Greatest Movie Badasses Of All Time: Mad Max

Many men entered — and Mel Gibson's post-apocalyptic nomad was the only man who left.

The search for the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time is on! MTV News has asked accomplished filmmakers, actors and you, the audience, to vote for your favorites. Now we’ve tabulated the results and found our 10 finalists for the top spot. Who will reign supreme as the Greatest Badass of All Time? Find out on February 6 at 7:15 p.m. when MTV announces the winner live at New York’s Comic-Con and right here at MTV.com.

Until then, we’re profiling the 10 contenders for the Greatest Badass mantle every day, in alphabetical order. Check out our first contenders: “Star Wars” bounty hunter Boba Fett , “Alien” astronaut Ellen Ripley , vigilante cop Dirty Harry , “Die Hard” detective John McClane , Vietnam War vet John Rambo and “Star Trek” tyrant Khan . Keep checking back to see if your favorite made the list!

Name: [movie id="21568"]“Mad” Max Rockatansky[/movie]

Occupation: Main Force Patrol officer, post-apocalyptic nomad

Movie(s): “Mad Max,” “The Road Warrior,” “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”

Weapons: V8 Pursuit Special, revolver, sawed-off shotgun, Mauser C96, crossbow, various knives, etc.

Archenemy: Nightrider, Toecutter, Bubba Zanetti, Johnny the Boy, Wez, Lord Humungus, Master Blaster

Profile: We’ve gathered here today to discuss a man who once handcuffed another guy’s ankle to a soon-to-explode vehicle, then threw him a hacksaw and explained that slicing through his own leg would take half the time of chopping the cuffs. He’s a man who has done more damage behind the wheel than Billy Joel driving home from the Hamptons. In “Thunderdome,” he decapitated a man with a giant hammer, Mario-and-Luigi-style.

What made Max so freakin’ mad? Maybe it was all the Mohawked, tattooed, hockey-mask-wearing freakazoids he kept bumping into all over his dystopian Australia. Maybe it was the fact that [movieperson id="80723"]Mel Gibson’s[/movieperson] voice was dubbed-over for American audiences, and countries like New Zealand and Sweden banned his films because they were too violent. Most likely, however, it had something to do with that time Max’s wife and baby went on vacation but ended up getting run down by Toecutter’s motorcycle gang, who left their crushed bodies in the middle of the street to rot like roadkill.

Yeah, that tends to tick a guy off.

Believe it or not, Max was once a fairly happy-go-lucky policeman who patrolled the highways like a post-apocalyptic Frank Poncharello. Known as the force’s “top pursuit man,” Max was brought in for the big chases and always got his man. By the end of 1979′s “Mad Max,” however, he had been filled with such rage and vengeance that his emotionless face said it all.

After “Max” took in more than 100 times its budget and became one of the most profitable films of all time, Mel Gibson returned for 1981′s “The Road Warrior.” Using far fewer words, Max was now a shell of his former self, and his filthy, torn police uniform seemed to reflect his mental state. In a world where gas, weapons and safety were all becoming increasingly rare, Max was the closest thing to a “hero” that remained.

In 1985′s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” he came across a crude community whose electricity and vehicles were powered by pig feces, and whose leader (Tina Turner) was a former prostitute with a great set of lungs — and a matching pair of legs. Battling in a badass, terrifying arena, two men entered — and Max was the one who left.

Even as fans celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Mad Max,” rumors still persist that Gibson and series mastermind George Miller will reunite one last time for “Mad Max 4: Fury Road.” If it ever happens, the scandal-ridden 53-year-old actor would be returning to portray a true rarity in Miller’s fictional universe: A character who has survived into his sixth decade of life. If any badass could live long enough to tell the tale, however, it would undoubtedly be Mad Max.

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