Tag Archives: Dystopian

Deep Thinking in the Thunderdome

4 Sep

I have no idea why dystopian movies have been on my mind. My last post was about a recent dystopian movie. A few days ago, I thought about the dystopian phase of Charlton Heston’s career. Heck, I thought about it to the point that I almost did a “Movie Wisdom” post based on Heston’s movies. As I got into it, I realized that I have seen a bunch of his movies, and the task became daunting.

That is when I thought about a movie that does not rank among the dystopian classics, but it has enough cool features that I think it should. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome came out in 1985, which was in the middle of my formative high school years, and it was awesome. The end of a trilogy, I think it is better than the first one but not as good as the second one. That does not matter. If it is on television, then I am going to watch it. Of course, I do the same thing with Flash Gordon.

What makes Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome cool? There are many reasons.

It is about Mad Max, the former cop who is the baddest man in a nuclear waste world full of bad men.images

That nuclear waste world also has bad women, and Aunty Entity is the baddest of those. Tina Turner, at the height of her powers, plays the villain. However, are there really any villains in a destroyed world?images-2

That would be a destroyed world full of filth and grime, but, in the middle of all that, Aunty Entity has a sleek penthouse with clean water and her own private horn player.

That horn player puts out some good tunes, but nothing compares to the theme sung by Tina Turner. Do we need another hero? I have no idea.

However, I think we need more creepy announcers to introduce the fighters in the ultimate cage match. How would it feel to be waiting in the wings and hear Dr. Dealgood say, “Dyin’ time’s here.”?images-3

By the way – two men enter, one man leaves.

Who are these combatants? Of course, Mad Max is involved. However, the champion of Thunderdome is Master Blaster. That is what I call a lethal combination of brain and brawn.Master Blaster

Speaking of brain, I cannot make a Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome list without mentioning the resident philosopher, Pigkiller. I have already written a post about him. If you want to improve your IQ, then I suggest taking a look at it.

Anyone who has seen a Mad Max movie knows that it is filled with cool cars and strange characters. There is a lot of stuff there to like. However, this installment has one scene that stands out above all others. At the end, Max has helped a group of lost children make it to the safety of an abandoned city. Once there, they create a new society but do not want to forget their past. Every night, they gather, and Savannah Nix talks about what came before.

She says, “The years travel fast and, time after time, I’ve done the tell. But, this ain’t one body’s tell. It’s the tell of us all, and you got to listen it and member. Cause what you hears today you got to tell the newborn tomorrow. I’s lookin’ behind us now into history back…Time counts and keeps countin’, and we knows now finding the trick of what’s been and lost ain’t no easy ride. But that’s our trek, and we’ve got to travel it.”

It is hard to imagine that someone can find inspiration in a 1980s Mad Max movie, but I find it in that scene. It makes me think of my job as a historian. People in my profession find what has been, which is not an easy thing to do. Then, we give that information to others in classrooms, conference rooms and publications. We may be the chroniclers of history, but that does not mean that we own it. History belongs to everyone, and it is our job to study it and make sure that people learn about it and learn from it.

I would start a class with Savannah’s speech, but they would all look at me like I was crazy.

Anyway, that is what I get from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Oh yeah, there is one other cool thing in the movie. As Savannah’s words fade away, we see Max walking alone through the desert, and everyone knows that heroes ending up riding into the sunset.

Looking at the Future Through a Glass Filled with Jack Daniel’s

29 Aug

What happens when you mix cold medicine, Jack Daniel’s and a dystopian movie? Last night, I found out.

I have been under the weather for the past few days, which sucks because classes started over those same few days. Luckily, it was all about going over the syllabi. I am not a big medicine taker, but my wife convinced me that I needed something. I am certain she was right.

Reason #32 to get married = There is someone around to make you take drugs when you are sick.

She also thought that a little whiskey might help. Before you start thinking that she was trying to kill me by mixing medicine and whiskey, I need you to know that we have a happy home. Whiskey is an old remedy for colds and such. Grandmothers used to give it to kids. Of course, that is the old days. Today, that would be considered child abuse and somebody would call the government.

Reason #14 not to trust the government = They make you stop taking home remedies for sickness and make you buy health insurance.

I don’t know if whiskey cures a cold, but it certainly makes you think the cold is going away.

So, I was filled with cold medicine and drinking Jack Daniel’s when I got the urge to watch The Last Chase, a movie about a bleak future. Being a movie made in 1981, that bleak future was supposed to happen about ten years ago. It’s always weird to watch a movie depicting a future that is currently the past. That’s why movie makers and religious leaders who predict the end of the world should follow the same rule. When you envision a future of destruction, set the date a long way into the future.

Anyway, the movie stars Lee Majors, Burgess Meredith and Chris Makepeace.

It was supposed to be the transition of Majors from television star to movie star. That didn’t happen. Instead, he was making this movie while Ryan O’Neal was stealing Farrah Fawcett from him.Farrah Fawcett

At least, that is according to an interview with the director.

Burgess Meredith was not far from the success of Rocky, and I wonder why he signed up for this.

Chris Makepeace was the Jesse Eisenberg of the 1980s, playing the intelligent kid who did not fit in with everyone else.Chris Makepeace

He was in a couple of hits like Meatballs and My Bodyguard, and I began to wonder whatever happened to him. A quick Google search didn’t tell me much. According to the Internet Movie Database, he last appeared in something in 2001. There is a Chris Makepeace tribute page, but it is lacking, as well.

Now, back to the movie. Gas shortages and a plague sent the United States into a tailspin. In the future, the government has clamped down and declared no privately owned vehicles. Everyone is controlled by public transportation. Franklyn Hart is a former race car driver who longs for the old days. He rebuilds his car and plans to drive it across the country to California, which has gained its independence.

A young kid from a boarding school doesn’t fit in with his classmates and spends his time hacking government computers. He hitches a ride, and the two head out.

The government tries to stop them by getting a fighter pilot to chase them down and kill them. He wants to be a free as they do and sacrifices himself so they can make it to their destination.

I have watched the movie a bunch, but this was the first time I have seen it with drugs and alcohol in my system. This is what I picked up.

In the coming apocalypse, our cities will not be destroyed by bombs or rising sea levels. They will be overcome by matte paintings.

Taking drugs and drinking whiskey will make you feel numb.

In the future, Smokey the Bear is still fighting forest fires.

Speaking of smokey, it would be nice if cops of the future really drove black and white golf carts.

When our society breaks down and we abandon the heartland, the Native Americans will take their land back.

Only in the movies can the guy find a woman in the woods to hook up with.Alexandra

The kid learning how to drive in a race car is like taking a driving test at the Indy 500.

The government will stop trying to control Utah and Arizona. Apparently, they are too difficult to deal with.

The future will have sex clubs and promote group sex. The government much think that mass sex is the same a mass transportation.

Even in the future, the government will find a reason to massacre Native Americans.

In the future, a plane can be refurbished in a couple of hours.

For some reason, the look of boarding schools never change. Just ask the X-Men.

Coca-Cola still has a fizz after twenty years in the can.

Combining cold medicine and Jack Daniel’s is an enlightening experience.

Speaking of Jack Daniel’s, it is timeless and will continue to be produced in the future. Same label and everything.

Computer technology will regress to look and function like computers in the 1980s.

Colonel Steve Austin could have ran to California on one leg.

Lee Majors ages more gracefully in the movies than he does in real life.Lee Majors

By they way, he took his stage name from Johnny Majors, who played and coached football at the University of Tennessee.

Since it is football time, that is probably a good one to end on.