Films: Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Take a step back to a more innocent time, a time when Mel Gibson had a promising future ahead of him, and dystopian narratives felt fresh. This trilogy of post-apocalyptic films offered some of the most awesome action set-pieces in history. They got more absurd as the series progressed, reflecting the additional money and changes in story direction. The first is brooding; the second larger, more outlandish; and the third successfully incorporates elements of camp that were always present but never explicit.

Roger Ebert heralded the titular Thunderdome of the third film as "the first really original movie idea about how to stage a fight since we got the first karate movies."

One can only hope that the franchise's creative streak continues in 2014, when the reboot starring Tom Hardy drops.

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