Mad Max: Fury Road was released to a roaring reception last week, igniting the internet with a flamethrower assualt of fire, fury, and feminism.
We (Daniel Dalton, Hayley Campbell, Hannah Jewell, and Tom Phillips) haven't been able to stop talking about it since. Here are some of our favourite moments.
1) The flame thrower guitarist obvs
Everyone's favourite character is “The Doof Warrior”, aka the guitarist with a flame-throwing guitar suspended by bungee cord on a rig of amps. He's played by iOTA. (We interviewed him here)
Daniel Dalton: I was disappointed he didn't play Stairway.
Hayley Campbell: So I was just informed that when I stayed in my friend’s house in Sydney last year I was sleeping directly below this guy’s flat. Hashtag straya. I want to have a go on his bungee.
Hannah Jewell: How could you sleep through that?
HC: My friend Chris only tells me stuff like eight months after it’s relevant. I had no idea. I mean, I don’t think he was playiing a flame-throwing guitar in a Newtown flat.
Tom Phillips: I would be disappointed if he wasn’t. Like, you’d pop round to see if you could borrow his hoover and he’d be like, “Can’t come to the door, sorry, I’m bungeed to my wall and I’m playing my arson guitar”.
HJ: And you’d be like, “Oh yeah, of course no problem I’ll come back!”
TP: “Sick riffs btw".
2) Furiosa’s make-up routine
Furiosa (Charlize Theron) uses grease from the steering wheel as war paint.
HC: This beats doing mascara in your rear-view.
HJ: Absolutely, what a timesaver. An effortless transition from a day look to an evening look.
TP: That is 100% my look when trying to put on liquid eyeliner. “Oh, I smudged it. Fuck it, go with it”.
DD: I bet there is already a YouTube tutorial for this look. “The first thing you’re going to want to do is smear the grease all around your eye and forehead area. Really smear it on, paying attention to covering as much of your forehead as possible. You’re also gonna want to NOT get any in your eyes, kids”.
HJ: “Don’t settle for knock-off brands of engine grease, they’re full of harmful chemicals”.
HC: I did just worry about her pores though and hope they had a sauna on set. :nail-art emoji:
TP: Charlize has excellent pore control. She’ll be fine.
3) "WHY CAN'T YOU STOP?!"
Early in the action, a very Australian bloke with the side-mouth is hanging off the side of Furiosa's rig asking why they've veered off course.
HC: This holds a special place in my bogan Australian heart because of his side-mouth. Shouting, “AW WOI CARN’T YOU STOP?” just reminds me of the best bit in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior where they’re trying to fix the rig and the buzzcut bogan in his Bonds singlet has no idea what he’s doing. This was a taste of Mad Max original flavour before Fury Road just went all-out circus batshit.
HJ: People kept hanging off the sides of cars like it was fucking nothing in this film. He's just hurtling through a post-apocalyptic wasteland at 70mph, hanging off the side of a war rig, yelling at Charlize, “WHY CAN’T YOU STOP?” and she's all like “cuz this convo wouldn’t look as cool bruh”.
HC: Hannah, you’re not doing the voice right. It's pronounced "woi" and "carn't".
DD: Is there no health and safety in the wasteland? There was a blatant disregard for OHS on display.
TP: This was one the first bits in the movie that made me think I’m not sure I could bring myself to do that. Not so much for the hanging-off-a-speeding-truck thing, more because of the social awkwardness. I’d be all, Maybe Charlize told us why she can't stop. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. Oh god what if she just looks at me like I’m an idiot? Does everybody else know why she can’t stop?
4) Chrome Grill
The War Boys' fun ritual of spraying chrome paint around their mouths before dying gloriously and earning a place in "Valhalla".
HC: Pretty into the bit when Toecutter (Immortan Joe) sprays chrome into About a Boy's mouth like it was whipped cream or weird American cheese.
HJ: Can't you just see it this weekend, all the teenagers across the world who will be spraying each other in the mouths with silver spray paint and yelling, “SHINY AND CHROME M8!!” and probably being hospitalised.
TP: I love how this film takes as a key part of its religious iconography all those mug shots of dudes who’ve been arrested after huffing spray paint. Like George Miller saw something on Fark 10 years ago and went, “Yes, this dodgy bloke in Florida shall be the central motif of my nihilistic desert death cult”.
DD: I couldn’t help thinking, I bet that does not taste pleasant.
HJ: You don’t need taste buds when you have faith, Dan.
5) Furiosa’s custom steering wheel
When Furiosa first gets in the War Rig and whips out this glorious custom wheel. Shiny!
DD: I don’t have a car, but really want to carry this steering wheel around. Show it to people. “Have you seen my cool steering wheel? No, I don’t have a car. Why do you ask?”
TP: I’m going to do this with, like, my keyboard at work. We should just have a big pile of skull keyboards and every morning we come into work and grab ours and hold it aloft and shout, “VALHALLAAAAA!”
HJ: Wait do you not know about our pile of skull keyboards?
TP: OH GOD THIS IS LIKE THE TIME I ASKED FURIOSA WHY SHE COULDN’T STOP AND SHE JUST LOOKED AT ME LIKE I WAS AN IDIOT.
HJ: Honestly Tom.
DD: I think if Fury Road taught us anything, it’s that we don’t accessorise well, as a society. I need 100% more skulls on my person: skull masks, skull codpieces, skull rings. I’m just not trying rn.
HJ: Skull teacups, skull hand dryers, skull USB sticks, skull cafetieres.
HC: You guys are just describing my house.
6) The waterfall
The Citadel's most impressive water feature.
DD: In a land with limited resources, I felt this was an inefficient method of distributing water. So much waste.
HC: This is the only part where I was on the baddie’s side. I don’t think they’re going to turn off the waterfall in this utopian future. You need dad to come in and say you’ve had enough.
TP: I mean you should see people gathered round our coffee machine in the morning. Like vultures.
HJ: Literally no one could consume water at any point in this film without slopping most of it on the floor. Like, hand out some nice glasses and a few fucking Brita filters, ffs.
TP: To be fair they seemed to have a very cavalier approach to all of their limited resources. “Not enough oil? Let’s solve this by DRIVING ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE DESERT IN A HUGE CONVOY.” And I reckon those Bullet Farm guys must be on some kind of weird subsidy. That was like a normal farmer just casually chucking a load of cows at anybody he doesn’t like.
DD: It’s no wonder they have limited resources when the only men left on Earth are trying to farm bullets.
HJ: And the breast milk! They’re in the damn desert and they have nothing but breast milk to consume and fucking Max just USES THE WHOLE BUCKET TO CLEAN THE BLOOD OFF HIS HANDS. That was good breast milk, and now it's all bloody and ruined. Just, ban men.
TP: I was just thinking, Mate, that’s gonna turn really quickly in this heat. You’re going to smell like a cheese shop in a few hours. This is a poor cleansing routine.
HJ: Maybe they had a special fridge for the breast milk.
DD: Everyone in this film was like, “Breast milk? SIGN ME UP.” I felt uncomfortable with how comfortable they were drinking random breast milk. There’s an episode of Friends that covers this. I mean do they not watch Friends? I imagine in a post-apocalypse there will still be a couple of channels showing Friends.
HC: I did like the tit-milk farm though. That was proper horror comic horror.
7) The storm.
Midway down Fury Road a small, local storm system rolls in. No biggie.
DD: The storm made me glad I no longer live in Australia. They have these once a week or so.
HC: Australian storms are great. You just sit outside on your white plastic deckchair and watch the sky go green while drinking shit beer and wearing shorts while your sweaty bare thighs get stuck to the plastic. Attractive.
HJ: Did you know that if you drive too close to a lightning storm, half the people will get sucked into it and die, and the other half won’t? And the way the lightning storm decides who to kill is whether or not you’re essential to the furthering of the plot.
DD: Lightning storms like to keep you guessing.
TP: I liked how the storm had lots of smaller but still huge storms inside it.
HC: I’d like you to explain various science things to me like this.
DD: When he's in the storm and says, “It’s a lovely day”, that was the most British thing in this film.
TP: Like your dad when you’ve gone on holiday and the weather’s shit but he’s all “just a bit of wind, let’s go to the beach anyway, it’s bracing.”
DD: "A light drizzle."
8) Immortan Joe.
Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is the big bad, a polygamist tyrant who uses his young wives as breeding stock for his army of war boys. He also wears a nifty breathing mask.
DD: All that plastic was a bit impractical in a desert setting; you would sweat for days.
HJ: Some of that white powder would sort him out though.
HC: Anyone else notice he’s basically just Peter Stringfellow?
TP: Well now I can’t think of anything else.
Immortan Joe's immortal verdict after Nux (Nicholas Hoult) fails his mission.
TP: This is my thing now. This is what I say to people.
HC: Anyone else would have just shouted “FUCK SAKE”, but Immortan Joe says that. Hero.
TP: Like, even people who aren’t being mediocre. I just use it instead of “hello”.
HC: Just shouting this at everyone now. Tom has just started shouting this in meetings in lieu of other words. Great for office morale.
DD: Getting this tattooed.
HJ: I apparently completely missed this bit, presumably because I was too busy shitting bricks already.
HC: Probably someone offered you some Maltesers at that exact second because this bit is basically unforgettable. BEST BIT OF THE WHOLE FILM.
DD: Mediocre, Hannah.
10) Freaks and goiters.
The cast of Fury Road is a never-ending delight.
HC: I wish I’d been there for the auditions for whatever the hell they put in the ad for what is clearly just “Victorian circus freaks”. Is Tumblr OK with this? Let’s not ask them. I have a new fear of goiters.
DD: I liked that it was inclusive. "Come as you are. Get shirtless. It’s a party. Oh you have lumps? We all have lumps it’s fine. Lump it up, friend." Everyone in this film was beach-body ready.
HJ: This film couldn’t go two minutes without someone like, ripping out a tooth or naming their goiters.
DD: What the fuck is a goiter?
HJ: They prefer to be known as Barry and Larry, Dan
HC: If English people just watched Seinfeld as religiously as Australian people, everyone would know what a goiter is. I hope you get one.
TP: I hope there’s an Immortan Joe make-up tutorial on YouTube too. “First, you’ll need a slave child to blow powder on your sores. White powder ideally, to really set off your horrifying tooth mask.”
DD: Can we talk about the white powder? Were they de-lousing?
HJ: It’s religion, Dan.
DD: Religiously de-lousing.
11) The spiky cars
The spiky cars appear to be an homage to Peter Weir's 1974 Australian horror comedy The Cars That Are Paris.
HC: BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE CARS FROM THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS.
TP: I have never seen The Cars That Ate Paris even though I’ve been meaning to for like 15 years.
HC: One of the weirdest films ever. Pair it with a little-known film called Wake in Fright (it’s got Donald Pleasance in it and it’s one of Nick Cave’s favourites) and you’ll basically never go to Australia ever.
TP: But I want to go to Australia, to drive across the desert doing murders.
HC: Wake in Fright has a batshit drunken kangaroo hunt in a ute. My batshit uncle does it on a 4x4 motorbike though.
TP: I was very happy when the spiky cars turned up because they looked like angry hedgehogs.
HJ: And just like with hedgehogs, if you cuddle these cars the right way they won't poke you.
DD: I like hedgehogs.
12) Pole Men.
Well this bit kind of speaks for itself. They were the ones on bendy poles.
HJ: The Bendy Pole Men were a revealing fear for me. I think a lot of people saw the Bendy Pole Men and thought, I never realised how terrified I am of Bendy Pole Men, I shall add it to my list of fears. Props for coming up with a new fear, George.
TP: Same. I get jumpy just walking down the street now. Keep glancing up to see if a Bendy Pole Man is going to swoop down and grab me.
HC: Apparently they legit stuck guys up poles and it was a massive pain in the arse to figure out how they could do it without killing guys up poles.
DD: I contemplated the life choices of the pole men... how did they get into this line of work? What were their dreams? Their fears? I guess we’ll never know.
13) Badass wasteland women.
In the far reaches of the desert, Max, Furiosa, and Co. encounter a band of warrior women who give literally zero fucks about the struggles of man.
HJ: I think these characters will help a lot of women lose their fear of aging. Like, “Don’t worry about wrinkles, because when you become old, you get to have a big-ass gun and a motorcycle, and you will ride around the edges of the known world on that motorcycle with your gal pals, cackling and fucking shit up, and it’s going to be the best years of your life.”
HC: These women just had faces like London bicycle couriers. Being a bicycle courier is basically as rough as Mad Max.
TP: Can we note that the 78-year-old actress who played the oldest one DID HER OWN MOTORBIKE STUNTS. They were all, “should probably have a stunt person do this” and she was like, “Um no I’m a badass 78-year-old lady I’m going to do my own stunts because fuck you”.
HC: We can note that. But would she give me a backie, is the thing.
DD: It says a lot that they were just dressed in desert-dwelling attire, riding sensible vehicles, not like, trying to start religions based on the sexualised worship of motorised vehicles and overusing skull motifs. "Let the boys have their silly games and their paints, we'll be over here being badasses. Don't come over here though, we will murder you in the face with very accurate bullets."
14) The vehicles.
DD: This film is a documentary depicting an average motorway in Australia.
HC: As soon as we got outside my pal Nat described it as being exactly like if Alejandro Jodorowsky had directed Wacky Races. 100% right.
HJ: How disappointing are real cars now? I just stepped out of the cinema into the cold light of day like, “Fucksake, real life is just Citroens and Ford Fiestas. What’s the point?”
HC: I kind of want to learn how to be less of a useless human being and actually learn how to drive a car now. At the very least I could go on holidays that don’t involve inviting some weird guy just because he can drive.
HJ: Props to all the wizard mechanics in this film. Every now and then something would go wrong with an engine, but all it took was a dude with a wrench hanging off the bottom of it for 10 minutes in the middle of a high-speed gunfight to sort it out. Need one of these guys to come give me an oil change.
DD: You haven't lived till you've ridden on the front of a high-speed truck, spitting gasoline directly into an air intake. Or as we call it where I'm from: "Friday night".
TP: My favourite car was the car that was just the top of a car welded to a tank.
DD: My new bumper sticker: “My other car is the top of a car welded to a tank.”
15) Mad Mask.
Being a dangerous sort, mobile bloodbank and sometime hood ornament Max gets to wear a mask that resembles the grill of a car.
DD: I like that even though they had bolt cutters, he had to file through the lock on his mask.
TP: Does Tom Hardy have some kind of thing written into his contracts about having to wear masks for most of his films?
DD: He looks like steampunk Hannibal Lecter.
TP: “My lips are too beautiful. They must be hidden from mortal eyes.”
HC: They are though. Although he has nothing on Mel Gibson in Road Warrior, which is just bonertown.
DD: I thought he’d be a Chatty Cathy once the mask was off. “Finally! I can ream off pages of backstory and exposition! I am Max, of house Mad, first of my name. I like leather and cars and just came out to have a good time.” But then he said like three words the whole time, all of them "Max".
HJ: Three words too many if you're asking me.
16) Furiosa and Max killing it.
After getting off on the wrong foot, Max and Furiosa soon have to fend off an attack from angry dirt bikers, and watching them kill together is magnificent.
DD: This was basically the sex scene, but instead of fucking, they were killing many, many people, and it was glorious. A ballet of bullets and blood. And boners. All their fighting up to this point was foreplay, and this was the sexy, sexy payoff. 100% sex.
TP: I admired the casual ease with which they were able to switch between driving the war rig and shooting people.
HJ: Teamwork makes the dream work.
DD: I want someone to cut this scene with like D’Angelo singing something sexual. Or if D’Angelo isn’t busy right now, could he write a song to cut this scene with?
HJ: Maybe in the future sex will just be making a moment of eye contact while driving a war rig and shooting people.
TP: I would feel more comfortable with that than actual sex tbh. Just eye-contact-desert-lorry-murder sex for me from now on.
HC: It'd be an improvement on regular sex in cars, which is just some bullshit for anyone over 5'5".
DD: Sex in cars is a myth designed to make tall people feel extra bad about all our limbs.
HJ: Meanwhile the babely wife women were apparently very firmly ensconced in their sexy sheets. How do you run around on a war rig fighting bad guys in a sheet without so much as a nip slip? I can’t even put on a seatbelt without a boob coming out.
17) Tripod Max.
With only one bullet left, Max yields the gun to Furiosa and she uses him as a tripod to steady her shot. Which she nails.
HJ: Ooh, this was some of that sweet, vintage misandry that the meninists were going on about. “Babe, we only got one bullet, and I respect your skills as a markswoman. Or should I say, markswomyn.”
DD: It takes a real man to be a tripod.
TP: This is real feminism in action – it's not about “banning men”. Men will not be banned under the matriarchy; they will be permitted to remain as useful props, like a tripod or a decorative coffee table.
DD: I, for one, look forward to propping up structural walls in a post-apocalyptic future.
HC: For the benefit of the tape let it be stated that Dan is giant enough to hold up walls.
DD: I woke up like this.
18) Barry and Larry.
Turns out the irradiated wasteland is bad for your health, and Nux has a couple of gnarly neck tumours which he draws smiley faces on and nicknames Barry and Larry.
DD: About a Goiter.
HJ: I’ll know I’ve found true love some day when I can be like, “Yeah these are my pals, Barry and Larry” and point to my fucking terrifying neck tumours and someone will be like, “Cool, wanna cuddle?” Relationship goals, man.
DD: Drawing smileys on tumours and giving them names was the most Australian thing in this film.
HC: I met a guy on a beach in Australia called Barry. This all checks out.
19) “Max. My name is Max. That's my name.”
Two hours into the film, Max finally tells Furiosa his name. While she's passed out from blood loss. Right after he gives her a highly unsterile blood transfusion.
HJ: This moment basically filled me with a deep gratitude that at no other point in the film was anyone made to act. Good to know that learning someone’s name is a strong antidote to death in any case.
TP: I’d have liked it if she’d woken up and said, “Oh, I had you down as more of a Phil.”
DD: He nodded after he said it as if people had told him his whole life his name was Max, but he only just started believing it.
HC: This moment wasn’t touching because blood diseases are real.
HJ: Never share needles guys.
HJ: I wanted to see this film again immediately. But I wanted to watch it while driving through a desert and smearing grease on my head like a BAMF.
TP: I have been unable to think of anything else since seeing this film. All I want to do in my life now is drive around Australia in an angry hedgehog car shooting people and having eye-contact-murder sex and washing myself with breast milk. With guitar man.
HJ: Someday you can do that, Tom. All you have to do is increase your carbon footprint and leave the tap on all day to help herald in this beautiful apocalyptic future.
DD: Back in 2007 George Miller was supposed to direct a Justice League movie. Then the writers strike happened and his film got canned and now we have Zack Snyder. CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THEY’D HAVE LET HIM MAKE HIS JUSTICE LEAGUE? The feminist superhero movie we’ve been waiting for.
HC: I love how this was the film George Miller did at 70. HELLO, THIS IS THE FILM I MADE. I can’t wait for the next installment when George Miller is like 90 years old. If he waited until he was 70 to give us this, imagine 90.
TP: When he’s 90 it will be just like this, except in space and all the dialogue is in an invented language and the actual cinema is on fire while you watch it.
DD: This film is George Miller looking at everyone in Hollywood shouting, “Stand under my waterfall, peasants.”
HJ: And all the fuckboy producers and directors are just scrambling in the mud hoping for a taste of sweet, watery success.
HC: Has anyone asked Mel Gibson was he thinks of it though.
DD: He was mad.
Mad Max: Fury Road is in cinemas now.
What are your favourite moments from the film? Let us know!
Correction (3:47pm BST): We forgot to mention that the badass warrior women of the desert are credited as "The Vulvalini". This sort of thing would never happen in a Vulvalini-run future wasteland. Mediocre. H/T @misszing on Twitter.