Mad Max returns
Monday, 13th April, 2015
By Michael Murphy
Fans worldwide are counting down the days until the release of the fourth movie in the blockbuster Mad Max franchise, including the man who put the stunt grunt in the sequel, and helped lift it into the world stage.
Stuntman Max Aspin returned to the city last week to finish off research for a book about his life, and meet and greet fans at the Mad Max 2 Museum at Silverton.
A steady stream of visitors has poured through the museum since the Easter break to talk with the old stager.
“I got asked a lot of questions,” Max said yesterday. “I think a lot of people are surprised that I am still alive.
“It’s that old saying: Old stuntmen never die, they just fade away.”
Max still manages to get himself into trouble. He recently took tumble in his garden and busted his ribs, and had just got out of hospital before making the trek to Silverton.
Last week, he flicked through 400 photographs of his Mad Max 2 days, along with the owner of the Silverton museum, Adrian Bennett, writing captions of the best ones for his book.
A launch date hasn’t been set for his autobiography, but he’s hoping to get it out while the hype remains for the fourth movie, Mad Max: Fury Road.
Thirty years after the third movie, the fourth instalment of George Miller’s epic saga is set to premier at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, before being released to theatres worldwide the following day.
Tom Hardy has replaced Mel Gibson in the lead role, while Academy Award winner Charlize Theron also stars as Empress Furiosa.
“I will be a good critic of the film, and maybe give it one star, whether it is good or not,” Max said with a wry smile. “Then I thought I’ve got a book coming out, I want the film to be successful.”
A series of trailers of the new movie have been released and it looks awesome, with some of the stuntwork reminiscent of the old master’s time at the wheel.
Max was suitable impressed, too, but he was quick to draw comparisons with the budgets.
The $100 million price tag of the latest film is massive compared to the previous three. According to IMDB, Mad Max (1979) cost $650,000; Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) cost $2 million and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) cost $12.3 million.
The stunt budget of Mad Max 2 was just a paltry $90,000.
“We did a lot of stuff with that money,” Max said.
“So it’s going to be interesting what the critics are going to say - especially without Mel in the lead role and it not being filmed in this country.”
Max said he was still overwhelmed with the cult movie’s following, and the recognition he gets for his part in it.
“I hear people say: that bloke was acting like Mad Max ... It’s like it’s on the tip of everybody’s tongue,” he said.
“It’s funny because when I was in the speedway years ago, I was called Mad Max because I kept crashing all the time.
“It’s just a coincidence that my name was Max.
“I’m glad it wasn’t George or something like that.”