Feb 10, 2011

We Were Soooo Beyond Thunderdome


Like this far.

I knew I had this photo of Donny and just had to piggy-back on to Kathleen's post-apocalyptic fashion post when I saw it today, which she deservedly lead with tribute to the best movie of that genre ever – Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

And if Kathleen's fashion sense of today and Donny's self-made cardboard and scotch tape boy-warrior-of-the-post-nuclear-world costume of our childhood, don't prove how much we loved this movie when we were kids, believe me when I tell you were were the most Beyond Thunderdome kids on the block:

1. We had a cassette tape of film's single "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner that our dad bought from a discount tape bin at Service Merchandise that we played in the deck of our copper VW Rabbit (that was our parents' commuter car, the station wagon was the family and boat hauling car).

2. We would often chant Thunderdome's most famous line, "two man enter, one man leave," louder and louder until we got sick of it, like say... in the car on the way to church. Or better yet, on the way back from church, usually one of us bringing home a friend for a Sunday afternoon of playing – the unexpecting friend not realizing that we were going to do donuts in the Rabbit at high speeds at the end of our street while blaring our Tina Turner tape. (Side note: we probably stopped going to church around 1990, but we still quote Thunderdome 'til this day.)

3. One lazy weekend afternoon when Thunderdome happened to come on some cable channel's commercial-ridden matinee movie feature, our dad decided to make a paper plate wheel with punishments written on it in ball point pen (entertainment during the commercials). See, in Thunderdome, if you step out of line or break your word to your leather-clad, chain-mailed post-apocalyptic neighbor, the law says (i.e. Tina Turner dramatically says) "bust a deal, face the wheel." Then everyone chants louder and louder, "bust a deal, face the wheel."

Then they spin a giant rusty like post-apocalyptic Wheel of Fortune wheel and send you out into the desert roped backwards to some horse with a giant thing on your head and a... you know, you should probably just Netflix this movie.

So, we had this punishment paper plate wheel, and entertained ourselves for quite a while doling out punishments like "go sit in the closet for twenty minutes," or "carry your sister on your back for the rest of the afternoon." Like Master Blaster. (Netflix it. Really).

4. You might think we love Thunderdome because it's a kitschy B-movie. A good lark. But I truly love it. I cry every time I watch it. Like when the feral children think Mad Max is their self-created savior, and airline pilot named Captain Walker who will take them back to the real world – so they show him these cave paintings and recite their tale while clicking through View-Master slides of airline captains, and showgirls, and skyscrapers:

They called it the 'pocky-clypse,
and said "we don't need the knowin'
we can live here"

But time counts
and keeps on countin'

And they got so l-l-lonesome
for their skyscrapers and their

So they said "bye 'd bye"
to them what they birthed
but one of them turned
and said

"Wait. One of us will come."
"Wait. One of us will come."

And so time keeps countin'
and we's tells the tell.

We's ready Captain Walker.
We's ready to go home.

If anyone reading this actually likes Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and hasn't already stopped reading this post like four paragraphs ago, and looked up that particular monologue, I'm sure I got it completely wrong.

But that's how I 'member it.


  1. Great post! Had to smile at "Service Merchandise". Eehehyuck. What a store.

  2. For a minute I couldn't remember what the name of that store even was. What a weird name in retrospect.

  3. I was wondering if Donnie had a black eye in that picture? I just LOVE LOVE LOVE your writing..

  4. Oh, yes. He made the black eye himself. Probably with our mom's makeup. Thanks for the compliment, Melinda!