Click to viewYou've just seen Doomsday, and you're pumped to strap a bolt-gun to your car and go on a mohawked demolition-derby frenzy. Luckily for you, there's a whole society (cult?) devoted to reenacting Mad Max: The Road Warrior on the highways of America... and they've only gotten thrown in jail once. Details and a gallery below the fold.

It used to be that if you wanted to get a crazy hairstyle and big shoulder pads and reenact the climactic chase/fight from Road Warrior, you'd have to go to Australia or Japan. But in 2004, a group called Roadwar USA came together to bring the post-apocalyptic road rage to America. The group has done three events so far, starting in the SF Bay area, and another event is planned for the Las Vegas area in June, in conjunction with the Dark Skies/Singularity artists' convention.


The basic format of the Road Warrior reenactments is pretty simple: the Roadwar U.S.A. crew rents a semi truck (an R-series Mack truck with something resembling a fuel tanker), to stand in for the tanker that Max drives at the end of the movie. Then as many Mad Max replica cars, trucks and dune buggies as possible chase the truck down the highway and surround it. The star of the show is usually the black "pursuit special," aka the interceptor or the Black-on-Black (BoB for short.) In the movie, the BoB is a 1973 Ford Falcon GT, a model only sold in Australia. The reenactors have managed to get the exacct same model, only from 1974 instead of 1973. And of course, the BoB has a supercharger ("blower") mounted on its hood.

The participants in the highway chase scene have only gotten arrested once, in San Antonio. Says organizer Karol Bartoszynski:

Basically the media assumed we had "fake machine guns" and looked like we were "attacking" the tanker truck. All we had was [what you can see] in the pics: Roadwarrior-type thing in the truck, a fake crossbow, a pick-axe. People thought the 4-barrel fake gun was a rocket launcher... and we were some kind of militia or terrorists. Most of us spent overnight in jail.

After the post-atomic berzerkers were picked up, the cops realized their weapons were fake, but one cop still decided to bust them for highway obstruction — even though they had a video proving they drove safely. The charges were thrown out half a year later.


Vehicles usually also include a red pick-up truck, with a snake painted on its side and a gun-wielding maniac riding shotgun. People dress as Wez, with the trademark red mohawk, and as random Bartertown guards. Sometimes there's even a gyrocopter flying above the whole mess.

And the real Wez (Vernon Wells) has turned up for the two most recent Roadwars. The shows also usually include a meeting at a racetrack, a car show, a cruise down the major strip of the local town, and parties.

Karol says he really wanted to have a get-together for Mad Max fans in the U.S., and didn't just want to have people sitting around a conference room eating hotel food and dissecting the deeper meaning of the films:

I just wanted to feel the spirit of the movie and bring people together to help bring that feeling of being IN the movie to life. I'm not against panels, or anything, I just thought it would be cool to have a "chase" be the main piece of the event. That's what Mad Max is all about.

[Roadwar USA]