As long as filmmakers have captured movement film buffs and casual fans alike have been transfixed by motor vehicles. They’re pretty to look at, rev up to full throttle, and their dynamic use has put them front and center in some of the most thrilling action sequences ever put to film.
Mad Max, an Australian b-movie turned action movie staple created, directed, and written by George Miller, was catapulted to the A-list back in 1979 because of the authentically visceral action sequences at its core and for being ground zero for the car-obsessed post-apocalyptic desert setting. The fourth film in the over 30-year-old franchise, Fury Road, is an attempt to bring that sense of action fueled by practical effects and insanely skilled filmmaking back to the forefront of the action world, an attempt that Miller succeeded at immensely. In honor of Mad Max: Fury Road refocusing an entire generation of action cinema with the help of demolition derby-ready cars, we thought we’d compile some of our favorite movie vehicles. Put me behind the wheel of any of these beauties in a heartbeat.
Tumbler/Batpod (Christopher Nolan’s Batman)
The new tank-inspired ride Batman sports in the Christopher Nolan movies was inspired enough on its own, but they truly freaked the game with the smaller Batpod in The Dark Knight. Made up of the right-hand wheels of the Tumbler, they’ve got mounted machine guns and some crazy maneuverability that would make for one hell of a hit-and-run.
Light Cycle (Tron)
These light cycles, seen in both iterations of Disney’s Tron, not only materialize as you hop onto them and look sleek as hell, but they leave behind a light ribbon that can really mess your fellow racers up. It’s easy to believe that a fully functional street-legal replica of these glorious bikes just sold for $77K (minus the light ribbon attachment).
DeLorean (Back To The Future)
This car and this movie are the only reason anyone of us knows what a “gigawatt” is, let’s be honest. And Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s trips into the past and future are the only things that saved the fledging DeLorean motor company from complete bankruptcy back in the 1980s. Thanks to BTTF, the original butterfly doors are still collectors items.
Lotus Esprit Series I (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Across all of his movies, you could bet on James Bond to have the coolest gadgets around, and his sleek sports car that turns into a submarine is clearly no exception.
Mustang GT (Bullitt)
Both this hugely popular muscle car and this highly influential movie are classics for one simple reason: they’ve aged remarkably well and are extremely good at going very fast.
XB GT Ford Falcon (Mad Max)
When the Mad Max series started off back in 1979, The Road Warrior had a sweet whip to call his own. Muscle cars are already considered religious artifacts in certain parts of the world, and the Ford Falcon owes quite a bit of its infamy to this movie for kicking it all off.
Ghost Rider’s Bike (Ghost Rider)
A flaming hog. That can ride up walls. And remains on fire in the water. And burns everything in its path. There are few things in this realm of existence as awesome as that.
Any of the Transformers
If I have to explain why any of this is amazing, you really need to watch some more movies.
Cadillac Eldorado (Black Dynamite)
Cadillac has long been the first and last word in style when it comes to cars, a note that blaxploitation films took to heart in the 1970s-80s. Black Dynamite, the 2009 parody/homage to the genre, stuck its titular protagonist with a “$5,000” Eldorado that he drove everywhere, and it was almost as bulletproof as his fro. The Eldorado gets more love on the animated series, but just…look at it.
Mach 5 (Speed Racer)
This computerized beauty has more on-board features than Inspector Gadget and is about 15x as fast. The visual palette of Speed Racer is what saved the movie from overall mediocrity, and the Mach V is a big part of that. Imagine jumping over traffic in this thing.