Upon release, the overwhelming majority of viewers agreed that Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the greatest action films in years, taking everyone by surprise. Though the previous installments in the franchise were definitely unique and interesting in their own right, Fury Road even became an unlikely Oscar contender, winning 6 and being nominated for 10. No one could've seen it coming, perhaps except from visionary director George Miller, but the film ultimately inspired a new generation of Mad Max fans for years to come. However, one fan has since taken his love for the franchise too far, getting himself arrested for imitating the franchise's central character.
After being told to pull over on his quad bike on a Barstow highway, 39-year-old Jack Lee Ernest aroused suspicion by attempting to flee from police. He was soon stopped, and a search revealed that Ernest had a number of highly illegal Mad Max-inspired weapons. These included brass knuckles and a sawed-off shotgun (as seen below), as well as ammunition and a bag of knives.
The details of Ernest's Mad Max imitation were beyond doubt once a statement from San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputy was released, directly referencing the post-apocalyptic franchise and its leading character.
"Ernest claimed he fashioned himself as Mad Max"
Despite clarifying this single point, there are some burning questions that I'm sure we'd all love to have answered. Which Mad Max incarnation was he imitating, and what were his intentions? Was this a case of taking his fandom too far, or something more sinister? Although we may never find out, Ernest was ultimately booked on suspicion of possessing illegal weapons.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first example of a fan mimicking their favorite movie character. Despite sounding like an unusual case, this incident follows the arrest of a sword-wielding Joker fan last month, as well as a heavily armed man claiming to be The Punisher at a local Comic Con in Phoenix earlier this year.
For fans of the these characters, it's certainly unpleasant to see people taking their adoration of a franchise too far. It also doesn't help the ongoing debate as to whether on-screen violence can lead to real life incidents. Regardless of people's stance on the matter, it's important to note the incredibly swift response from local police on this occasion - something that should surely be praised.
Do you think there's a connection between on-screen violence and crime in real life? Let me know in the comments section.