OSW Review | Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Cast: Mel Gibson AND Tina Turner?! Woah. This could go one of two ways…

Plot: Max agrees to fight Blaster (this film’s “Lord Humongous”) and then befriends/leads a savage tribe to find Tomorrow Morrow land. Yep.

Thoughts on the film:
• He wasn’t famous when the first two came out, but Mad Max 3 features “I’m a celebrity” long-haired Mel Gibson. I hate this look! Thankfully in Act 2 they cut the Braveheart wig off him.
• I got the seeping dread after only a few minutes, it feels like a Sunday afternoon ITV movie. Cheap lighting, a sandy trash-heap and a saxophone playing? Unfortunately this film has no creative heart, feels like a cash-in because the last film was so successful.
• Beyond Thunderdome has been sanitised and lost the edge and style it once had – it’s now kid-friendly and generally doesn’t err towards any contentious territory. Blood is at a minimum and violence is cartoonised, lacking punch and grit. It must be now advertiser-friendly (which is seen by a Bugs Bunny doll)
• The plot serves the set-pieces they wanted to show, for example, the reason to get him into Bartertown is rather flimsy: a flying guy took his cart. So fight this lad to get it back. Now you’re carried away to the savages, oh learn of their plight and help them out. Really forced stuff.
• MasterBlaster is the tag team of a smart midget (“Master”) and a strong oaf (“Blaster”). Guess what decade this film is made in!
• The “Underworld” powers BarterTown, by use of pig shit. Methane can be used as a fuel, and capturing it from manure is much better than just pigs. But they’d be better off using cows (who produce a lot more methane) but good stuff, it is a thing, and not just pseudo-science!
• This film is about looking at sweaty bald men in rags. It’s not a good-looking film and is lighted poorly.
• Max agrees to fight in a Thunderdome, which is a large dome-shaped cage, and the two fighters are set in these elastic straps to ‘joust’ in some awful UK Gladiators bollocks. It’s a TNA-level mid-2000s gimmick idea.
• The spectators for the fight are a pro-rasslin’ crowd, who count successive hits. The finish is Mel getting his ocarina, incapacitating Blaster with a piercing noise. Max refuses to kill him, and is sentenced to a fate decided by a wheel.
• Last time I said I hate child actors, especially one playing a savage kid. With Thunderdome finished, guess what! How about a VILLAGE of child caveman actors? With intense Aussie accents! Max has to sit and listen to a Punch & Judy style sing-a-long with the savage kids. Oh man, it was really rough. However it was cool to see him wear his leather jacket again.
• Pugwall and the rest of the child actors kill whatever was left of my enthusiasm for the film. From there he’s asked to give a shit about them wanting to go to “tomorrow-morrow land”, he agrees, eventually leads them, goes back to the city, has a bit of a car chase finale and the kids get to a ruined city.
• Tina Turner decides to spare Max at the end of the film. Why? Because we may want to make a 4th, fuck you!

Overall: Easily worst of the four. Squandered the higher budget and Tina Turner has no place in films. Cheap tat. Did not need to be 1hr 46 either, it’s cheap feel makes the time pass slowly. I really hope you guys enjoyed this more, I couldn’t stand it. Best thing about it is the amount of wrestling rip-offs coming out of this series!

Things Mad Max has inspired in wrestling:

• “The Road Warrior”, spikey shoulderpads – Legion of Doom
• Max’s jacket – Funlee’s jacket in WCW
• Lord Humongus (S&M gear) – Demolition
• Lord Humongus name & gear – Sid
• Kevin Nash’s WCW tag team Master Blasters
• Max enters the Thunderdome as “The Man With No Name” – bah God, an Ed Leslie mark! (and gimmick name #13!). I love it.
• Max’s sentence is decided by a wheel (“bust a deal, face the wheel!”). They directly ripped this off with Jake Roberts in WCW (“Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal”). Fuckin’ Jim Herd! I should’ve known. Course he’d love this!

Can you think of any more times wrestling has ripped off Mad Max?

Ranking the 4 Mad Max films: 4>2>1>>>>3.

I didn’t love the first Mad Max film but the second was great, and then this one was a soulless-cash in. Going back to see the original trilogy made me appreciate Mad Max 4 all the more. Fury Road is everything the previous films set out to be. Just please don’t watch this one. It’s the “Batman & Robin” of the franchise. The big question is, how do you rank the Mad Max films?


Release Date
June 9, 2015