Joe Bob Briggs here, and tonight we have a whole lotta
twisted metal, beginning with the movie that made the post-holocaust what
it is today, "Road Warrior," followed by one of the lamest "Road Warrior"
ripoffs ever to come out of Italy, where there were at least FIFTY "Road
Warrior" ripoffs between the years of 1982 and 1985. Of course, I speak of
the immortal "2020 Texas Gladiators," which was filmed approximately
12,000 miles from Texas.
And speaking of ammo belts criss-crossing
the torso, I watch these movies and I start thinking about actually
working out. But the problem is you can't just JOIN A GYM anymore. People
these days have to join the gym where they have the new Super Boxing
Workout where you actually get knocked out once a day, stop going to a gym
entirely and do yoga, go to European gyms, Japanese gyms, or Hindu gyms.
It's like the idea of "working out"--JUST working out--is old-fashioned.
Now you have to work out a the newest, hippest, most up-to-date
joint in town. With this in mind, I thought I would pass along my own
rules for finding a decent gym.
First of all, don't work out at
any gym that doesn't have at least ten guys with actual knife scars on
their bodies. Otherwise, it's not a real gym. At a real gym, people USE
their bodies. They don't work out to make their bodies LOOK good. Big
difference. Second, go over to the barbell rack, and see what's
the largest weight they have. If it's a real gym, they'll have some of
those 150-pound HAND weights, the kind that only three guys in the history
of the universe have been able to use. Third, ask em if they have
aerobics classes. If the answer is "Yes," leave immediately. Not a real
gym. Numero Four-o: If anybody is wearing PASTEL gym clothes, get
out of there. In real gyms, the only acceptable colors are brown, dark
gray and black (including black SOCKS.) And the most popular uniform is
the high school basketball team workout jersey that hasn't been washed in
15 years. Rule number five: A real gym will always have signs on
the wall that are totally disgusting. Like "NO SPITTING IN THE FOUNTAIN"
and "TRAIN AT YOUR OWN RISK," and "DO NOT THROW WEIGHTS AGAINST THE WALL."
Rule six: The bench press must always be a life-threatening
experience. For those of you not familiar with it, the bench press is
where you lie on your back and raise a piece of iron directly over your
skull that, if you drop it, could put a dent in your brain about four
inches deep. The object is to raise this weight up and down until your
arms are totally exhausted, so that, one-half second BEFORE you drop it on
your brain, your "partner" can grab it and put it back on the rack. At a
REAL gym, the partner always waits until one-FOURTH second before you
suffer permanent brain damage--to get that extra "benefit" from the last
rep. Rule numbero seven-o: At a real gym, if somebody yells
"Telephone for Manny!" at least eight guys should go to the phone.
Speaking of tough guys, it's time for "The Road Warrior." It's
kind of a western, where Mel Gibson is the stranger who rides in to help
the peace-loving townfolk protect themselves from the evil bandidos. Only
these bandidos look like refugees from a West Hollywood leather bar, and
they have dune buggies and motorcycles that look like they were hammered
together from spare rocket parts. Mel's taking em all on, wearing his cool
black leather outfit, some metal shoulder pads, and driving some kind of
retro-fitted funky-lookin Trans Am or Camaro or I don't know WHAT the
thing is. We'll do the drive-in totals at the next break.Roll film.
[fading] One more thing, if you're looking for a real gym. Ask whether
they have a sauna, a steam room, a eucalyptus-inhalation room, a whirlpool
room, or a lap pool. If the answer is "None of the above," you've found a
by-God GYM. The great gyms don't even believe in SHOWERS.
"THE ROAD WARRIOR" Commercial Break #1
Mad Max and his
loyal shotgun-toting dog, in the great opening to "The Road Warrior." This
movie was actually called "Mad Max 2" in every country EXCEPT America and
Canada. And the reason was that "Mad Max," which came out in 1979, was a
huge box-office hit everywhere else, but when it was released in America,
they did a bad job and practically nobody saw it. It came and went in a
week. So when "The Road Warrior" made it to America in 1982, Warner
Brothers didn't take any chances. They figured it was a car-lover's movie,
right? It's kinda the ultimate demolition derby. So first they opened it
in Texas and California, got word of mouth going. Then they moved it over
to the Deep South. Then the Midwest. And the very last place they opened
it was New York City, cause they knew the New York critics weren't gonna
be especially fond of all the blood and guts and car chases and death and
destruction and twisted metal. And they were right, with one or two
exceptions, but it still made big bucks in New York and every other place
it played. George Miller, the director, gave a bunch of interviews to the
press about how it was partly based on the theories of the psychologist
Carl Jung--his theories of mythology. Also the theories of Joseph
Campbell, who wrote a book called "The Hero with a Thousand Faces." . . .
And some of the critics even BELIEVED HIM.... I guess one of the thousand
faces was Mel Gibson's. Anyhow, we won't be going into Jungian
psychological theory tonight [see host segments for "Wes Craven's New Nightmare"], but after the movie I'll be happy to take
questions on the website regarding BRIGGSIAN psychological theory. I think
you'll find it quite fascinating. www.JoeBobBriggs.com
Oh, as promised, let's do those
drive-in totals: Sixty dead bodies. Exploding cities.
Six motor vehicle chases, with fourteen crash-and-burns. Dart to
the bicep. Dog-food eating. Dart to the chest. Crossbow
execution. Finger-hacking. Multiple fireballs. Flaming extras.
Skinhead crushed under a tractor trailer. Giant fork in the
back. One helicopter crash. Flamethrower Fu. Boomerang Fu.
Molotov cocktail Fu. Four stars. Greatest movie ever made in
Australia without razorback pigs. Check it out, and I'll be here with you.
[fading] One of
tonight's topics will be: Why is Mel Gibson wearing shoulder pads? Is the
movie making a statement about the violence of football? Does it symbolize
a superhero who, like the mythological hero Atlas, must carry the weight
of the world on his shoulders? Or does it just look cool? Actually I think
we already know the answer to that one, don't we? So we've already
"THE ROAD WARRIOR" Commercial Break #2
"You wanna get outta
here, you talk to me." That's about HALF of Mel Gibson's dialogue in this
movie. The script for "The Road Warrior" was 110 pages, and only
10 pages of that was dialogue. And that's because the director, George
Miller, and the producer, Byron Kennedy, didn't believe in dialogue. They
thought movies should be done with the least possible amount of talking.
They were trying to make the ultimate action movie--and I think they did
Anyhow, the way this movie happened is that George Miller was
a doctor in Sydney, Australia, but he was bored with being a doctor and he
wanted to make movies. All the time he was in medical school he would have
his brother take notes for him at the lectures and he would sneak out and
go to a different movie every day. Then he got his degree, started
practicing medicine, and he went to a filmmaking seminar and met Byron
Kennedy, and the two of 'em hit it off and started making little short
movies in a room at the hospital. They made a short film that won some
awards, and then they cashed in all their life's savings, raised money
from people in Australia, and made "Mad Max" on a really small budget of
about $350,000, and it took em two years to finish editing it, and then it
came out in 1979 and became a worldwide box-office hit.
So when they made
this one, they finally had the big bucks to do it right. And it was also a
big hit, and they used their profits to start up a big movie studio in
Australia, and people wanted to hire em to do just about anything they
wanted--and then Byron Kennedy was suddenly killed in a helicopter crash
in 1983. George went on by himself. He did the final episode in "Twilight
Zone--The Movie." The best episode, the one with the gremlin on the
airplane wing and only John Lithgow can see it. And he directed The
Witches of Eastwick and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. And, of course,
Babe: Pig in the City. It's too bad we never got to see what the
Miller/Kennedy team could have done. This movie we're watching was the
first all-Australian picture to be a big hit in the U.S. And you can see
why, right? It's a good old-fashioned western but with cooler
clothes. Okay, let's see what Max is gonna do here. Roll
[fading] What's he driving in this picture? Somebody told me
it's a Mustang. It looks more like a Trans Am to me. Actually, if you've
ever owned a Camaro or a Firebird, they do start lookin like Mad Max's car
about three weeks after you drive em off the lot. Go down to Billy Bob's
Texas and look in the parking lot on a Friday night. Firebirds and Camaros
that look like they were used in Desert Storm -- am I right? . . .
Fuzzy dice hangin off the rear-view. . . Fat girl passed
out in the back seat. . . . I gotta stop, I'm having flashbacks
"THE ROAD WARRIOR" Commercial Break #3
Okey dokey, as Mad
Max races across the Australian wasteland, why don't we take a moment to
welcome the heart-throb of millions, the TNT Mail Girl, [enters] and get
in touch with the secret desires of you, our faithful and loyal
"MonsterVision" viewing audience. Rusty, you ever been to
Australia? MAIL GIRL: No, but I had a boyfriend who was from
there. JB: Was he one of those guys with the hat and the big
knife? MAIL GIRL: Um, not really. JB: Did he ever wrestle a
crocodile? MG: A crocodile? JB: You know, they have all
those crocodiles there? MG: I never heard that. JB: Okay.
But he had the accent, right? MAIL GIRL: Yeah, I loved that
accent. JB: Kinda had that Mel Gibson thing goin for
him. MAIL GIRL: No, more like . . . Arnold
Schwarzenegger. JB: Arnold Schwarzenegger? Wait a minute, what was
this guy's name? MG: Wolfgang. JB: Wolfgang? From
Australia? MAIL GIRL: I thought that's what he said. . . JB:
Maybe he said . . . Austria? MAIL GIRL: We actually didn't do much
talking, now that I think about it. JB: Okay, that's when I stop
wanting to know any more. You got a letter for me? MAIL GIRL: This
is an e-mail from L. Carpenter in Freeport, New York.
Bob, "People would taste like cooked pork. I know someone who works
in an ER. When people come in burned, they smell like cooked pork at
first. If you want to try it, be my guest. I didn't like pork before my
friend enlightened me. "L. Carpenter, Freeport, New
Well, L., thanks for that report from the cannibal front. I
suppose we could test your theory with a curling iron and a masochist.
I don't remember ASKING what people would taste like, but we love
a good cannibal movie around here, so maybe I did.
[to Rusty] So
what did this Wolfgang do for a living? MAIL GIRL: He was a pastry
chef. We met skiing. JB: A skiing Austrian pastry chef. MAIL
GIRL: Australian. I'm sure he was Australian. JB: What kind of
pastries did he make?
MG: Austrian. JB: A skiing Australian
Austrian-pastry chef. Rusty, I don't think they have skiing in
Australia. MAIL GIRL: I don't know. We met in Aspen. JB: An
Aspen-dwelling Australian Austrian-pastry chef. Named Wolfgang. Are you
still seeing this guy? MAIL GIRL: He broke my heart. JB:
Would that make him an acerbic Aspen-dwelling... MAIL GIRL: You're
making fun of me. [exits] JB: I'm not making fun of you, Rusty.
An acerbic heart-breaking Aspen-dwelling Australian
Austrian-pastry chef named Wolfgang who talks like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I think I know the guy. Rusty, did he have a tattoo?
"THE ROAD WARRIOR" Commercial Break #4
Mel Gibson, of
Peekskill, New York. Lotta people think he's Austrileyan, but he spent the
first 12 years of his life in Peekskill, which is a little town on the
Hudson River about an hour north of New York City. But his mom was an
Austrileyan opera singer, and he had these 10 brothers and sisters, big
Catholic family, and in 1968, after his dad went on "Jeopardy" and won a
pile of money, he moved the whole brood to Austrileya so Mel's older
brothers wouldn't get drafted and have to go to Vietnam.
anyhow, he went to acting school in Sydney and then his film daybut was in
1977 in a little flick called "Summer City," and that's when George Miller
spotted him and cast him in Mad Max. The movie that made him
famous. Then the movie that made him famous in AMERICA was
Gallipoli. Remember that one? He's the guy that does NOT get mowed down.
And then he became a superstar with Lethal Weapon in 1987. And now he
lives on his Austrileyan ranch with his wife and his 28 children and he
only comes out to do movies. Hardly ever does interviews or anything,
unless it's for Braveheart, something like that, something he directs.
Anyhoo, Mel will always be Mad Max to us here on "MonsterVision," where
the only good Mohawk is a dead Mohawk. Roll it.
[fading] That guy
with the Mohawk is great. Actor by the name of Vernon Wells. You know the
bravest thing he does? Bare bew-tocks. He's climbin around on fiery hot
motor vehicles with bare bew-tocks. You know, there's dangerous
stunt work and then there's DANGEROUS STUNT WORK. If you know what I mean,
and I think you do.
"THE ROAD WARRIOR" Commercial Break #5
Uh oh. They shot Mad Max's dog. They killed the little doggie. In the first movie they killed
his wife and daughter. Now they murdered his pooch. I think
there's gonna be a little hiney-kickin goin on, what do you think, between
Mad Max and the geek from the S&M leather bar. But I have a question.
They've ALREADY had so many motor vehicle chases in this movie that
haven't they BURNED UP more gasoline than they're trying to guard in the
little oil refinery there? And I don't think these vehicles get THAT many
miles to the gallon, you know? They've basically run the Indianapolis 500
about 30 times, and they keep saying "But we've got to guard the gasoline,
we've got to save the gasoline." But that's all irrelevant now,
because Mohawk Man executed a doggie. This time, it's personal. Roll
[fading] This movie makes me nostalgic for my 1972 Toronado.
I'd still be driving it, but it's been up on blocks for seven
years. A real AMERICAN car. Air conditioner that'll blow your face off.
Two miles to the gallon. Three on the highway. Basically, if you go down
to the 7-11, you've got to fill up once on the way there, once on the way
back, and once WHILE you're at the 7-11. No catalytic converter. It's from
before the government got nasty. You can drive that thing two days and the
city of Dallas will get 47 citations from the EPA. I love my
"THE ROAD WARRIOR" Outro
How come every time Mad Max tries
to escape, he drives STRAIGHT THROUGH the enemy lines? Doesn't anybody
ever think, "Hey! You know what? We could go in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION!"
Anyhow, I noticed when this movie came out that all the reviewers
said Mad Max changes at the end, and he sympathizes with the plight of the
people, and he decides to lead them to safety. Well, I don't think he
changes in the movie. He just gets wiped out, loses all his gasoline, and
he doesn't have any choices left. He decides to drive the tanker cause
it's the only way he's ever gonna get outta there with any fuel. We WANT
Max to be heroic, but he's still basically a me-first guy at this point.
It's only later that he changes a LITTLE BIT. Which leads me to this, the
famous concluding sequence of "The Road Warrior," which is simply the
greatest chase sequence ever filmed. All the stuntmen used in this chase
were recruited from demolition derby shows, which means they were willing
to take more risks than your average Hollywood stuntman. And they didn't
use a single stationary camera in the whole sequence. Every camera is
mounted on a vehicle and moving at all times. That's why it makes you so
I would advise you to set down the pizza and the beer until
this is over, because we wouldn't want any puke on Mama's carpet now,
would we? Roll it.
[fading] The Feral Kid is in the truck with Max.
That's what they call the little boy with the killer boomerang. The Feral
Kid. I guess when they want his attention, they say "Hey, Feral!" Played
by Emil Minty. And the Gyro Captain is played by Bruce Spence. Bruce did
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and last year he did that "Moby Dick" TV-movie with Captain Pickard from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
He works whenever the script calls for a skinny guy with bad teeth
who grins like James Coburn all the time. But a helluva performance. The
whole cast of this thing is like a Halloween party. A Halloween party of
people with just one gene missing, if you know what I mean.