Welcome to the Wasteland: Life in a Mad Max movie

Thought you were a Mad Max fan? Think again.

In the California desert lies a sanctuary for the most devout fans of the cult classic.

With dedicated characters, cars and costumes, and fervour that would melt your most devout Star Wars devotee, the cry of 'Welcome to the Wasteland' comes from the most accurate recreation of Mad Max in the world.

The Wasteland weekend is attended by thousands of revellers
The Wasteland weekend is attended by thousands of revellers

It is a four-day annual festival of madness where only those who live and breathe the post-apocalyptic world are welcome.

Festival-goers must dress the part and travel in accordance with post-apocalyptic style, in modified vehicles adorned with scrap metal.

Mad Max was set in the Australian outback — a story about the end of civilization where marauding gangs roam the desert and fuel, a precious commodity, is in short supply.

The long-awaited fourth movie in the series, Fury Road, set the Wasteland alight in 2015.

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller and his creative team are lining up for a possible haul of 10 Academy Awards.

Devotees Steve and Jim, or Wez and Lord Humungus
Devotees Steve and Jim, or Wez and Lord Humungus

Lord Humungus, AKA Jim the pool guy, recreates the Wasteland's overlord in perfect detail.

"I thought I was the only person out there who had this craziness… Every person here understands my insanity and they love it I'm home!"

"When you walk through the gates of Wasteland city you can suspend disbelief you are now in a post-apocalyptic world every which way you look 360 degrees it’s there."

This is Burning Man on steroids.

There is even the occasional wedding in the Thunderdome
There is even the occasional wedding in the Thunderdome

But more than just madness, the Mad Maxxers strive for authenticity and are judged on their millimetre-perfect recreations of the cars, trucks bikes and all-round weird wheels of Mad Max’s home.

Adelaide Tattooist Steve Scholz is obsessed with Mad Max and has the movies playing on loop in his studio.

"It began in a drive-in out the country and seen Mad Max 2 for the first time sitting behind the wheel of my dad's Ford Falcon ute and realising this is incredible," he said.

"Nothing was going to stop me from going to this event this year and yeah it's an absolutely dream come true."

Revellers create costumes and props identical to those in the film, and act out scenes.
Revellers create costumes and props identical to those in the film, and act out scenes.

He was invited to the Wasteland to portray Wez, a feral biker who features prominently in Lord Humungus' army.

Complete with red mohawk and feathered shoulders, he fulfilled a lifelong dream when he walked through the Wasteland gates.

"Wes is a feral biker, and as a personality he's obsessed with just controlling and fighting and he's just a mad man, he's absolutely feral."

"The opportunity to discover a vast arena of like-minded individuals all indulging in this incredible event is just mind blowing."

The Wasteland gates, guarded by the army of the post-apocalyptic world.
The Wasteland gates, guarded by the army of the post-apocalyptic world.