After years of anticipation, a long awaited movie sequel came out this past weekend that’s impossible to ignore and people were clamoring to see. But aside from Pitch Perfect 2, George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road was also released. It’s an absolute must-see for fans of action movies, steampunk, and the first three Mad Max films, the last of which was released in 1985. Yet for all of the visual spectacle of the post-apocalyptic road movie, there’s one effect that’s impossible to take your eyes off of that will appeal to all metal fans. Those the have seen the film know what we’re talking about, and those that don’t, allow us to introduce you to the Doof Warrior. Doof is a blind guitarist that plays a double necked guitar that’s also a flamethrower. In addition, he plays it on a truck that’s equipped with speakers and he’s suspended by bungee chords that’s constantly speeding. If that sounds completely nuts, wait until you see it on screen, and keep in mind that it’s not CGI – everything about it actually happens.
In an interview with MTV, production designer Colin Gibson explains that Coma the Doof Warrior is played by iOTA, a singer, guitarist and cabaret performer, and everything that appeared in the film happened, he says:
So the plan basically was to try to come up with a vehicle, an idea that could be heard over the roar of a couple of hundred amps. And the only way to do that was to build the largest, last Marshall stack at the end of the universe.
Bungee cord included, the best guitarist in the world in front of it — and then backing with some tiger drummers and basically trying to build the drums more and more. We ended up with an 8-wheel drive, an ex-military rocket launching track to give us enough scale, and then turned the reverberators and built them out of old air conditioning duct steel.
He goes on to say that the guitar and amps had to work, as per George Miller, as did the drummers that provide the beat of the battle. Gibson says that iOTA came over early in the process, saying “he had a month or six weeks of getting used to it, of actually being able to play at full speed, while bungee jumping and blind.” Gibson says that the guitar being a flame thrower was influenced by KISS:
It was a bit like a Kiss concert: there needed to be flames. There needed to be fun. And unfortunately, there weren’t too many places on the vehicle to have it done — and nearly all the other vehicles had flame throwers or machine guns. And then George wrote in the battle between Max and the Doof warrior as Max makes his way along the single file trail of vehicles, making his way back to the front in the last race. So it was necessary to arm the Doof warrior as well. We had to give the flame thrower to his vehicle.
iOTA, in an interview with Buzzfeed, says that the guitar didn’t work that well, since it was out in the elements, but he said he would just jam on it all the time:
I love [bands like] Soundgarden, Sepultura, you know, just anything wiry and disgusting. I was standing above an amplifier, which you can’t see there. But it was lying on its back. I was standing above it, so the guitar was actually blaring in my ears. I just went for it. I pulled out all my rock licks that I could think of.”
He also said he would fall asleep at times in the harness throughout the course of the six-month shoot. “You put your fee up on the guitar and lean back, you can actually hang like you’re in a hammock,” he says. “I think there’s a moment in the film where I’m actually doing that.”
So yeah, what we’re trying to say is if you haven’t seen Fury Road yet, you owe it to yourself to see it on the big screen, like now.