Mad Max series legacy and influence in popular culture
The Mad Max series of films has had a significant impact on modern popular culture. Mad Max references are deeply embedded in popular culture; references to its dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic themes and bizarre landscape and desolate wasteland imagery have inspired some artists to emulate the look and feel of some aspect of the series in their work.
- Manga author Buronson cites Mad Max as an inspiration for his series Fist of the North Star, illustrated by Tetsuo Hara.
- James Wan and Leigh Whannell credit the film's final scene, in which Johnny is given the option of cutting off either the resistant chain or his own foot to escape, for inspiring the entire Saw series.
- The music video for the 2001 single "Addicted to Bass" by Puretone was heavily inspired by the opening chase sequence in Mad Max featuring a Pursuit Special. Two Falcon XB coupes were used in the video - one painted in the livery of the MFP vehicles seen in the film.
- In 2009, artist Shaun Gladwell showcased MADDESTMAXIMVS at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition brought together numerous works of art inspired by the Mad Max film series, including a video art piece that displayed a sculptural replica of Max's Pursuit Special.
- Pop singer Kesha noted that the vibe of her Get $leazy Tour (2011) was "very heavily influenced" by the Mad Max series. Several of the costumes she and her friends wear throughout the show are very reminiscent of characters throughout the Mad Max franchise.
- The animated series Ben 10: Omniverse explores an alternate universe that strongly resembles that of Mad Max. In this universe, Ben Tennyson (known in this universe as Mad Ben) uses the Omnitrix to establish himself as a warlord and tyrannical master over the remaining people in a post-apocalyptic Bellwood, turned to a desert wasteland. He also has an Australian accent, similar to that of Max Rockatansky, protagonist of the Mad Max series.
- A Breton chariot racer is named "Madmax" in the 2017 Asterix comic book Asterix and the Chariot Race
Mad Max 2
- Filmmakers Guillermo del Toro, David Fincher, and Robert Rodríguez and video game director Hideo Kojima have cited Mad Max 2 as one of their favorite movies. James Cameron also credits the movie, along with Star Wars, for having a major influence on him.
- Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin, creators of the comic heroine Tank Girl, describe her as "Mad Max designed by Vivienne Westwood"
- Waterworld co-writer David Twohy cited Mad Max 2 as a major influence on the film. Both films share the same cinematographer, Dean Semler.
- The music video for Phil Collins' "Don't Lose My Number" features a sequence inspired by Mad Max 2.
- In the episode of Nickelodeon's Rugrats "The Sky is Falling", there is an end of the world scene which parodies Mad Max 2. They are heading down a road in the desert toward an abandoned city. Their vehicles are engineered out of other things (cribs, tricycles, etc.). One of the characters, Chuckie, is piloting a Gyrocopter and is dressed very similarly to the gyro captain (leather cap, shirt, tan colors, et al.).
- In the level creator downloadable content for Portal 2, Cave Johnson, the narrator says "Cave Johnson here. Just a reminder that the core goal of Aperture Gas-Finding Science is to find gas, so make sure you let us know if you see any. If we meet our quarterly gas-finding target, I promise you we will don our bondage gear, fuel our death cars, and drive around in circles, whooping it up and shooting arrows at people. Who is ready to rule the wasteland? All right, start looking."
- The Fallout series of video games, which has a post-apocalyptic world as their setting, lists Mad Max as one of its influences. For example, in the first and second games, one of the first available armors is a one-sleeved leather jacket that closely resembles the jacket worn by Mel Gibson in the film. Also, in the series the player character can acquire various companions that will accompany the player and help him in his quest; one of the companions in the first game is a dog that resembles the one that follows Max in Mad Max 2. A secret location in the second Fallout game allows the player to find the dog character again, and a nearby companion will remark that he'd seen it hanging around with a tough guy wearing black leather.
- Other videogames inspired by Mad Max or its sequels include Max Payne, Twisted Metal, Carmageddon, Borderlands, Rage and Fuel.
- Nikki Sixx cited the Mad Max films and Escape From New York as a major inspiration for the early stage shows and costume designs of Mötley Crüe in the band's tell-all book, The Dirt. Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P. cited the film as having a huge effect on the visual theme they were to employ in their 1980s stage shows.
- Mortal Engines author Philip Reeve stated that the film was an influence on the creation of his particular post apocalyptic universe.
- Weird Science's climax includes many characters in costumes bearing strong resemblances to the styles seen in the Road Warrior. This includes Vernon Wells reprising his role as Wez.
- Episode 8 ("Mad Tony: The Food Warrior") of season 2 of Anthony Bourdain's television series A Cook's Tour is set in Australia and features a Road Warrior theme. The final shot mimics the departing scene from the movie, with Bourdain standing in for Gibson.
- In episode 16, season 5 of the TV series Cheers, Frasier Crane is detained after becoming involved in an altercation at a hockey game. Later, when describing the events to the bar patrons, he says "the next thing I know I'm in the holding cell of some north-end station house with the cast of The Road Warrior."
- In the South Park season 5 episode 7 "Proper Condom Use" the boys and girls at South Park Elementary get frightened by the fear of STDs and face off against each other with the girls building a refuge like the settlers in Mad Max 2 and the boys trying to chase them out of it like the Marauders. Butters gets on a microphone and delivers an impassioned demand that the girls walk away, and in it he uses much the same speech patterns and voice type as Lord Humungus.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
- The term "Thunderdome" was adapted by popular culture and appears in various contexts with a meaning similar to that used in the film.
- In the 2006 release Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Snoop Dogg raps the lyrics "nigga welcome to da Thunderdome."
- A 2015 television advertisement for NBC's The Voice parodied the "Thunderdome" concept.
- The 1996 music video for 2Pac's "California Love" includes elements inspired by the Mad Max film, such as car chases in the desert and the Thunderdome itself, according to director Hype Williams.
- World Championship Wrestling held a "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" match at their Halloween Havoc 1992 pay-per-view event between Sting and Jake "The Snake" Roberts that was based on the film. The match was promoted with a segment where Sting and Roberts met in a tavern full of tough customers that resembled Bartertown. The stipulation of their match would be determined by spinning a wheel, similar to the scene in which Max's punishment is determined by a wheel. The bar patrons repeatedly chant "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" like in the film.
Mad Max: Fury Road
- In Tyler, The Creator's music video "Fucking Young", a sequence takes place at the end which shares the same aesthetic of the movie.
- In a music video by the South Korean pop group Big Bang, entitled "Bang Bang Bang", numerous costumes and props are similar to those of the Mad Max films. The back-up dancers are reminiscent of Fury Road's War Boys mechanics, while the use of flame throwers, outlandish dress, dust and grease smeared sets, and also the extravagant performances, are also references to the franchise's most recent film.
- Conan O'Brien spoofed the film in an opening sequence for the show's 2015 Comic-Con special.
- Miracle of Sound's 2015 song "Road Rage" is a tribute to the film
- The film is parodied in the Rick and Morty episode "Rickmancing the Stone."
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