Another Mad Max, Only One Tina

max-tina-1985Thirty years ago Tina Turner told us we didn’t need another hero. I assumed that meant we didn’t need another Mad Max movie, either. But apparently, Hollywood felt differently. The new Mad Max movie debuted May 15, 2015.

Back in 1985 Tina played Aunty Entity to Mel Gibson’s Mad Max in Beyond Thunderdome. She also sang the movie’s theme song. My not-yet-husband and I saw that movie on the big screen in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He was well versed in Mad Max, having seen the previous two movies; I’d never heard of Max before. Tina was the draw for me.

I rediscovered Tina Turner, as did many others, when she released her Private Dancer album. I purchased my copy on vinyl and her songs became my post-college anthems. With her commanding voice and her crown of voluminous hair, she might have been queen (a sly reference to the album for all you Private Dancers out there).

The Mel and Tina Mad Max movie inspired our Halloween costumes for 1985. My not-yet-husband was Mad Max, sporting dusty denim and a scruffy beard and brandishing a toy gun. I had Tina’s movie role, so my costume was a bit more complex. Since chain mail was not readily available in central Wisconsin in the mid 1980s, I fashioned my facsimile from a few yards of shimmering gray fabric and 12 feet of dog chain. To simulate Tina’s massive metal earrings, I had to improvise as well. I purchased a full-size Slinky, cut it in half, and attached each half to either side of a headband I’d made from the same gray fabric as my faux chain mail. I borrowed shiny gray tights and gray suede boots from my younger sister. To complete my ensemble, I carried a small non-working crossbow that my Mad Max had made just for me. Although we didn’t win any costume contests, we looked quite fetching as we traversed the Halloween bar scene along Eau Claire’s Water Street.

The new movie is a continuation of Mad Max’s adventures, rather than a remake of the 1985 film. Popping in a new actor to play Mad Max was easy. But the movie moguls knew they couldn’t replace Aunty Entity. Because everybody knows there’s only one Tina.

Laura Sternweis

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