With a sequel on the horizon, it’s time to look back on the original. This post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama by George Miller was released on April 12th, 1979, with a modest budget of $400,000. It went on to gross $5,355,490 worldwide, and is generally considered a cult classic. In the future, the Australian Outback is suffering an energy crisis, causing the land and society to crumble. Of all the futures I’ve seen in film, this one of the most plausible. Interestingly, it never says exactly what year this movie is set in. Instead, it allows us to pick any year in the next fifteen to twenty years and captivates us with its sharp vision. In his first big screen success, Mel Gibson delivers a commanding performance as the titular hero, Max Rockatansky, a cop who is only held together by his wife and baby son. The movie begins with him killing the notorious biker Night Rider, which sends the latter’s gang on a killing spree. This also puts the police at risk of being killed by the gang. At one point in the film, Max decides to ride with his family along the coast. However, this doesn’t mean they’re safe. The score by Brian May helps create an ominous tone to this bleak world. I recommend this 70’s classic to anyone who likes dystopian futures and when Mel Gibson wasn’t racist.