Is Mad Max Steampunk?

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Warner Bros Mad Max 2 poster

Anyone who’s watched any of the Mad Max films and knows a little about Steampunk may wander: is Mad Max Steampunk?

Warner Bros Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome poster

When it comes to post-apocalyptic film, few franchises are as well-known as Mad Max. The original trilogy, released between 1979 and 1985, starred Mel Gibson as the titular character and introduced audiences to a bleak vision of the future where society had collapsed and lawlessness ruled. The most recent installment in the franchise, 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, was a critical and commercial success, and cemented the franchise’s place as one of the most popular post-apocalyptic franchises around. But is it proper steampunk?

Some people argue that Mad Max is steampunk because it takes place in a world where technology has regressed. Steampunk typically features worlds that are powered by steam or other old-fashioned methods, so Mad Max certainly fits that bill.

Others say that Mad Max isn’t steampunk because it doesn’t have the same ‘whimsical’ feel as other steampunk works. Mad Max is a pretty dark and violent movie, after all.

Steampunk Elements In Mad Max Movies

Warner Bros Mad Max Fury Road poster

One of the things that sets Mad Max apart from other post-apocalyptic films is its unique visual style, which draws heavily on steampunk elements. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that typically features Victorian-era aesthetics and technology, and it’s this aesthetic that gives Mad Max its distinctive look.

From the very first film in the franchise, Mad Max: The Road Warrior, steampunk elements are present. The most obvious example is the double-decker bus that serves as one of the main characters’ homes. This bus is decorated with all kinds of steampunk flourishes, including brass fittings, exposed pipes, and cogs.

Another key steampunk element in Mad Max is the use of vehicles that have been modified with steampunk-inspired gadgets and gizmos. In Mad Max: Fury Road, we see a number of these vehicles, including the “War Rig” – a massive 18-wheeler that has been kitted out with machine guns, spikes, and other weaponry.

Warner Bros Mad Max When the Gangs take over the highway poster

Finally, steampunk elements are also present in the costumes worn by the characters in Mad Max. The most notable example is Immortan Joe, the villain of Mad Max: Fury Road. Joe’s costume is a mishmash of Victorian-era clothing and armor, complete with a gas mask and breathing apparatus.

So what do you think? Is Mad Max Steampunk? You’ll have to watch the movie to decide for yourself!

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Steampunk Frederick
Steampunk Frederick


I am Frederick, but you may call me Freddy – that’s what my friends call me.

I love steampunk as a style and for my cloths and accessories, so I thought why not share my passion with you guys,

because I know there are a lot of us Steampunk lovers out there.

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