PART TWO: THE ROAD WARRIOR
Against a backdrop of vintage documentary footage and clips from the movie Mad Max and other archival footage of war, a narrator's voice (Harold Baigent) in the near future remembers the time of chaos after the collapse of the oil-based economy, and the apocalyptic world war that followed.
The narrator relates how gangs of scavengers took over the roads, pillaging for fuel, and how ordinary men were broken in the decay: men like Max (Mel Gibson), the Road Warrior, who lost his wife and infant child to the gangs, and became an empty "shell of a man."
Max and his dog are in a car chase, two cars and a motorbike pursuing Max's V8 Interceptor. Max deploys his booster and outruns his pursuers, wrecking the two cars.
The motorbike riders pull up as Max is collecting fuel from one of the wrecked cars, and the bike's driver, Wez (Vernon Wells), pulls an arrow from his own arm, screaming defiance at Max.
Wez rides off, leaving Max on his own. Searching the wrecked truck, Max finds the mutilated body of a dead child, and picks up the child's tiny music box, amused by the tune it plays.
Max drives off a short time later. Max spots a gyrocopter by the side of the road. He approaches cautiously, but when he catches the snake guarding the 'copter, a man camouflaged with sand bursts from the ground, aiming a crossbow at him.
The Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence) has been using the 'copter to attract the curious, and get their fuel once the snake has done its work.
Max warns him the Interceptor's full tanks are booby-trapped, and when Max's dog attacks the Gyro Captain, tables are turned.
To save his own skin, the Gyro Captain offers to show Max an oil-refinery not far away, suggesting that the group that lives there will give Max all the fuel he needs. Max takes the man prisoner and drives to the refinery.
They arrive on a hill next to the refinery to find it under siege from a gang using all sorts of odd-looking vehicles, from motorbikes to hot-rods.
The gang is under the leadership of a huge, masked man calling himself Lord Humungus (Kjell Nilsson). As he watches through binoculars, Max spots Wez arguing with Humungus.
Max, the dog and the Gyro Captain settle in for the night. The Gyro Captain pleads for his freedom, but Max reminds him the deal was Max wouldn't kill him.
In the morning four cars make a sortie from the refinery compound, heading in separate directions, with Humungus' people in pursuit. One car is intercepted close to their hide-out, and its driver and co-driver captured and tortured.
Watching through binoculars, Max and the Gyro Captain see one is a woman, who is raped and then viciously murdered. Max arrives at the scene after all except the rapist have left.
He disposes of the rapist, and releases the badly wounded male victim, Nathan (David Downer), who offers Max as much gas as he likes if he takes him back to the compound.
Pulling up outside the compound, Max gets out and enters the compound at gunpoint, carrying Nathan over his shoulder.
Max's car (with the dog) is brought inside by the compound's Mechanic (Steve J. Spears), as the leader of the refinery-people, Pappagallo (Michael Preston), interrogates Max about the fate of the other escapees.
Max can tell him nothing, and points out he just wants his gas, as Nathan promised. However, Nathan dies and Pappagallo informs Max that whatever arrangement he had died with Nathan.
Just then, Humungus' gang approaches, and the gate to the compound (an old school-bus, reinforced with armor plating) is closed, forcing the refinery people to let Max stay inside, cuffed to a pipe.
Humungus tells the refinery-people he intercepted all their escapees, and has learned from the captives that they were sent out to find a semi-tractor big enough to haul the fuel-filled tanker from the compound.