Origins Of An Ace Oddity: The Blogger Recognition Award!

Yay, Let The Word Go Forth! Bradscribe Is Officially Awesome! 

korath

“Omnium rerum principia parva sunt [Everything has small beginnings]” – Cicero.

Thanks to Michael J Miller @ mycomicrelief for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Michael not only writes consistently brilliant reviews of comic books, but is a superhero ‘imself, having decided to take a stand on the side of Truth and Justice and SPEAK OUT about what is happening to his country. His site is well worth a visit or three! It’s ram-packed with goodies and he’ll be pleased to see you!

It’s always a thrill, and a great honour, to be recognised – and highly regarded – by your fellow bloggers; and it only seems like yesterday when I nominated him for the Mystery Blogger Award!

Personally, February is always the most trying month for me – this year’s has brought its own extraordinary events (best left unmentioned); writing usually pulls me through hard times, but considering how substandard the drafts produced during this past frenzied fortnight are, well… (best left unpublished! – most unlike me, innit?!)

Michael’s unexpected – and uplifting – congrats message this week could not have come at a better time.

Bless yer heart, amigo!

Anyway, here are the rules for the Blogger Recognition Award:

1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2) Write a post to show your award.
3) Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4) Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5) Select other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6) Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

Right, how in blazes did all this madness begin?

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“A beginning is a very delicate time” – Princess Irulan. 

Know then that it is the year 2555.

Living in a predominantly Buddhist country, that was what it said on our Buddhist calendar.

You knew it better as 2012. 

Early in that year, after yet another dispiriting reply from a prospective editor – more of a “better luck next time,” rather than an outright rejection – he wanted to see “my blog.” Such a platform had frittered away @ the back of my mind for a few months, but that provided the impetus to get it started. 

Every good writer needs a portfolio of work; without anything in print/online – it was imperative to sort something out. And PRONTO.

But how?

This involved swottin’ up on specific technical gubbins from scratch. Having downloaded the necessary How To files, well…. sheesh, it might as well have been in Lithuanian – none of it made any sense. Weeks – then months – passed and the stalemate had not shifted; it wasn’t until eventually watching a YouTube vid over and over again did the rudiments of blogging finally sink into my stubborn noddle.

And then… hey! Holy Danish inter-lockin’ blocks, Bradman!

Now yer ready, whaddya gonna write about?!

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“Ready are you? What know you of ready…? This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph! Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless!” – Yoda.

Brad won’t fail ya – Brad‘s not afraid. 

In the beginning, my Very First Post irresistibly concentrated on my unique background back then: living on the Gulf of Thailand. A world traveller with 5,000 Followers, producing Posts attaining 300 Likes each, Liked me straight away – instantly providing me with my own initial band of potential Followers to invite over to my site! It took only my second Post: Science Friction to collect NINE Likes – wow, methinks, this bloggin’ lark’s a doddle…

Even @ that initial stage, SF had not become my main focus, but after scant success with other Posts delving into various other beloved topics such as history, coffee and whatnot, SF became the official theme of this blog. Over 150 Posts – produced in three different countries – have carried the Brad Seal of Awe Since 2013. 

When my laptop’s screen went on strike last July, the remainder of ’16’s Posts had to be prepared @ a few Public Libraries in the local region.

One morning, while compiling one of my more ambitious Posts, one crusty, dreadlocked youngling – with skateboard in hand – leaned in, having recognised Arsene: our cute bunny forever immortalised as my Gravatar. 

“Hey, I really dig that site! It’s-” 

Upon seeing me activate my Dashboard, he gawped.

“Blimey Charley!” he chirped in amazement. “You- you’re Bradscribe?!” 

“What, didn’t think I wuz this ridiculously good-lookin’ in real life, huh?” 

After being evicted from the building (hey! you’re not allowed to natter in libraries) we skedaddled to the nearest coffee den.

“I wanna blog, man,” the rapscallion sniffed. “How can I be as successful as you?” 

“Well, two tips must ye learn to become a successful blogger… but first, m’young an’ eager padawan, help yerself to some ginger cake.”

Ah yes, the CAKE – hoo-boy, he LURVES a scrumptious slice a’ sveetness aound ‘ere, doesn’t ‘e, eh?!

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“Okay, first of all, you’re copying me from when I said I had a plan… And secondly, I don’t think you even have a plan!” – Rocket Raccoon. 

“No, really, kid – THESE are the TWO most important essential titbits I reckon ya need:

1). Be a friendly host

“Blog it and they will come!”

Nah, no matter how awesome your writing, there is no way to ensure that any readers will immediately swing by. Remember, MILLIONS of of blog posts are produced DAILY, so you have got to get out there and invite them over. 

And when other like-minded bloggers folla the courtesy of leaving a kind Comment, always reply: thanking them and generating a rapport. So they feel obliged to come back for more. The few times me Comments have appeared on newcomers’ sites, only to be ignored; not surprisingly, they vanished from the blogosphere soon after… 

ALWAYS reply, ya dig?! 

And:

2). DON’T pick yer nose while I’m explainin’ this to ya – jeez, man! 

Are ya done…? Good.

2). Be unique

A hefty proportion of those countless blog Posts are movie reviews – some are so formulaic it’s all too easy to get confused as to which blogger is which. Not only blog about what you love (and love whatchu blog), whatcha write should represent YOU as an individual: your thoughts, your interests, your personality.

In order to stand out from all those MILLIONS, it’s best ta produce something different – something distinctive. 

Be unexpected, unusual and – oh yes -unique. 

And if all else fails, it ‘elps ta offer them something irresistible. Hence, the cake…

“All the best to ya, kid. Good luck…”

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“My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Once, I was a cop. A road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who had more cake… me… or everyone else…” – Max Rockatansky. 

As the rules for the Blogger Recognition Award stipulate no number of Nominees, we’ll go with my lucky number: 7.

So, all you lucky Nomineesmy (whisper it: all-female!) Magnificent Seven– time to stand and save a Mexican village from bandits and be recognised!:

boxofficebuzz

byhookorbybook

cafebookbean

livingabeautifullife

morganhazelwood

recoverytowellness

wordsforeverything

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Cheers!

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Unveiled: The Mystery Blogger!

The Mystery Blogger Award comes to me from the talented and inspiring Danica

@ Living A Beautiful Life

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If you’re not already following her please visit her at:

https://danicapiche.wordpress.com/

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“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand” – Neil Armstrong.

The Mystery Blogger Award

  • is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts.  Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates.  They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. 
  • This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion 
  • The award was created by Okoto Enigma.

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The Rules or Guidelines for the Mystery Blogger Award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

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3 Things about Myself:

1.Don’t have a smartphone

Well, after a hard day scanning a computer screen, the last thing one wants to do on the way home is view an even smaller one! An older Samsung to chat/speak w Mrs. B. will suffice for the time being, thanks.

2. Haven’t had a drop of alcohol for over a year now

Reached that stage in my life where so-called “friends” no longer keep in touch, so there is no incentive to get sloshed socialise any more.

3. My penchant for Techno music remains strong

If you’re wondering what has been officially making the Bradscribe booty bounce around this week, well – get on the good foot – it’s this:

Questions Asked of Me:

If you could speak any language you don’t currently speak, what would it be?

Wanted to study German; it would have aided my Archaeology studies at Uni, and it was agonising not being able to understand what they were nattering about in Das Boot, Raiders & Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes. My application to study German at school was turned down because…? My French was not deemed good enough- duh, what?! Gottverdammt… 

If you could (or had to) live anywhere other than where you currently live, where would it be?

On the Gulf Coast of Thailand with my darling wife. Sounds simple but isn’t – now there’s a mystery…

If you were famous — and could choose why you were famous — what would you be famous for?

Screenwriting and directing my own material. Not a famous blogger; at least, not yet…

If you had to die for a cause, belief or ideal what would it be?

Defending Mrs. B. naturally. 

The weird question: 

If you could be on the first spacecraft to Mars (and make it back to Earth in your natural lifetime) would you?

Okay, weird answer: of course! But what on Earth would make me want to make it back?!

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My Nominees: 

boxofficebuzz

cinemaparrotdisco

course of events

filmgrimoire

my comic relief

parlor of horror

recoverytowellness

sci-fi jubilee

sciencefictionruminations

stephenliddell

thetelltalemind

words for everything

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My Questions:

1.Which comic book character should get his/her own movie?

2. What is your favourite Joy Division song?

3. Who would play you in the movie of your life? 

4. What is the Worst Movie Ever Made? 

The weird question: 

5. If you could go back in time, when/where would you go? 

*

Here is a Link to my best post –

(in this case, the most successful):

https://bradscribe.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/fury-road/

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“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve” – Max Planck.

 

The War Of The Words: Why Does No One Talk Much In SF Films Any More?

Direlogue!

The Quality and Quantity Of Good Movie Dialogue Is Declining! We Need To Talk About It… 

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“…Do I talk first or you talk first? I talk first…?” – Poe Dameron.  

Wouldn’t it be cool to watch SF movies where you can just listen and enjoy good lines instead of being bombarded by noisy, meaningless CGI buffoonery?

As a writer who has dabbled in the art of good chatter – even trying (struggling!) to compile suitable quotes for my Star Trek review last week – it cannot have escaped your attention that there is decidedly less dialogue to get excited over these days.

Any writer of quality fiction/scripts/plays will tell you: there is nothing like good dialogue to drive any scene.

However, it should be pointed out that in  Mad Max: Fury Road – undoubtedly the Best Film of 2015 – the titular Road Warrior himself managed to grunt only 52 lines of dialogue; back in March, this year, Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seemed to phone in his scenes with a measly 43 lines.

Where can we listen to cool and catchy prattle beyond the stars these days? 

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“George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can’t say it” – Harrison Ford.  

On our Third Stone From the Sun, today, about 7000 languages are spoken (Goodness knows how many other thousands of languages have died out in the last few centuries!).

Imagine that!

7000 ways to say: “Hello!” and 7000 ways to ask: “Got any cake?”

And yet…!

An intriguing paradox is lodged at the core of human communication: if language evolved to allow us to exchange information, how come most people cannot understand what most other people are saying?

No matter how globalized the 21st century would appear, there are numerous far-out, obscure – dare one say it: alien – places in this world where a dash of basic local lingo is essential in order to just get by.  

In the realms of science fiction, a dazzling coterie of pseudo-technical jargon has gradually arisen to aid in the hopefully-convincing creation of alien worlds and “futuristic” technologies.

This leads us to the now-legendary quote (above). George Lucas had immersed himself into this far far away sci-fi set-up to such an extent, that an outsider like Harrison Ford was easily stumped by having to spout it.

There is a very telling reason why less dialogue in modern movies is becoming the norm. 

The Chinese sector has taken over the American market as the largest box office territory in the world. Not only does less dialogue mean less subtitles/dubbing for them, but – alarm bells among screenwriters everywhere – Chinese cinema-goers are attracted primarily to the spectacle. 

Apparently, the (Western) world is not enough. 

We have reached the stage (regrettably) where the movie industry is geared towards doing good business, rather than making fine art.

For movies to make a profit (as substantial as poss, of course) they need to do well in Asian cinemas, not just in American. This should go towards explaining why major blockbusters are released in places like Thailand and Singapore (my former stomping grounds) well before the “official” dates in the US and UK…

Dialogue seems to have lost its power to influence – how and where can memorable lines fit into a world where people spend more time sending texts of abbreviated jargon, and emojis and Instagram encourage more image-based communication?

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“Can you speak? Are you programmed to speak?” – Harry Booth.  

How aliens communicate is a source of constant fascination in SF films. Star Trek is synonymous with species which are nearly all carbon-based bipeds. As a result, they invariably speak as humans – for the sake of not bamboozling TV audiences with distracting subtitles! – in perfectly-rendered English (preferably with American accents).

For the movies, the Klingons had their own language – specially created (Trekkies can even get their own Klingon phrasebook for pity’s sake!)

Of increasing concern is the prevalent problem of character under-development. How many times have we complained about that? Dialogue provides an important key to our understanding of a particular protagonist or, for that matter, antagonist. 

With the notable reduction of spoken lines in blockbusters, we are almost forbidden to learn their intentions or directions. Presumably, our attention must(!) be focussed on the digitally-enhanced action and explosions; if we want to learn what they’re thinking, we’ve gotta go and buy the novel/comic book that this spectacle is based on.

Let the cynicism flow through you… 

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“No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk. You don’t say “affirmative,” or some shit like that. You say ‘no problemo.’ And if someone comes on to you with an attitude you say ‘eat me.’ And if you want to shine them on it’s ‘hasta la vista, baby’” – John Connor. 

Luke who’s talking…

In Star Wars: the Force Awakens, some fans were disappointed that the pivotal character remained mute in such a climactic, yet brief, screen time. Having been in that incredibly annoying situation myself where the right, poignant words for a crucial character just won’t come together, this is grudgingly possible to understand. 

Honestly, no matter how many alternate approaches or drafts are churned out, saying nothing at all can be the best, (safest) and most effective outcome.

Harrison Ford’s enervated Sam Spadesque narration for the original version of Blade Runner is partly what drew me into that “flawed classic.” After those “explanatory notes” were totally eradicated from the “Final Cut” the film is now regarded as a masterpiece.

My plans of breaking into screenwriting seem to be dwindling to the same extent as the very requirement for fine lines itself!

Judging from the upsurge in quality TV drama serials, good dialogue is allowed to flourish on the small screen, where the action and spectacle of the big screen is diminished, and more hours to fill provides opportunities for developing characters.

There, good scripts still matter.

The power of the spoken word, when crafted well, determines whether the captivated viewer comes back for the next episode(s).

So, rather than look for Brad on the big screen, you’ll be more likely to find my niftiest nuggets on Netflix.  

“To make anything work, you gotta find the right words.”

Now ya talkin’!

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“Come on guys, can we talk this over? …Good talk” – Iron Man. 

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Hell For Leather: Warriors Of The Dystopian Wasteland

The Maximum Force Of The Future! Refueled and Revised…

MAD AS HELL: Take it to the Max
MAD AS HELL: Take it to the Max

“Where must we go… we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?” – The First History Man. 

Extraordinary. Long before Fury Road (hands down: the best, most enjoyable movie of 2015) but trailing woefully in the skidmarks of The Road Warrior, the wasteland – created by the ravages of armageddon – brought forth a terror quite beyond imagining, revving, racing, screeching and tumbling from your neighbourhood video rental store during the 80s.

Here, in this blighted territory, i.e. a bargain bucket of dodgy old videos, some of the most horrendous post-apoc movies can be found. After the skills and thrills of the original Mad Max movies, how did their imitators manage to turn out so unbelievably crap? It’s nuts.

By definition, nothing should exist in the “wasteland.” It serves merely as a pitiful reminder of humankind’s inept irresponsibility when it comes to the physical environment; the corruption of moral values we (used to) hold most dear. It’s no more than a harsh representation of dreams shattered and hopes crushed. And yet it is a potent symbol destined to feature consistently as the bleak and unforgiving terrain on which dystopian adventures will unfold.

“The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your greed made a desert of it,” as one wise old ape will moan many centuries from now…

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“Mad Max is a movie about a post-disaster world, and its success has inspired oodles of disastrously bad films. Witness Grade-Z movies so execrable that you’ll be yearning for a couple of minutes in Thunderdome” – Cyriaque Lamar.  

Holy guacamole. And you thought the end-of the-world was bad! “Post-apocalyptic” truly is a byword for tosh!

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior has a lot to answer for! It inadvertently spawned a whole slew of dire rip-offs, mostly emanating from Italy – the hub of nearly all cheesy sci-fi ever produced. Those of you too young to remember: count yourself the lucky ones.  

What better example to throw in than Il Nuovi Barbari (The New Barbarians) – aka Warriors of The Wasteland (1982), a riotous piece of Italian crap featuring the Templars: a hilarious gang of gay roadsters in souped-up go-karts and dune-buggies (come on, the wasteland is a gas, isn’t it?!) terrorising any pitiful bands of apoc-survivors delirious enough to stray into their “territory.”

Then came The Atlantis Interceptors, aka The Raiders of Atlantis, aka Atlantis Inferno, aka call it what you will – it will always be crap. Someone had the nerve to distribute this fantastic rubbish. Nevertheless, you just could not take my eyes off it. More crazy, contrived vehicles (knives sticking out of the hubcaps, for goodness sake!), shoulder pads and helmets, but this time they came through a portal from another dimension to unleash havoc in a high octane bat-shit frenzy! Radical. 

Amazing to think how – on the other side of Armageddon – people will still rely on four wheels to get by. Not only that, apparently people willingly don American Football gear(!), have mohicans, and engage in other bonkers behaviour simply too ludicrous to elucidate here.

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“Maximise your madness, and shift into overdrive as we make the world safe for burning rubber” – Sybil Danning.  

Spare a thought for the much-maligned: Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn. This “High Noon at the end of the universe,” starring Jeffrey Byron, Tim Thomerson and Mrs. John Travolta was released in abominable 3-D. At the time, this was exactly the sort of madness worth cramming into my overworked and overheated VCR.

Say what you will about this universally-derided crud, for me it was an intensely enjoyable madhouse. Unlike it’s contemporaries, Metalstorm did not hail from Italy. It was produced by Charles Band, who – during the early 80s – carved out his own unique batch of ultra-cheap shoddy flicks.

Moreover, the vehicles seemed to be more practical armour-plated kubelwagens (with warped engine noises), and – what was more gratifying – there was no shitty American Football gear on show; heck no, these dudes looked like they were destined to duel in the desert. By 1983 standards, Metalstorm (in Standard format, not that tacky 3-D anaglyph version, thanks) is not as awful as most people would have you believe.

Thankfully, 2019: After The Fall Of New York never crossed my sensors. Just as well, sneaking a peak via Youtube now it looks more mediocre than The Atlantis Interceptors (if such an unenviable feat is possible). Still, at least deliberately setting it Stateside meant that the ubiquitous American Football clobber wouldn’t look so incongruous. 

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“Its in your nature to destroy yourselves” – T-800 Cyberdyne Systems Model 101. 

Extra tail-gating and hub-cap-hurling mayhem was to come via Exterminators Of The Year 3000, an Italian Mad Max rip-off (also from 1983) which, again, had to be rented to be believed. A heavy slab of (grilled) cheese – synonymous with the 80s, for sure. Gingerly rewatching it in the comfort of hindsight, actually, it ain’t half-bad; it grips from the get-go and has an amazing original score by Detto Mariani. 

In conclusion then, rather than contemplate whether we exist only to destroy the land and deplete our resources, we should question whether there is an unwritten law stipulating that these mixed-up denizens of the “wasteland” have to arse about in American Football gear. 

As we speed – indeterminately, (ignorantly?) and inexorably – towards an unknowing future: where must we go?

Wait!

Just had a groovy idea: turn down the volume of the above classic clip and run this grungy track from Amphetamine Reptile Records (below) instead.

Hardcore road-ripper! Pedal to the Metal!

“Dear Future Generations,

Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum” 

Kurt Vonnegut.  

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What a waste…

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The Long Road To Fury Road

How And Why Did It Take 30 Years To Get Another Mad Max Movie?!

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“Every time Heath [Ledger] would come through Sydney, we’d chat about Max. The world lost someone great when he went. Tom [Hardy] was the next to walk through the door…” – George Miller. 

As mad as it may seem, there are other, more alarming and frustrating, ways to spoil a promising franchise than giving a starring role to Tina Turner. In those dark Maxless years that followed Beyond Thunderdome (1985), another instalment of everyone’s fave Interceptor-driving, dogfood-guzzling cop seemed highly unlikely. After Mel Gibson’s impressive directorial debut with Braveheart (1996), Australian master of the post-apocalyptic roadkillfest: George Miller felt that the time was right to return to his beloved dystopian franchise.

During the late 1990s, impressive conceptual art for a fourth movie about the Road Warrior started doing the rounds. It is very pleasing to learn that renowned British comics artist (and Mad Max fan): Brendan McCarthy was involved in these preparatory stages (and even gets a co-writer credit on Fury Road!) but then, the film industry – as well as everyone else – could never have foreseen 9/11. That infamous day not only deflated the American dollar but also drastically inflated Max’s proposed budget.

Unfortunately, not long after, Gibson went, well, mad. His much-publicised troubles with the law forced a “heartbroken” Miller to seek another Max. It is said that in 2006, Miller had intended to offer the lead role to Heath Ledger, and there were serious discussions before said actor met his untimely fate. So, by not getting the Joker, Miller opted instead for… Bane?! 

Honestly, how mad does that sound?! But hold on, ‘cos it gets madder…

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“As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy… me… or everyone else” – Max Rockatansky.  

Amid all this kerfuffle, Miller was able – also in 2006 – to direct Happy Feet, an animated sure-fire sprog-pleaser featuring the voice of Frodo Baggins as a dancing penguin… for pity’s sake! Obviously not the form of madness that Rockatansky-fans the world over had in mind…

One of the more intriguing diversions on the way to realising a fourth Mad Max movie came as recently as 2007 in the amazing – and quite unbelievable – form of an ensemble DC superhero movie(!) which Miller was all-too-ready-and-willing to direct.

However, by all accounts, the provisional script for Justice League:Mortal was poor; with a writers’ strike in full swing, it could never hope to get developed. Moreover, the all-too-familiar blight of an uncontrollable budget, and unfavourable Australian tax incentives doomed it further.

If all had gone to plan, Justice League:Mortal would have featured Megan Gale (who makes an appearance in Mad Max: Fury Road) as Wonder Woman, Armie Hammer as Batman, and…!

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Get this – Hugh Keays-Byrne (who plays both Immortan Joe in Fury Road and the Toecutter in the 1979 original) was tipped to play Martian Manhunter! 

Mad? Why, that’s positively insane!!

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“When I came in, there was no script, just… storyboards. So I spent the time just writing a ‘bible of tribal’… The stunt guy and I used to say we were making the last real, live stunt-action film” – Colin “Not Mel” Gibson. 

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Possibly the only sane news to gain from this delirious state of affairs is that – yes! – there will be more pedal-to-the-metal Mad Max mayhem to come!  

“We’ve got one screenplay and a novella,” Miller reveals about our chances of seeing at least two more movies of Mr. Rockatansky(!) “It happened because with the delays [on Fury Road] and writing all the backstories, they just expanded.” Despite all the troubles that beset Fury Road, Mad Max: The Wasteland is definitely a go.

“Fast and Furious 7 is all CG,” dismissed Colin Gibson, Mad Max: Fury Road’s Production Designer. “The cars are shiny and pretty, but there’s not much physics in there.” Hell no, make cars do things that cars can’t do and suspend all belief in one gear-shift? No thanks. Quite rightly, Gibson realised that live stunts, evoking the movie-making of the original Max movies, was in order: “to make it completely real.”

The Australian Outback served as the perfect setting to evoke that grungy post-apocalyptic look for the original movies, but this time, even that could not be guaranteed; Namibia had to step in.

…Namibia?! 

“Part of the problem was we built for the firm, hard ground of Australia,” Gibson explained. “And then it pissed down with rain for two years running, and you couldn’t shoot the desert for blooming flowers and camels fucking each other and pelicans dancing.” 

Yep, as mad as a doof wagon… 

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Cheers!