Ozploitation, the wave of films out of Australia that were very low budget and filled with a lot of exploitation elements of the grindhouse type, were perfect movies for exporting to different lands. Many landed up in the U.S. with a drive-in movie run. In the late seventies, George Miller and Byron Kennedy came together with an idea of a Dirty Harry cop revenge tale. Yet to get around issues about breaking the law, they decided to set it within a future where world economies have collapsed resulting in general chaos out in the Australian Outback. The first of what became a trilogy was born, Mad Max.
Looking for an unknown with charisma, looks, and presence, they found a young actor named Mel Gibson to be their leading man. In the mode of another Clint Eastwood film, A Fistful of Dollars, Mad Max was styled as the brooding quiet man with a ruthless and yet outside the law justice to his character. He became an instant sensation to Australians but soon would once more appear in the follow up, The Road Warrior, that brought both Mel Gibson and the Mad Max character to international renown.
The final film in the trilogy, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, was critically loved and brought the character to new heights. Unfortunately Byron Kennedy lost his life in a helicopter accident while scoping out sights for filming. Devastated, George Miller continued on and became an Academy Award nominated director. Dark Discussions talks about the films, their legacy, those involved, and how now thirty years later, the franchise has been rebooted.