There’s plenty of death, devastation, and destruction scattered across the highways and biways of the Mad Max movies, but some of those chaotic scenes are just better than others. Some are spectacularly shot, others incite/resolve major plot points, and still more are just downright cool. Here are the five best final moments from all three films.
Night Rider’s Death
The fiery crash and demise of the cop-killing gangster known as the Night Rider doesn’t just start off the first film, it starts the entire franchise. Night Rider’s death, caused by the Main Force Patrol and specifically Max himself, galvanizes his gang into seeking revenge. When their bloodlust spills over and claims the lives of Max’s friends and loved ones, he’s irrevocably changed into the man who will become known as the Road Warrior, will survive Thunderdome, and will ride the Fury Road. See how it all started below:
Death of Max’s Family
Here’s the aforementioned incident that pushes Max over the edge, causing him to become a man of vengeance. It’s beautifully shot; the scene’s framing leaves more to the imagination than the rest of the film’s gruesomely detailed deaths. The death of Sprog and maiming of Jessie is never actually shown on screen, making it all the more haunting, as if the cameraman was perfectly content capturing rape, murder, and vehicular homicide in the frame but found this moment too disturbing. See for yourself here:
Okay, this one’s just for fun. The death of the gang’s leader is the scene that stood out most in my memory ever since the first time I watched Mad Max. Is it the bugged-out eyes, the head-on collision with a big rig, or the full-body death roll beneath its eighteen tires? It’s all good, and made better by Max’s triumphant stare from behind the wheel of his Pursuit Special V8 Interceptor. Take a look:
Big Rig Chase and the Deaths of Wez and Humungus
There are quite a few action pieces in The Road Warrior, but relatively few deaths (not forgetting The Golden Youth, who caught the wrong end of a razor-sharp boomerang). This final sequence remains one of the best in cinema history, and Max offs two thugs for the price of one with a spectacular head-on collision. Enjoy the madness!
Death of Blaster
Sure, this death scene is the only one on the list that’s off-road, but it’s easily the most memorable from Beyond Thunderdome, if not the entire series. It shows that Max is a dangerous and resourceful man in any fight, not just behind the wheel. It also reminds us not to judge a book by its cover, especially when that cover is the armored, hulking, helmeted brute known only as Blaster. Get ready for the waterworks because this is the most emotionally charged death since Sprog.