Foreign filmmakers openly tearing Hollywood films is a tradition with a rich and stratified history. Mention an American film that has had a considerable cultural impact over the past fifty years and you are guaranteed to find an unofficial Turkish or Italian remake hiding somewhere on the outskirts of the industry. While modern copyright laws have forced these low-budget frauds to be a little more creative in the way they steal from larger films, they still exist, offering interesting views on how other cultures absorb and interpret American cinema.
Now, China is adding to this glorious tradition with Mad Shelia, Mad Max: Fury Road tearing shamefully, stealing the original poster and its aesthetics and titles.
It’s no secret that we like Mad Max: Fury Road around these parts (that’s our 2015 favorite movie). The fourth film director George Miller in his post-apocalyptic series is one of the best action films ever made, an evocative feminist statement and an insane madman turning into a colorful, dry hell. And it’s clear that the makers of Mad Sheila also like it, even if the trailer shows that they might have missed the whole point. But that might be part of the charm! There is an amazing gonzo energy on display in this trailer which makes up for the fact that it seems to be taken for the price of catering to Fury Road.
Interestingly, the look of the low-cost and rocky trailer reminded me more of the original Mad Max on the weekends that was served than the larger Fury Road and was supported by the studio. They may imitate a shiny third sequel, but the enthusiasm exhibited echoes Miller’s early work … though the clean desert knights of Mad Shelia are a strange sight after strange, neglected, and outlawed villains and villains from Mad Max films . Honestly, everyone involved in making Mad Max: Fury Road should see this as a compliment. They make films that are important enough so that other countries decide to make their own versions! You really succeed when the foreign director knocks down your work.
It is unclear when (or even if) western audiences will have the chance to see Mad Shelia, but here is the poster, which blatantly stole Mad Max’s basic design: one of the most well-known sheets on Fury Road that I actually laughed out loud when I first saw it.