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Clip description

Max (Mel Gibson) and the Feral Kid (Emil Minty) are alone now on the tanker. All their support crew have been killed defending it. One of the attackers has his metal claws stuck in Max’s shoulder. Max’s shells have spilled onto the bonnet of the Mack truck; he sends the Feral Kid out to retrieve them. Wez (Vernon Wells), the indestructible assailant, makes a surprise appearance.

Curator’s notes

The film’s exceptional sound design is often overlooked because of the power of Dean Semler’s images, but this sequence shows just how much the film depends on it. Note the different engine sounds in the first part. Most of them are recorded close-up and while accelerating, to add to the sense of speed. Different engines give different tones, and these are used like musical notes (listen to these just after Bruce Spence bombs Humungus’s truck from the air). Note also how Miller brings up the sound of the wind, dropping out all other sounds except a heartbeat as the Kid climbs out onto the bonnet. This is taking us inside the child’s point of view, or rather, his point-of-hearing, to show how scared he is. His scream, when Wez appears, is one of the only sounds he makes in the whole film. It also makes the musical crescendo that accompanies Wez’s return that much more effective, especially when it’s coupled with Wez’s war-cry and the Kid’s scream. Brian May’s score is heavily influenced by the work of the great Hollywood composer Bernard Hermann. This moment, in particular, evokes the shower scene in Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.