Lawsuits be damned, George Miller better get to make the next Mad Max flick, because Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the most visionary things we’ve ever seen in theaters. With post-apocalyptic panache, Miller hijacked audiences and situated them in Furiosa’s safety-seeking semi, while Immortan Joe and his gang of chrome-huffing miscreants gave hot pursuit. But there’s no way that pursuit could have been nearly as hot without Coma the Doof Warrior revving up the chase soundtrack on his flame-throwing electric guitar.
The sheer inanity of a red-onesie wearing, Powder-impersonating, dead-mama-mask wearing blind man (Australian performance artist, iOTA) acting as the hood ornament of a truck called the Doof Wagon is enough to make you cackle with glee. But when that wagon is amped up with Coma’s flaming axe and a quartet of crazed Taiko drummers, it serves an actual purpose: motivation. How else could Immortan Joe’s gang of War Boys possibly be frenzied enough to properly terrorize the badlands of dystopian Australia without such a pumped-up soundtrack? See kids, heavy metal music WILL make you bad!
And Coma’s fiery brand of rock also serves another nefarious purpose: intimidation. If you hear Coma’s thunderous axe rumbling off in the distance, you know you’re in trouble – indeed, the flamethrower wields the mighty power of the “sonic carmageddon,” as WB dubbed it. So apparently that offsets the price of the guitar’s obviously high gasoline bills.
As a man who has dabbled in a long set or two of high-spirited rock n’ roll myself, I’m further impressed by Coma’s stamina. He doesn’t just rock all day and all night, he also rocks in all weather, including dust storms. Now that’s dedication to one’s art. I had a hangnail once and refused to go on. But not Coma, he keeps playing, even when Max jumps on the Doof Wagon and turns the guit against him. But what does Coma do once Max has moved on down the caravan? He picks up that axe and keeps rocking in the post-apocalyptic world, inspiring not just the War Boys, but also filling me with love.