Movie Review: 'The Road Warrior'

by William Anderson

15 September 2005

But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called Max.

Mel Gibson has made his share of semitically correct garbage in his long career (the "Lethal Weapon" series, "We Were Soldiers"), but he's also made a few movies that might be regarded as truly great. One of those films would be "Braveheart," and another is "The Road Warrior."

"The Road Warrior" roared onto the American scene in 1981, and quickly became, at the time, the most popular Australian movie ever released in the United States. Although it takes place in barren New South Wales after the collapse of civilization, the film conforms pretty closely to the American Western genre format. And with its violent adrenaline-charged action, incredible stuntwork (no digital effects) and chase scenes involving hordes of futuristic vehicles it quickly won a place in the hearts and video collections of White men everywhere. Couple this with the title character, a lone wolf White warrior unafraid to use violence to rid the world of predatory subhuman scum, and you have a full-blown White nationalist classic on your hands.

Men began to feed on men

The film begins with an aged narrator telling of the fall of civilization cause by an oil shortage and world war. A montage of chaos and violence plays across the screen, and we are introducted to the Road Warrior, Max (Gibson). Max's family was brutally murdered by a motorcycle gang just before the collapse, and he fled the chaos after avenging their deaths.

A few years later, a grayer Max wanders the wastelands in the last of the V-8 Interceptors, a "burnt-out shell of a man." Life has been reduced to kill-or-be-killed simplicity. The world has reverted to barbarism and "guzzolene" is the most precious commodity in an age where mobility equals survival. Once an elite member of the Main Force Patrol, Max is now just a nomad battling the marauders who have arisen to pick at the carcass of the dead world. Max's driving concern is to scavenge enough gas to sustain his rootless existence, and his quest for fuel leads him to an ultralight helicopter, seemingly abandoned. But he's soon ambushed by the ultralight's pilot, the Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence), a good-natured fellow who raises poisonous snakes. Max is more than a match for the Captain though, and quickly turns the tables.

Desperate to avoid a quick death, the Captain tells Max of an unlimited supply of gas close by. A group of survivors, perhaps the last civilized community left, is defending a working refinery and fuel reserve, but their compound is under siege by an army of neo-barbarians who want the prize all to themselves. Under the leadership of the visionary Pappagallo (Michael Preston), the community has managed to hold out against the marauder horde for some time, but they are becoming fewer and fewer. Pappagallo's dream is to escape the "vermin on machines" and travel 2,000 miles to the coast, where they can begin a new life. The problem is they don't have a vehicle with enough horsepower to haul their fuel tanker all the way to paradise. That morning, Pappagallo had dispatched a group of scouts to locate a prime mover, but they were quickly chased down and butchered. The community is starting to lose faith in Pappagallo.

Max rescues a survivor of the doomed mission and brings him back to the compound in exhange for gas. But the man soon dies, and the suspicious community, particularly Warrior Woman (Virginia Hey), treats him as a criminal and chains him up. They soon forget about Max though, because the barbarian horde, led by the musclebound psycho Lord Humungus (Kjell Nilsson), is returning. And Lord Humungus has a proposal.

The vermin have inherited the earth

Director George Miller relied heavily on archetypes from the American West to tell his story. Characterization is bare-bones, and many of the characters lack names. But it's easy to understand the drama being played out here, especially from the vantage point of a White racist.

Pappagallo's settlers dress all in white and use violence only to defend themselves. They harbor a spirit of caring and Aryan community and dream of creating something better for the generations to come. Even after all they've been through they still have a sense of naivete about them, though this will nearly bring about their doom. They have encircled the refinery with walls of old tires and rusted automobiles in what an American would quickly recognize as a circling of the wagons to stave off redskin savages.

On the other side of the barricade are Lord Humungus' marauders. These thugs are also all White, making The Road Warrior one of those rare film classics that will not subject its viewers to the sight of a simian visage, but in dress and behavior they are pure mud garbage. Most sport hairstyles that would look right at home on a Borneo head hunter and the way they mindlessly circle the compound on their motorcycles, looking for a way in, recalls the actions of Indians on horseback.

The degeneracy doesn't stop there. Their leather bondage fetish clothing does more than hint at homosexuality, and Max's nemesis Wez (Vernon Wells), one of the more savage marauders, goes nigger-crazy after his "bitch" the Golden Youth takes a razor 'rang to the forehead and must be restrained by Humungus. Wez couldn't put a sentece together with a blueprint, but Humungus speaks with that pompous, exaggerated style and stilted rhetoric so beloved of tribal leaders like Louis Farracoon and Jesse "Babydaddy" Jackson. It's in this style that he delivers his ultimatum to the community: Just walk away. Humungus tells Pappagallo's people that if they give him the pump, the gas and the entire compound, he will spare their lives. "Just walk away, and there will be an end to the horror."

Words, just words

Incredibly, Humungus' proposal is taken seriously by many in the compound, especially the women (with the exception of Warrior Woman) and a deranged old man. This codger wears a helmet and medals and lugs around a Japanese katana, which leads one to believe he's spent some time in New Guinea back in the 40s. But it's this old fool, whom we'd think would know something about expecting mercy from merciless enemies, who volunteers to negotiate with Humungus, calling him a "reasonable man." A reasonable man!? The masked thug who's been trying to exterminate you for God knows how long is a reasonable man? This guy is representative of the World War II generation, and it's easy to see why White people are in the hole we're in.

In fact, this whole controversy is illustrative of one of our biggest problems as a people: So many of us want to sell out everything for the promise of mercy from an inhuman enemy. A stubborn refusal to face uncomfortable truths has led to the adoption in many Whites of insane and suicidal coping mechanisms. We project our own good nature and ideals onto those who not only do not share them, but consider them signs of weakness. Is this how it played out in southern Africa? The Afrikaners and Rhodesians trusted "reasonable" men and now live out a waking nightmare in lands that once were theirs.

Pappagallo tries to put an end to this assfoolery, pointing out that even if Humungus doesn't kill them their whole reason for living, the fuel, will be gone, and they'll be stranded thousands of miles from the coast. He tells them the most important thing is to defend the fuel. Pappagallo plays devil's advocate here to make his point, but he understands the utter stupidity of begging the loathesome Humungus for "permission" to survive. To do that would mean the community was already spiritually dead, with the marauders needing only to cut them down in the open like dogs to finish the job. Pappagallo knows there are no such things as "rights," only power. In this war of tribes there is room for chivalry. One is either an aggressor or a victim.

His logic is lost on Big Rebecca, who mocks Pappagallo's reasoning as "words, just words," proving most women should be kept far away from leadership positions. It's unfortunate that so many White women turn against their men when the heat is on, and it was this irony-free harridan who was arguing only a moment before that Humungus should be trusted because "he gave his word"!

The community is on the verge of rejecting Pappagallo's vision when Max steps forward. "Two days ago I saw a vehicle that would haul that tanker. You want to get out of here? You talk to me."

Nothing to do but breed!

Max quickly strikes a deal with Pappagallo's people. Early in the film he discovered an abandoned rig, and he will bring that rig back to the compound in exchange for all the gas he carry. When night falls he sneaks through the marauder encampment and makes his way to the truck with enough fuel to drive it back to the community. Along the way he meets up again with the Gyro Captain, and the Captain decides to fly his helicopter into the compound.

In a daring daylight bid Max crashes right through the barbarians' siege lines (with the Gyro Captain dropping poisonous snakes on the thugs from his ultralight) and drives into the compound. The survivors are thrilled, especially a wild child called Feral Kid (Emil Ginty), who bonds with Max. Max is offered a place in the community and the chance to drive the big rig during the breakout. But Max refuses.

Max procured the prime mover only as a form of trade. He never intended to join the community. Too traumatized by his past to reconnect with humanity, Max prefers his detached existence as an Outback nomad and wishes only to return to it. Not wanting to lose a valuable fighter, Pappagallo makes a personal appeal to Max and offers him the one thing he hasn't got: a future. Max again rebuffs it.

Out there with the garbage

Pappagallo loses his temper with Max. "Do you think you're special," he demands. "We've all lost someone in here. But we're still human beings." In rejecting civilization Pappagallo accuses Max of being "out there with the garbage." It's no coincidence that Max also wears black leather, the uniform of the savages, and here we realize the true hero of The Road Warrior is not Max at all. It's Pappagallo.

Pappagallo is the man with the plan. While Max thinks only of his own needs, Pappagallo is completely devoted to the survival of his people, uncompromising to the enemy and willing to lay down his life for the good of the others. He is a true leader. Max may be the "cooler" Road Warrior and Gibson's face is more telegenic, but Pappagallo is the better man and the kind of leader we hope to have among us when the mud mobs are outside our walls baying for blood.

Max should be admired for his driving and fighting skills, but at this stage of the film he cares for no one's survival but his own. Were he not forced by later circumstance to aid the community during the escape attempt he would have left them in his rear-view mirror without a second thought, content to roam the Outback, wrestling with his personal demons. But Max is not a hopeless case, and it is through his involvement in the breakout that a spark of his humanity will be rekindled. But that is yet to occur. Disappointed, Pappagallo gives up on Max, and he's later pressured to prevent Max's leaving or at least keep the Interceptor. But Pappagallo doesn't. The standards of Aryan civility win out. Pappagallo respects Max as an "honorable man" who held up his part of the bargain and refuses to steal Max's car simply because he can. Pappagallo then states that he will be driving the rig during the breakout, a task we later learn to be practically a suicide mission. The next day, Max races out of the compound and attempts to get clear of the savages. He doesn't make it very far before Wez and his thugs smash the Interceptor and run Max off the road. When the marauders attempt to pillage the Interceptor the unknowingly activate a booby trap and blow themselves and the car to bits. Wez assumes Max is dead and leaves the wreckage, but Max is not dead. Badly injured, he managed to crawl away before the Interceptor blew, but he's not good for much else. Luckily, the Gyro Captain notice the smoke and flies a battered Max back to the compound.

I want to drive that truck

After some rack time Max staggers into the sunlight and finds Pappagallo's people preparing to clear out. With no options left, Max volunteers to drive the truck. Pappagallo finally agrees and returns Max's weapon, a pistol-sized, double-barreled shotgun. The community take to their vehicles, grab their weapons and form up into a convoy. And with Max behind the wheel of the rig he starts to regain some of his lost humanity. Now he is the protector of the defenseless again. Max always possessed the skills to compete with the barbarians on their level, and it will be up to him to save the community from violent extinction at the hands of the savages.

With Max's rig in the lead, the community's vehicles race north, pursued by a motorized horde of barbarians. Another group of scum drives into the vacant compound to take possession. They whoop and celebrate at their good fortune, just as a booby trap trips off and vaporizes the entire compound, marauders and all. Par-tay!

Pappagallo's scorched earth policy doesn't remove the marauders in hot pursuit of the convoy though, and soon they are swarming over Max's rig like roaches. But they don't call Max "the Road Warrior" for nothing, and the thugs find that out the hard way as Max ruthlessly fights off their attempts to bring him down.

Men like Pappagallo are essential to get a plan in motion, but we need Mad Maxes, too. Hard men who, regardless of motivation, are prepared to shoot, bludgeon, stab or drive over any predatory scum that stands in the way of our survival. The problem Pappagallo and his people always faced is that they were in over their heads, outclassed by the barbarians. With Max on their side they stand a real chance.

As Max blazes the way for the convoy he returns once again to what he was as a policeman: a protector of the innocent. In a strange way he even becomes something of a surrogate father to the Feral Kid, whom we learn is none other than the narrator himself, grown to manhood, and now the chief of the "Great Northern Tribe." In this way we learn that Pappagallo's dream became real, and Max attains a sliver of redemption by helping to ensure the survival of civilization.

But Max chooses not to join the community. He understands that too much of him has died in the war for survival, and there can be no place for him in a civilized setting. Max is left alone on the highway, watching the convoy vanish into the distance, the lone gunslinger who found a little peace in a lifetime of pain.

In its final haunting images The Road Warrior hurtles over movie convention to become a kind of modern myth, and Max himself attains the status of a legenday hero. In these semitically correct times it just doesn't get much better than this. Check out this timeless Aryan epic if you get a chance, and let Max do the driving.


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