On Friday the 12th of April, at the Pacific Fair Cinemas on the Gold Coast of Australia, we once more ventured into the apocalyptic wasteland of Mad Max as we were shown a screening of the film for the feature’s 40th anniversary. Myself, the ‘Lethal Mullet’ and Blair Hiscock of the My Saga podcast went along with about 100 fans to experience it all again… and, of course, there were some stars of this film along for the ride…
Steve Bisley and Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played Jim Goose and Toe Cutter / Immortan Joe respectively were both there. Seeing these two actors in the flesh and to be able to sit and chat to them about their experience making the first film and what effect it had on their lives was quite a treat. In Australia we also know Steve Bisley from the tv show Water Rats. Die-hard fans will know he and Hugh were also in Chain Reaction (a film that came out in 1980 and was very much like Mad Max itself. It had the one the only George Miller directing some of the many car chases in that film it also started a young Mel Gibson in a very, very short cameo…)
Talking to Steve, we found out a lot about what happened behind the scenes. Steve was no shy person when it came to motorcycles and had been on motorcycles most of his life and said this film was essentially just boys having fun! However Hugh’s experience was quite different in the sense that he hadn’t really been on motorcycles and even said – when I asked him how much time they had on the bikes before the actual film started – straight up “not enough..!“. (I must add that I was that there is a screening with a Kawasaki T-shirt…and of course this film is made with Kawasaki motorcycles being the key production cycle use by Toe Cutter and his gang).
We had a lot of questions and only so much time to fit them in. When Steve was asked about what he thought about the effect this film was going to have, he said that he was a surprise that it had such a huge impact on the genre and now it’s the one that everyone knows about when they talk about ‘post apocalyptic’. I was quick to add that one of the many films that came in the wake of the Mad Max series was Salute of the Jugger (in which Hugh also appeared). But before I could even finish the title the actor was already smiling and straight away said “Oh yes ‘Jugger‘…one of the many George Miller clone movies!”
(Hugh also had beside him the one the only Nathan Jones to play his son in Fury Road. They were all out on the Gold Coast for the Supanova festival which is a pop culture festival here in Australia – very much like Comic Con in the night United States…)
One of the most humorous moments was when they were asked if they got a chance to drive in the Ford interceptor and of course Hugh laughed and said ‘Why would I want to be in a Ford?‘ It seemed even Steve was bit more of a fan of the HQ Kingswood Monaro that we saw at the start of the film.