Let me tell you about my relationship with Max Rockatansky. He’s a real dreamboat. A real cool guy. A real survivor.
I first watched Mad Max in the summer of my 5th grade year at my friend Josh’s house during one of his birthday parties. Man, birthday parties back then were the business. When you’re a kid everything is so monumental and over the top, birthdays were a chance to plan deviance and recklessly cause trouble outside of school hours, school rules and school grounds.
I remember the movie was randomly playing in one of the rooms and only a couple of my friends were watching it but Josh’s older brother and all his friends were sitting silent so I sat and glued myself to this VHS screening of what turned out to be one of the grittiest and baddest ass movies ever. Dirty. Violent. Characters so vivid and ornately costumed, big, loud engines, motorcycles and hot rods, choppy, vulgar slang-filled dialogue made a young boy such as myself stare fixed into that big TV screen as if nothing else mattered.
I always hated my friends’ older brothers for being such pricks but that day was one that changed my life forever.
Max was everything that embodied what I wanted to be. An ambivalent and quiet loner with a dog and a fast car, only made mad when pushed by the evil that men do, but a man with no particular destination, wandering, gunslinging for survival, searching for gas, dressed in hard leather.
I would from then on crave to watch the dark and tragic anti-heroes who were hopelessly at odds with the world and their own morality. The romance of hating those who love you or just plain realizing that everyone eventually will let you down for their own gain would be steadfast and hard-edged codes that this little boy, possibly unfortunately, would holster in his core as he wandered the wasteland that was the playground.