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Gibson's Voice Returns on New 'Mad Max' DVD

December 29, 2001|MARTIE ZAD | WASHINGTON POST

The action-packed 1979 Australian film "Mad Max," starring a then-largely unknown Mel Gibson, made some strange sounds en route to success while paving the way for two highly successful sequels.

The U.S. distributor tossed it aside before dubbing it with American voices, erasing Gibson's accent as well as those of other Australian actors.

But critics weren't as harsh, and many praised the film. Two sequels followed the original, "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" and "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome."

The special edition DVD being released Friday, priced at $19.98, boasts Gibson's original audio track, never before available in the United States.

The movie centers on a ravaged society in the near future where the police have their hands full keeping roads safe from roving gangs and daring drivers. Top cop Max Rockatansky was part of a police force bent on stopping these gangs, but quit.

However, when his wife, child and friend are murdered by a vicious gang, he is left with one thing to live for--revenge.

Outstanding stunt work and some weird characters spice up the film.

In all, the DVD contains two hours of bonus material that includes "Mel Gibson: The Birth of a Star," documenting the actor's humble beginnings before he made "Mad Max."

"Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon" offers engaging detail on the film's legendary and extremely dangerous automobile and motorcycle stunts, with audio commentary by special-effects coordinator Chris Murray, cinematographer David Eggby and production designer Jon Dowding. Also included is an animated trivia feature titled "Road Rant Facts."

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