☞Wasteland Warlock☜ (kingfox) wrote,
☞Wasteland Warlock☜

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Road Warrior

The Road Warrior has one of the greatest intros of any media out there. I insisted this in the early nineties on many a BBS, and insist it to this day. Fallout and its sequel have quite similar intros, obviously based on the movie's.

Bill Cooper, the man who got me into computers and many other passions of mine, was a huge fan of the Mad Max series. He'd often watch it in our living room. Once my first stepfather hosted a AD&D game where people dressed as who they wanted to play in the campaign. Superman, Mighty Mouse, and others showed up. Bill dressed up as Mad Max, complete with just about all of the guns from actor friends. Running late to the game as usual, he got pulled over by the police, who had quite a field day until they confirmed that the guns were legitimate theatrical pieces.

In all of my years of viewing his copy, I never caught the intro. In all of my years of watching it on television, I never caught the intro. I either tuned in (or the copy I had access to) started as they zoomed down the highway.

January 14th, 1991, was the day before I turned thirteen. I was in middle school, and was living in the large room on the second floor where my brother cessna182 used to live. The cable leading from the antenna on the roof was tied into a noose by my brother, and sometimes swung against the window. The next day the time limit for U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 ran out, and Desert Storm was due to kick into high gear. My brother was over there, and had been since the word got out that Kuwait was being taken.

So I was up in this room, lying on the floor, preparing to watch a movie late at night. I expected to see the same movie I had seen many times before, starting with Mad Max roaring down the post-apocalyptic wasteland highway. Instead I got an introduction I wasn't prepared for.

                                               THE MONTAGE

                   la.      THE WASTELAND.          DAY.

                             Flurries of dust and sand swirl around us as we move
                             through an eerie, barren land.  The only sound is the
                             howl of a rising wind.

                             Ahead something looms out of the storm.  As we approach
                             we see that it is the rusting remains of a massive oil pump.

                             The wind  drops to be replaced by the voice of a very
                             old man.  This Is the Narrator:
                                                          NARRATOR v/o
                                             The vision dims and all that
                                             remains are mememories.
                                             They take me back - back to
                                             the place where the black
                                             pump sucked guzzolene from
                                             the earth...

                    lb.      ANOTHER PART OF THE WASTELAND. DAY.

                             Out of the dust storm emerges the ancient  wreck of
                             a prime mover and fuel tanker.  It is partly
                             charred, its wheels and sides studded with metal
                             crossbow bolts.
                                                           NARRATOR v/o
                                             And I remember the terrible
                                             battle we fought - the day
                                             we left that place forever...


                      1c.      A  HILLTOP IN THE WASTELAND.      DAY.

                             A  warrior, dressed in leather and steel, stands on
                             a  hill crest. This is MAX. Behind him is a strange
                             road vehicle: two engines and a seat mounted on a

                                                           NARRATOR  v/o
		     But, most of all, I remember

                          the courage of a stranger, a
                          road warrior called Max.

                          To understand who he was you
                          must go back to the last days
                          of the old world ...

                                                        FADE TO BLACK.

          ld/e.    A MOB OF ARAB STUDENTS...

                ....storm a heavily-fortified embassy and raise the
               Iranian flag.

           1f.     U.S. SOLDIERS LAND ...

                ... on a beach in the Persian Gulf and fight their
                way across the sand.

                                     NARRATOR v/o
                           ... when, for reasons long
                           forgotten, two mighty warrior
                           nations went to war ...

           1g.    AN  OIL WELL ERUPTS...

                 ... and then another ... and another.

                Plumes of flame burst across the skyline.

                            ...and touched off a blaze
                            which engulfed them all.

            1h.   A LINE OF CARS...

                  ... stretches for blocks  until It finally reaches
                 a gas station.

                  An attendant pulls down a sign which reads:

                            $7 / Gallon

                  and replaces it with another sign:

                            AUTHORIZED VEHICLES ONLY

                  A group of angry motorists gather around, yelling
                  and pushing.

                  The attendant produces a gun motioning them back ...

                             ...For without fuel they were
                            nothing.  They had built a
                             house of straw ...

             1i.   BUSINESSMEN AT A STOCK EXCHANGE ...

                    ... are yelling and shoving.

                             Sell!  Sell!  Sell!

                    Torn up scrip litters the floor ...

             1j.    THE FOYER OF A HUGE CORPORATION.

                    The company's crest is chiselled on the wall.  It
                    is accompanied by the words:

                              SEVEN SISTERS PETROLEUM
                               "Fueling The World"

                    on the floor below, beyond the marble pillars, we see
                    the building is abandoned - littered  with broken
	        furniture and piles of documents.

          1k.   A CORRIDOR.
	     We pass through a door designated:

                          CHIEF EXECUTIVE

                At the other end of the imposing room we see a
                businessman clearing out his vast desk. His name is
                PAPPAGALLO.  On the wall behind him we see photo-
                graphs and Paintings of oil wells and re fineries.

                 PAPPAGALLO takes a wad of maps and puts them in his
                 briefcase, followed by a copy of  "Whole Earth,
                 catalogue" and another book.  The cover reads:

                           TEACH YOURSELF SOLAR ENERGY

           1l.   LIVING ROOM.

                  An ANXIOUS FAMILY is gathered in front of a
                  television set - A politican addresses the nation.

                            stage three of the national
                            emergency is effective
                            immediately, citizens are
                            warned ...

                   The speech is cut Short as static fills the screen.

                   The family looks up at the lights as they flicker...

             lm.   IN A FACTORY ...

                      a giant machine grinds to a halt.

              ln.   IN A CITY STREET...
                    ...anxious faces look up as the street lights
                    flick off.

           lo.   AN INDUSTRIAL CITY SCAPE.

                 It is dark, decaying, Silent ...

                                      NARRATOR V/0

                            people stopped In the streets
                            end listened:  for the first
                            time they heard the sound of

            lq.   IN A DESERTED STREET.

                   A terrible scream ... a YOUNG MAN runs down the
                   street ... a shot Is fired.
	      The YOUNG MAN falls dead ... crushing  the  meat and
                   eggs he has been clutching to his chest ...

                                       NARRATOR V/0

                              Their world crumbled ...


             lq.     IN A DESERTED CITY STREET.

                     Bank notes, blown by the wind, flutter towards  a
                     store dummy, lying smashed on the road ...

                     A rat emerges from the back of the mannequin's   skull
                     and scurries away as we hear the roar of a big
	         The wide wheels of a big car crush the dummy.  As the
                     vehicle roars down the street It is followed by two
                     big bikes...

                                         NARRATOR v/0
                               And only those mobile enough
                                to scavenge, brutal enough to
                               pillage would survive.


             Ir.    A GROUP OF OUTLAW BIKERS...

                    ... leap from a hillside onto the roof of a moving
                    fuel tanker.  They pass a hose into the tank..

                                        NARRATOR v/o
                              At last, the vermin had
                              inherited the earth.


              1s.   A PACK OF BIKERS ...

                    ... swarm around a car and start to hack it to



                    Speeding cars, speeding bikes, crashing vans,
                    crashing police cars, crashing bikes, brawls,
                    smashed  windows, explosions.

                                        NARRATOR v/o
                               And in this maelstrom of decay,
                               ordinary men were
                               battered and crushed...

              lu.   MAX IN POLICE UNIFORM.

                     ... turns and smiles.

                                        NARRATOR vlo
                               ...men like the Warrior Max...


               IV.   MAX  PLAYS.
	            ... with a woman -  JESSIE and their child.

                  ... through a wheat field. He catches her. They
                  tumble on the ground laughing.

            Ix.   MAX EMBRACES JESSIE.

                                      NARRATOR V/0
                              who in the roar of an engine,
                                lost everything ...


            ly.    ON A HIGHWAY...

                   JESSIE carrying the child, scrambles from   her  van
                   and runs down the road. A GANG OF OUTLAW  BIKERS
                   run them down... the child's ball bounces  down the

                   MAX  runs towards their bodies...

                    (PRODUCTION FOOTAGE)

                   MAX stands looking down at two headstones...


              laa. IN FRONT OF A ROARING  FIRE.

                    MAX fuels the blaze with the remnants of his past
                    life: children's toys; photo albums; his police

              lbb. MAX WITH HIS SHOTGUN.

                     ...turns to camera, wild-eyed ...

                                        NARRATOR v/o
                               And became a shell of a man.
                               A burnt out, desolate man, a
                               dead man., running from the
                               demons of his past.
                               A man who wandered far away ...

                1cc.   MAX DRIVING.

                 The supercharger On the front of the vehicle
                 dominates the foreground.

                            And it was out here  in this
                            blighted place, that he
                            learned to live again ...


Fucking amazing. So I stared at the screen, wide-eyed and gaping at the little TV in the big room, shuddering. Arabs fighting? Amphibious assault vehicles (what cessna182 piloted) in the Persian Gulf? Oil wells erupting? What the fuck was this? What the fuck was going on? The noose started slamming against the window, and I swore I saw a body in it.

But everything worked out for the most part. The actor who played the feral kid currently runs a store. Good times.

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