Also asks the soul-searching question “Should I say f**k you?”
Following the critical acclaim and commercial success of Mad Max: Fury Road, fans of the film no doubt hoped that its love of practical effects and disdain for expositional dialogue would influence Hollywood studios to adopt similar sentiments. That doesn’t seem to have necessarily been the case, but the latest Mad Max installment has at least had an undeniable impact on one recently released movie in China: Mad Shelia, which isn’t at all subtle about which blockbuster it’s blatantly ripping off.
Replacing “Max” in the title with a woman’s name might elicit applause from those who hold that Charlize Theron’s Furiosa was the real protagonist of Fury Road. But while the trailer for the post-apocalyptic action film features plenty of cars and gunfights set against badland backdrops, it doesn’t specify if any of its characters are actually named Shelia.
▼ There is someone named Celia, but she doesn’t look particularly mad.
But even though China’s movie market is growing, Mad Shelia doesn’t seem to have anywhere near the budget of the film its aping. In place of Max’s death-and-spraypaint-obsessed War Boys, Shelia’s antagonists look like a group of dudes who just burgled a sporting goods store, making them less intimidating than certain Internet comedy writers.
▼ Just because society has collapsed doesn’t mean you stop giving other motorists a friendly wave.
Shelia also shows much little aversion to CG, with plenty of computer-generated effects peppering its battles. It’s also not quite as willing as Max to go entirely gritty, giving its male and female leads unblemished skin and finely styled hair. The trailer doesn’t really give enough information to judge whether Shelia’s characters are as reticent as their Max counterparts, but at least we know that the Chinese film’s dialogue is full of odd, or even just straight-up impossible, commands.
▼ “You text me again.” – Apparently Celia can still get cell phone coverage.
▼ “See how I kill you.” – But…how can I do that if I’m dead?
Other linguistic oddities come up in the music video for the movie’s theme, “Make a deal,” which also gives the listener other options regarding things to make.
▼ “Make a dog” could be construed as either cooking a canine or impregnating a pooch, which actually sound like things that would become more accepted in the “any port in a storm” mentality of a ruined world.
“Make a deal” also dares to ask such hard-hitting questions as “Should I say f**k you?”
▼ That’s something we can’t answer for you. Just listen to your heart…your foul-mouthed little heart.
And, in a surreally prescient moment, Mad Shelia’s own theme song seems to cease being able to take the picture seriously.
Mad Shelia opened in China on November 25, and is no doubt coming soon to all of your favorite bootleg video rental stores and/or torrent sites.