Variety - 05/16/1979
"...An all-stops-out, fast-moving [film]....This is the most audience involving film since HALLOWEEN....The leads are all effective..."
USA Today - 01/04/2002
"...Mayhem-heavy....Road-cop Max was Mel Gibson's star-making role..."
Wall Street Journal - 11/27/2009
"[A] dazzling, violent and endlessly influential postapocalyptic action fantasy."
Rebel bikers combat the police in a bleak post-nuclear future where the highways are bloody battlegrounds. When a gang of motorcyclists brutally murder a policeman's family he becomes Mad Max, avenger of the highways. Sequel: THE ROAD WARRIOR.
Futuristic tale set in Australia, which has become a wasteland where vicious, fast-driving criminals cause death, destruction, and mayhem on the highways. The police do their best to maintain control, but their attempts prove futile. As a result, one cop named Max quits his job and goes on a vacation with his family. However they are terrorized by a gang of malicious speed-demons, who kill Max' wife and baby. Angry, Max rejoins the force, revs up his motorcycle -- and seeks bloody revenge against the fiends who murdered his family.
Shot in Todd-AO 35 with an original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
Filmed between November and December 1977 in and around Melborune, Sunbury, and Clunes (Victoria), Australia.
Released theatrically in Australia April 12, 1979.
When first released in New York City, the print shown had the actors' voices dubbed, because the Australian accent, known as "strine" was so thick, and barely understandable. Some video versions feature the original soundtrack. However, most VHS versions are dubbed.