate one officer: Max Rockatansky (Gibson). And when the bikers brutalize Max's best friend and family, they send him into a mad frenzy that leaves him with only one thing left in the world to live forrevenge!
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MGM's special edition restores the original Australian soundtrack (including Mel Gibson's voice!) to the film for the first time on home video. That in itself would be enough to make this a DVD essential, but cinematographer David Eggby, special effects supervisor Chris Murray, and art director Jon Dowding look under the hood of this revved-up revenge classic in a commentary track and the featurette "Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon." Their nuts-and-bolts comments and nostalgic stories of seat-of-the-pants stunts provide a terrific survey of low-budget action moviemaking by ambitious young filmmakers. Less essential is the rather wan Mel Gibson star portrait (apparently Gibson and director George Miller were too busy to participate in the supplements, so we make do with his acting teacher and costars) and the entertaining, if truly trivial, "Road Rants" subtitle track. --Sean Axmaker
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