Beyond the Wasteland documentary is awesome!

Watch the feature-length doco via SBS On Demand now!



We’ve finally had a chance to watch the Mad Max super-fan documentary, Beyond the Wasteland, and we’re here to tell you, it is awesome!

The doco features compelling interviews with actors and crew members from the films, as well as Mad Max fanatics from around the world.

While the film centres on the Mad Max 40th-anniversary events held in Clunes, Carisbrook and Silverton in 2019, it also visits super-fans in France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.

The absolute star of the show for mine is the late Bertrand Cadart. Cadart not only played the crowbar-wielding Clunk in the first Max flick, but he also produced the iconic La Parisienne fairings for the bikes ridden by The Toecutter’s gang.

Beyond the Wasteland follows the journey of the terminally ill expat Frenchman in his Pontiac Trans Am, as he attends the various 40th-anniversary events back in 2019. Cadart is a magnetic personality, full of good humour, wisdom and generosity. He passed away in 2020.

Cadart’s fellow cast members Roger ‘Fifi’ Ward and Paul ‘Cundalini’ Johnstone are also magnetic to watch on screen all these years later.

Another highlight is meeting expat Pom Adrian Bennett. Bennett built his own Interceptor replica in the UK, before emigrating to Australia with his family and establishing the Mad Max 2 Museum in Silverton. Bennett is just one of many folks featured in the doco who have had the entire trajectory of their lives altered by the Mad Max films.

Action-wise, the climax of the doco has to be the re-creation of the famous caravan-smashing scene by veteran Aussie stuntman, Rob Sheehan – except Rob goes through two vans instead of just the one!

The film features a number of characters that we’ve met in the pages of Street Machine over the years, including replica-builders Alan Potter and Simon Lloyd, as well as artist Darren Koziol.

It is also littered with small gems of history, such as meeting drag racer Dale Bensch, the original owner and pilot of the iconic ‘burnout bike’ from the first film.

Verdict: Five stars

Beyond the Wasteland is a beautifully produced and thoughtful documentary that will entertain Mad Max freaks, casual fans and first-timers alike.

Run, don’t walk, to your TV and check it out on SBS On Demand here.

The story to here, 30 November 2021

A new feature-length documentary celebrating the huge, internationally spanning influence of Mad Max is about to hit Aussie screens.

Beyond the Wasteland explores the lives and stories of franchise super-fans, who remain engrossed more than 40 years after the original flick’s release.

Filmed over six months in Australia, the US, Italy, France, Germany and Japan, the doco captures a number of fan events including America’s Wasteland Weekend and The Search for Max 40th-anniversary event in Clunes, Victoria.

Central to the documentary is the experience of the late Bertrand Cadart, who worked on Mad Max bike designs and played Toecutter Gang member Clunk.

Director interview:

We caught up with Beyond the Wasteland director and producer Eddie Beyrouthy to learn more about the project.

How did the documentary come to be, Eddie?

I’d known Bertrand Cadart for about 10 years. He called me in August 2018 and told me about a series of Mad Max 40th-anniversary events beginning in 2019, and asked if we’d be keen to go along for a documentary. After some research and planning with co-producer Phil Lambert, the journey to follow Bertrand Cadart began in January 2019.

We went from Queensland to Clunes, and then Broken Hill and Silverton. We met a lot of people who were very open to being involved in the documentary, and it just grew from there.

Did you grow up as a fan of the movies?

I’ve always been a fan of the franchise, but I’ve never lived and breathed Mad Max as much as these fans did. I think that was a good thing, as I could see it from an outsider’s perspective.

When you started this project, did you realise how widespread these super-fans are?

I really had no idea how big it was. I thought it was a very small community, but it ended up being a lot bigger than we thought over the six months of filming. The more people we spoke to, the more we realised this is a story the rest of the world needs to be aware of. Every time we went somewhere, there was something new.

How did you go about capturing the international Mad Max scene?

In Clunes we met guys like Yoshi from Japan and Jim Dorsey from the US. We wanted to gauge what the fanbase was like in Australia first, but always had the ambition to go overseas.

Fans organised their own events for the documentary. Jared Butler from Wasteland Weekend organised a Wasteland car show in LA; there was a private event in Italy; and the Japanese guys put an event together for us, which was great.

But we’ve given Australia the title of ‘the Wasteland’, because what happens overseas comes back to the fact everything was born in Australia.

How large a spanner did COVID throw into production?

We were well into post-production by the end of 2019. We had hoped for a release sometime in mid-2020, but COVID had other plans. We’ve been waiting for the right time to release it and really make it shine. Timing is everything, and we believe February 2022 is a great month to release Beyond the Wasteland.

February marks the three-year anniversary from when we first began production and filmed the 40th anniversary event in Australia. We’re inviting fans with classic Fords and Holdens to the Coburg drive-in for the premiere in February 2022, and some Mad Max fan cars will be there too.

What was your biggest takeaway from the whole experience?

I learned that this community is open to everybody; there’s no discrimination. Everybody’s there for the same love and it all came from the Mad Max franchise. It was incredible seeing how these fans have their real lives, but entering this other world brings out their true passions.

Can we expect a bit of car action, too?

There’s definitely car action! The vehicles were their own unique characters in the films too, so there’s definitely a lot of influence. We’ve even got an Interceptor at a drag strip! The appreciation of Aussie muscle cars is a big thing, and I think the fans here will appreciate the respect for these vehicles being showcased in Japan and the US.

There were probably 30-40 Australian cars at the Japanese event. We got plenty of archival footage through the NFSA too, which was great. It’s not a behind-the-scenes documentary; it’s more about the fans, culture, machines, and everything else that embraces that world.

Beyond the Wasteland will make its world premiere at 8.45pm on 5 February 2022 at Coburg Village Drive-In, followed by a Q&A session with Eddie Beyrouthy and producer Phil Lambert.

Drive-in and seated screenings and Q&As will also be held in Victoria, NSW and SA across February. For dates and ticket information, visit the Umbrella Entertainment website.