[Gabe Liedman is a stand-up comedian. In his new column, he takes on the genre of Dude Flicks, where guns, pecs, car crashes and glib one-liners delivered in front of a burning building with only half a t-shirt on and nothing left to lose reign supreme. He loves those movies for so many reasons, all of which are that they turn him ON.]
What ever happened to Mel Gibson? Am I right?! It’s like one day you’re the biggest star ever, then it seems like you’ve disappeared? Weird! Someone should look him up, see if he’s still working, what he’s up to! AAAAAAND, conceit over! It’s hard to forget all the insane shit we’ve learned, heard, been beaten to death with about Mel Gibson in the last couple years, even when watching a mega-old classic like Mad Max, where he’s barely recognizable (why’s his skin so smooth? Where’d he learn how to do that silly Australian accent?). But I’m strong, and so’s weed, so I decided to strap on a tabula rasa and check out a dude-flick I’ve been pretending to have seen for 28 years. It was interesting. Big heavy cars! Australia! Black leather pants worn ‘round the clock (in the future, those are our sweats)! Vroom, vroom, run me over, I’m sold!
Mad Max takes place “A Few Years From ” (when it was made). It’s a scary past-future, where the highways that cut through Australia’s dry-ass grasslands are the playground of nutty gangstas. The gang members in this movie are that kind of villains from action movies who are constantly CRACKING UP at the volume-level of a SCREAM. I never got that. What’s so funny, random, insane villain? Why are you acting like Brad Goreski at his first Kathy Griffin show? Shit’s not THAT funny, sistergirlfriend… The leader of the gang is Night Rider, a sweaty jailhouse bear, whose Kool-Aid-headed girlfriend is someone my boyfriend would describe as “very Live Through This.”
Night Rider and Kool-Aid-Head are on the run for murdering a cop, and then using vehicular manslaughter to polish off the rest of the force. No one can catch this asshole! Finally, Max, played by Mel Gibson (who at this point only SECRETLY hates Jews and women and black people and sobriety?), steps in to chase some baddies, and we see his cuteness in action. His face has changed a lot since his youth—this is not the Mel Gibson we know from Braveheart and Radar articles. He is potato-y in a good way, with a prominent Missing Link brow that suggests dumbness on the streets but geniusness in the sheets. Underneath that brick shithouse of a brow—the bright, icy blue eyes of PURITY. So, this is the young man who’ll grow up to be an anti-modern religious nut, woman abuser, outspoken racist, Maverick:
…Looks a little bit like you-know-who.
As soon as Max pulls up behind Night Rider and Kool-Aid-Head, they randomly start to cry, then hit a huge pile of charred wreckage in the road and blow the fuck up.
Max heads home after a hard 3 days of work, where his wife plays the saxophone for him, then gives him a bath. Nice lady!
They watch the news and Max’s blowing up of Night Rider is a top story. She’s proud! So are Max’s boyfriends at work—The Goose, who looks like a busted Daniel Craig (i.e. still blowable), and some retarded mechanic, who’ve made him a very special surprise: a big black car with so much extra engine-shit popping out of everywhere. What nice work boyfriends! Max should kiss them, or not the retarded one, just the blonde one… Kiss him all over for a little bit before work. Not the retarded one, though.
The News isn’t the only place news of Max making Night Rider and Kool-Aid-Head blow up has spread—it’s all over the insane gang members chatboards, I guess, because all of a sudden tons of insane gang members show up in town on motorcycles. They start hassling the locals like an insane gang of insane gang members should—groping teenage boys and then throwing them through windows, chasing a heterosexual couple out into the middle of a field and then raping them both while they’re on leashes. Normal stuff. Oh, and laaaaaaaaughing and LLLLLAAAAAUUUUGHING like Brad Goreski listening to a Margaret Cho CD on his drive home from that Kathy Griffin show.
Max sees the raped townsboy running no-pants-and-bloody-assed from the gangbang-place and decides to investigate. By the time he gets to the scene of the sex, only one gang member, a cutie named Johnny, is left (the rest ran away while he sat down to speak gibberish for awhile). Johnny’s arrested, but no one shows up to testify against him, so he walks free. The Goose hates this and throws a fit, but bitch can’t do shit about shit—Johnny’s all “byyyyyyyeeeeeeee” like Harriet from Small Wonder.
Johnny goes back to meet up with his insane gang member boyfriends, who are camped out on a beach, taking turns making out with a mannequin. Johnny’s boss ToeCutter (who has GORGEOUS chunky Sun-In front-streaks) is angry enough with his arrested-getting that he puts a huge shotgun in Johnny’s mouth, but not so angry that he pulls the trigger. Middle-amount angry. Johnny decides to take care of The Goose for making such a stink when he was acquitted.
The Goose goes out by himself to Sugartown Cabaret and gets drunk, then fucks a lizard-y, vampiric, disco showgirl who sings a song about licorice. PERFECT. The next morning, Johnny rigs The Goose’s motorcycle to crash, and when Goose manages to borrow a truck to drive instead, he makes that crash, too. Then, when The Goose survives that shit, he decides to burn him alive in the upside-down truck, with a little convincing from ToeCrusher and his BEAUTIFUL HIGHLIGHTS. Max goes to see The Goose’s bbq’d remains at the morgue and is like “THIS LIFE IS BULLSHIT,” or something to that effect.
Max stomps right over to his Musclebear BossDaddy’s office-apartment to quit the force, but Musclebear BossDaddy is like “hunny bunny, you just need a vacation.” So Max takes Musclebear BossDaddy’s advice and goes on a roadtrip with his Saxophone Wife. Max and Saxophone Wife cruise around, buy a dog, play in a river, then run into ToeCrusher’s motorcycle gang at an ice cream shop and run away!
Max and Saxophone Wife take their new dog and their baby to a weird Bed and Breakfast in the middle of the woods, run by an old lady with Forrest Gump braces on her legs and her menacing-in-an-Of-Mice-and-Men-way son. Cool choice! NODOY the insane motorcycle gang catches up with them, and chases Saxophone Wife and her baby out into the open road—first in her car, then on foot, where they eventually run them both over like FORREALS PSYCHOS.
Max is like “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST,” in so many words, and decides to put his police Leathers back on one last time. The leather gear in this movie is hot, for sure, but it’s the kind of teste-broiling super-thick stuff that makes no sense to run around the Outback in. Sister shoulda cut some crotch vents, made some chaps for his own comfort. They’re not just cute and classic, they’re practical. Oh, and ditch the undershirt. And call me.
Max tortures a townie mechanic for information about ToeCrusher’s
bangs gang, and sets off to kill their asses one by one. He decides to take the big black car his boyfriends made him months ago out on the road, where he runs a ton of the insane motorcycle gang members off a tiny bridge into a river, where I guess they died. Then Max forces ToeCrusher in front of an oncoming tractor-trailer, which makes a partly-blonde smoothie out of him. Then Max gets shot in the knee, and his arm is run over, but with the power of Christ, he survives to KILL, KILL, KILL.
Finally, Max tracks down Johnny, who’s busy stealing a pair of cute cowboy boots of a dead body (it’s just SO HARD to find cute cowboy boots). He handcuffs Johnny to a car that he rigs to blow up, then he gives Johnny a hacksaw to saw through his own leg to try and get away. Johnny does not get away.
Mad Max has a lot of my favorite dude-flick qualities in it: hot leading man (asshole-insanity notwithstanding) who’s been fucked by the world so hard he has no choice but to fuck it back harder, tasteful leather ensembles, butch accents … but that’s pretty much it. There’s major points off for implied-only intercourse (though, sure, one of those sex-havings was a gay gangbang, which I <3, and another involved a creepy disco chanteuse on the bottom which I double-<3)—it’s like show, don’t tell, Mad Max, I know it’ll look even weirder (better) onscreen than in my imagination. Also, maybe it’s the decade-old New Yorker in me, but I’m just not that turned on by cars. They’re neat, duh, but I know I’m supposed to get some 20th century boner from them and their noises, but frankly, I don’t. Also: so little nudity? What’s this shit rated, G? Throw me a pushups montage, a pensive moment in the shower, you know Max has some shit on his mind he needs to work through without some cumbersome shirt on. Overall, very cool movie, though, and I’m glad I told so many people I saw it even when I hadn’t. Oh, and here’s a picture of Saxophone Wife resting on Max’s naked tit for good measure: