Monstervision Host Segments for

The Road Warrior: Mad Max 2 (1981)


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.

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.
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 accomplished something.

"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 it.

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 it.

[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 here.

"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.

JB: "Joe 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,
New York."

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.

So 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 it.

[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 vehicle.


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 dizzy.

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.

Tonight's host segments continue with 2020 Texas Gladiators
Or continue to host segments for Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome to find out what Mad Max's car really is

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Host segment transcript of 4-17-99 broadcast
1999 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. They shot Mad Max's dog.