It’s not that often when metal creeps its way into mainstream pop culture. So when metal/hard rock acts do actually pop up in beloved sitcoms, dramatic films, cartoons or even reality series, it’s kind of awesome. So in the weekly column Remember When, Metal Insider recalls the most random instances of metal’s elite appearing in front of the camera.
Slipknot were already gaining a lot of acclaim by the time 2001’s Iowa came, headlining arena and festival tours around the world. Their music had even started to appear on soundtracks by that point (namely Resident Evil). Yet that doesn’t make the entire band’s cameo in the film Rollerball any less odd.
Chris Klein, LL Cool J and Rebecca Romijn starred in this remake of the 1975 film of the same name. The basic gist of the movie is that Rollerball is this very violent, roller-derby-meets-WWE like sport that’s very popular in Central Asia, Russia, China, Mongolia, and Turkey. When some of its players realize that the game’s “deadly consequences” are planned by the sport’s promoter to boost viewership, they attempt to escape the sport… despite its fatal costs. The film was frankly doomed from the start due to production delays and extensive reshoots. By the time it finally came out in 2002, it got trashed by critics and became one of the year’s most costly box offices flops.
If there was one good thing that came out of the film, it was that Slipknot got an onscreen cameo… as randomly placed as it was. In the middle of the film, Slipknot can suddenly be seen performing “I Am Hated” in the walkway of a Mongolian Roller Rink. There’s no real explanation as to why Slipknot is suddenly there performing, they’re just there. “We as a band are excited to be part of this movie,” the group had said in a statement prior to the film’s 2002 release. “We are big fans of the original, and we know the new version will be much better.”
Luckily for Slipknot, they didn’t have to rely on the film’s success. As we all know, Slipknot has become an even bigger name in hard rock and metal since Rollerball hit theaters. Even former drummer Joey Jordison is doing alright, reappearing this year in not one, but TWO new bands, while his former bandmates tour amphitheaters with Marilyn Manson and headline their own festivals. And while Corey Taylor’s neck injury is keeping the band from starting their tour on time, at least he doesn’t have to worry about people bringing up his appearance in a 13 year-old flop – until now.
Footage of Slipknot’s cameo in Rollerball can be seen below.