When many of us think of museums the first thing that comes to mind is stuffy, boring, full of artifacts and things you can’t touch. But just about everything you can imagine has it’s own museum (there are both a puppet museum and bug museum in my home town), and yes, that extends all the way down to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. And yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds, even if it does sound a little bit absurd.
Who would build such a celebration of one of the greatest sequels in cinema history? A man named Adrian Bennett, that’s who, and it isn’t quite as simple as it sounds on the surface, it’s a saga. First of all, Bennett is British, and moved his entire family to Australia from Merry Old England to build his memorial the end of the world. And why not, with Mad Max: Fury Road on the way, this is as good a time as any to celebrate a 33-year-old movie. Vice ventured to the middle of the Outback to talk with Bennett and ask him what the hell he was thinking.
Bennett, obviously an obsessed fan of the highest order, got the idea after he visited the location and realized that there was absolutely nothing there to commemorate Mad Max 2, which American audiences call The Road Warrior. And the structure, located in Silverton Australia, it’s all Mad Max 2, because that was the only installment in the franchise filmed there.
The museum finally opened in 2009, but it has roots much earlier. In 2004, Bennett, his wife, and three of his sons set off on a journey to visit the sets of the first two films. They first arrived at Broken Hill, but then moved on to Silverton, and he started gradually pushing the idea of moving, full time, to either one of the locations, which I’m sure went over like gangbusters the first couple of times. But they moved to Adelaide, and eventually to Silverton a few years later, which is now a town of approximately 35. That must be love right there.
Though the town is small, it’s a hopping tourist destination. Bennett describes the town:
Silverton is a dusty old mining town which does appear to be isolated but it’s only 14 miles from Broken Hill, which has a population of 18,000. Silverton’s stunning, and you can clearly see why filmmakers are drawn here. On average Silverton gets around 120.000 visitors each year, so we don’t have time to get bored!
Beyond anything else, the Mad Max 2 museum is a celebration of fandom and one fan’s possibly irrational obsession. We can all relate to that. Bennett describes the first time he saw the film:
From the opening credits of Mad Max to the closing credits of Mad Max 2, my jaw was on the floor. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen, the effect they had on me was incredible. They were the most unique, original films I had ever seen… and Australian! They seemed to just grab a hold of me and not let go. I couldn’t think straight, all I thought about from then on were these two films. Who made them? Who were the actors?
If you have a few spare moments, this entire interview is definitely worth a read. Though it may be extreme, there is a lot to identify with Bennett’s story that I’m sure many of us can relate to. Sure, most of us aren’t going to uproot our families, move halfway around the globe, and put together a museum dedicated to a movie that almost as old as we are, but you get the impulse.