Questions about the movie Mad Max

Mad Max is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s just an all-around great movie (and probably Mel Gibson’s best one so far.) It contains some weeeeeirrd scenes, too - and I’m trying to find out the meaning of one in particular. Namely, the “mannequin scene.”

What I am referring to here is the scene in which the biker gang is partying on the beach, and some of the outlaws are messing around with a female mannequin - kissing it, caressing it, posing with it. Then, one of the bikers begins a bizarre speech about the mannequin. He says, “Bubba Zanetti (one of the bikers) has it on good authority that [the dummy] was sent by the Bronze [the police,] full of treachery.” What the hell is he talking about here? Is he implying that the dummy was booby-trapped, bugged, or something?

Then, Bubba Zanetti gets ready to shoot the dummy with his pistol, but before he can, Johnny The Boy blasts a hole in its head with his shotgun. He says, “if you’re gonna waste the Bronze, you gotta do it big!” Bubba Zanetti then says, “you just don’t have the guts…chickenshit.” Then, Bubba says the weirdest line of all: “Goes to water on a dummy.

Goes to water on a dummy? What?

At that point, Toecutter begins manhandling Johnny The Boy, reprimanding him for shooting the dummy, I think, and then puts his arm around him and the two of them slowly walk into the ocean together. ???

This scene totally confuses me. I’m wondering if anyone knows what the hell it’s supposed to mean.

Okay, I’ll try to explain this scene as I interpreted it. The mannequin represented two possibilities to me. The first possibility is that the mannequin represented anyone who is affiliated with the police, the second possibility is that the mannequin represents Johnny the Boy. (Maybe the gang thought that he caved in under interrogation and gave up some vital info? Just a guess.)

The “goes to water…” line basically meant “he pisses himself over a dummy”, meaning that Johnny shows no class whatsoever and loses all self control and shoots the dummy impulsively. Bubba, being the coolest of the lot IMHO, finds this disgusting.

The end where Toecutter shoves the shotgun barrel into Johnny’s mouth and then wraps his arm around him while they walk slowly into the deeper water has some pretty obvious overtones. The gangs in the first two Mad Max movies seem to be made up of bisexual or homosexual members, so Johnny apparently is Toecutter’s bitch in this post-apocalyptic wonderland. The MFP Captain, “Fifi”, also comes across as a cartoon-like gay “leather daddy” character, so “gay” doesn’t always mean “evil” in the Mad Max Universe. Still, I sometimes wonder if the movie should be seen as homophobic in nature or if it’s meant to be the exact opposite.
Anyway, that’s my take on it.

I haven’t seen the film, but I’ve got a suggestion:

Perhaps the line of dialogue is actually “goes to water on a dunny” ?

“Dunny” is Australian slang for an outside toilet (the dunny in the backyard).

There was a homosexual vibe throughout this sequence.

I think that was to make the bikers in both Mad Max and Road Warrior more threatening; to make the average straight man feel more uncomfortable with them. Remember, this was the early 80’s.

I love the flick too, but I get the distinct impression that George Miller didn’t have every single thing he wanted to say in this movied clearly thought out. Re: the scene in question, mostly I agree with **Guy Incognito[B/]'s comments. Sorry in advance if mine are too superficial and obvious.

My take on the scene is that it’s a classic fall guy setup scenario. Toecutter considers Johnny little more than a Useful Idiot, recognizing that although he’s a bit of a loose cannon (even for that bunch), he is easily influenced and can be manipulated into taking out a few of the hated Bronze without exposing T himself to excessive risk of arrest.

The scene with the dummy is the equivalent of a high school coach’s pep talk before the big game, or the ritual before a primitive war party goes out to bash some heads. Toecutter gives his little speech and works up to his big orchestrated climax (Bubba shooting the dummy with precision), when Johnny, impulsive as always, steps on the punch line. This cannot be allowed to stand, as it undermines big T’s authority, so he gives Johnny a little talking to. I suppose the walk into the water can be seen as Johnny being baptized into the gang, IF he agrees to obey Toecutter without reservation. Don’t have much else to say about it.

Johnny the Boy is a total screw up. There is something that Toecutter sees in him (Probably that Homosexual vibe) Bubba has already said he “Don’t rate” that he was “stoned Again”. Due to his incometence he gets caught and Bubba has to bail him out. He watches as he blusters even after taking a bitch beating.

Considering that Killing the Goose was a “threshold moment” I assume it would be his first kill.

So with all of that of course Bubba would berate him for going over the top with the shot gun and blustering once again without any real credit in the gang.

“Ain’t got no style chicken shit! Goes to water on a dummy!” is Bubba’s way of saying Johnny is all bravado when taking out an inanimate object but when it comes to the real thing he can’t take it.

Toe Cutter takes him aside (obviously still seeing something in the screwup) but warns him to shut up. Protecting Johnny would seem to undermine his authority.

Just my thoughts

“To go to water” is a saying - might be Australian, I guess - meaning becoming weak, chickening out. So I guess he’s saying the guy is so weak he can’t even attack a dummy properly.

Bubba Zanetti is by far the coolest character in Mad Max. I mean, how often do you see an Italian surname preceded by “Bubba?” I love the way he hardly ever says anything, but when he does, it’s always badass. And he has this really intimidating look, even though he’s not all decked out in a crazy costume like the other bikers.

There’s even a website dedicated to him. (It’s not mine, I swear!)

goes to water=his bowels turn to water ie. The Boy is scared of everything.