PART THREE: BEYOND THUNDERDOME
The film opens with an aerial view of a desert vehicle being towed by a team of camels. As the frame moves in closer, a plane flies in very close to the vehicle, knocking it's driver off.
The plane, being flown by a man named Jedediah and his son, flies over the vehicle again and Jed jumps out, landing on it. Though the owner tries to catch up, Jed gets away quickly.
A monkey in the back of the vehicle throws several items out for the driver, including his boots and water. The driver is Max Rockatansky, a loner who scratches a living out of the desert.
He finds his small whistle in the belt of one of his boots and blows on it almost ritualistically. Some time later, Max crests a ridge and sees desert vehicles like his heading toward a remote city called Bartertown.
Max approaches the gatehouse and finds a man, The Collector, who is making deals for goods with visitors. Max demands to be let inside for an hour to find the pilot who stole his vehicle and camels.
He offers to trade his skills in lieu of material goods to which the Collector tells him "the brothel's full." Max grabs the man and shoots the headdress off a guard who threatens him with knives. The Collector determines that Max may have more to offer and agrees to take him in.
On the streets of Bartertown, which are populated by citizens and criminals alike, Max sees his vehicle and camels but is dragged away to meet with Bartertown's flamboyant and charismatic leader, Aunty Entity. The two chat for a bit and Aunty sends a signal to her guards to attack Max.
He dispatches them all fairly easily. Auntie tells him he's the first to "survive the audition." Aunty and the Collector explain that Bartertown is an attempt to reconstitute civilization in the face of the post-nuclear apocalypse that has destroyed all rule of law.
With neither an atomic-based nor a petroleum-based energy economy, Bartertown runs on methane gas, which is produced from pig feces by prisoner-slaves. All methane comes from an underground cavern, Underworld, where pigs are raised and herded for their waste.
Aunty also shows Max a large, armored man carrying a smaller man on his back. They are Master Blaster. The larger, muscular man protects the smaller man, Master, an intelligent dwarf who runs Underworld.
Of late, Master seeks to wrest control of Bartertown from Aunty through embargoes where he threatens to cut off the town's energy supply. Aunty wants Max to kill Blaster in a "fair" fight so they can keep Master and use his genius to continue to run the reactor.
She offers him the return of his vehicle, his camels and a supply of methane. In exchange, Max will work for 24 hours in Underworld, where he'll be able to size up his opponent.
In Underworld, Max is subjected to hard labor. He meets a prisoner who has been branded "Pig Killer." Max sees that Master wants his vehicle and has a mechanic working on it.
The mechanic has run into a problem; the vehicle is booby-trapped with explosives. When Master demands Max defuse the bomb, Max refuses. His defiance enrages Master who immediately enacts another embargo against Aunty.
The power to the city is nearly turned off and Master tricks Aunty into saying Master Blaster now runs Bartertown; in doing so, Master slyly switches on the city-wide intercom and Aunty's voice is heard everywhere.
Master lifts the embargo and forces Max to defuse his vehicle's bomb. While he does, he trips the siren and notices that Blaster is nearly incapacitated by the noise. He tests him further with his small whistle, finding it to be an effective weapon.
Max is released from Underworld and makes a deal with Aunty to kill Blaster. Aunty shows Max Bartertown's only means of settling disputes (and it's chief form of entertainment), Thunderdome, a large domed cage that serves as a combat arena.
Max picks a fight with Master Blaster as they drive through town celebrating their victory over Aunty. Master accepts the challenge of Thunderdome. Max and Blaster are taken to the arena and trussed up on elastic bands.
The rules are simple: they must try to kill each other using any means necessary, including the weapons placed in the dome. Both show considerable skill in combat with Max eventually gaining the upper hand by using his whistle. He uses a large sledgehammer to knock Blaster's helmet off.