Road Rage in the Movies Pt 1: Mad Max (1979)

In 1979, Australian director George Miller created one of the most memorable pulp-fiction anti-heroes of the time. His name was Max and he was portrayed in the film by then unknown, Mel Gibson. Mad Max was a hit in Australia and later would win over audiences worldwide.
Set in the near future, the film takes place in Australia's outback, on the long stretch and miles of open highways. Max, a police 'Interceptor', along with his fellow officers, try to defend hapless civilians against highway marauders, who roam the outback, terrorizing people and other travelers. The film opens with one of these marauders who calls himself, 'the Nightrider', is on a rampage, using a stolen souped-up police vehicle as a weapon. Police in 'Pursuit' cars take up the chase, but end up as part of the carnage themselves. Now, it's Max who must 'intercept' the out-of-control driver. Max goes head to head in a deadly game of chicken, which the Nightrider loses. So distraught over the loss, Nightrider crashes in a fiery wreck and is killed.
This brings Nightrider's motorcycle gang to town to claim whats left of their colleague. Led by an evil character known as 'Toecutter' and his right hand man, Bubba Zanetti, it's not long before they unleash their anger, twisted ideas of fun and destructive nature on a small town. Max and close friend and fellow officer Jim 'Goose' Rains, come to the aid of a young couple who were chased down on the road, terrorized, beaten, and raped by the gang. They manage to arrest one the gang members named Johnny. But is released when no one will testify against him.
Later, as revenge, Johnny sabotages Goose's motorcycle, causing him to wreck. Johnny and the gang show up shortly after and set fire to Goose, who's trapped underneath his bike, surrounded by gas soaked grass. Goose remains alive, but is horribly disfigured by the fire.
Disgusted by all the madness and the tragedy that befell Goose, Max plans to resign from the police force. His commanding officer and friend, nicknamed, Fifi, talks him into taking a vacation and think about it before he makes his final decision.
Max takes wife Jessie and their baby son to the coastal beach area for some R&R, but Toecutter and the gang follows and finds them. They confront Jessie, who manages to escape with their baby to a remote farm. But they show up there as well. The ruthless gang eventually runs down Jessie and the baby, who tries to escape on foot with their motorcycles, killing them both.
And that's it. Max goes after the gang in a supercharged black Pursuit Special, (Ford Falcon XB GT 351), he methodically hunts down the gang members. He forces several of them off a bridge at high speed, shoots Bubba at point blank range, with a shotgun and forces Toecutter into the path of a semi-truck. The best and last he saves for Johnny, who he takes and handcuffs to a car that's about explode. Max gives him a hacksaw and tells him that he can cut off his foot in time before the car explodes...if he hurries. Max leaves him with this conundrum and drives on. Then an explosion letting you know, Johnny didn't quite get the job done.

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