Naturally, the self-proclaimed berserker who guidelines GWAR is a large fan of RoboCop. Campy violence, biting social commentary, science fiction, and enduring one-liners are hallmarks of each the motion basic starring Peter Weller and the steel band, whose breakthrough Scumdogs of the Universe album celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2020. Michael Bishop first joined GWAR in 1987, the identical 12 months RoboCop was launched, as bassist Beefcake the Mighty. In 2014, following the premature passing of cofounder Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus, Bishop returned to the group as new lead vocalist Blöthar The Berserker. (Within the band’s mythology, Blöthar made the journey from Scumdoggia to Earth to reign over GWAR and their Slave Pit.) Blöthar shared his love of director Paul Verhoeven’s dystopian basic on a latest episode of PopCurse, introduced by Movieweb, which options musicians speaking motion pictures. A partial transcript of the podcast, edited for size and readability, follows.
I ought to inform you that I had my first kiss at a GWAR live performance.
Blöthar The Berserker: Oh, geez. Wow. This should have been traumatic. What did you kiss?
A feminine buddy. This was on the Howard Johnson’s lodge, in a ballroom, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I consider GWAR would have been touring on the primary album, Hell-O!, on Shimmy Disc Data.
Blöthar The Berserker: A Howard Johnson’s in Indianapolis, Indiana? Feels like a time interval after I may need been considering suicide. I bear in mind we had an excellent supervisor again then, Invoice Levine, he was from Indianapolis. Any supervisor that has an 8×10 of them in a junkyard with some woman, which he did, you recognize [is] a first-class particular person.
Indianapolis is not removed from the near-future wasteland of Detroit, Michigan. When, the place, and the way did you first encounter the unbelievable piece of American cinema that’s RoboCop?
Blöthar The Berserker:RoboCop was a really, very large film within the pantheon and improvement of GWAR. I believe that the primary time I noticed this film, it was in an empty movie show, and I used to be tripping on LSD. Sleazy P. Martini [aka Don Drakulich] on the time had a aspect gig as a projectionist on the movie show. We went in there, with dates, on the finish of an LSD journey, and watched RoboCop alone on this massive outdated form of artwork theater. And it made fairly an impression. It was a type of second-run motion pictures.
You already know, I did not watch RoboCop when it got here out, as a result of – a part of the brilliance of that film was the way in which that it was marketed. It was marketed as form of simply one other dumb motion movie, like the entire motion movies that have been being launched at round that point. So, I used to be like, ‘Oh, this isn’t one thing that I am gonna need to see.’ After which whenever you truly went to see the movie it was form of a modern-day Frankenstein that was simply stuffed with that means and an exquisite film that confirmed a really grim image of the American future.
It seemed like one other “cold-blooded law enforcement agent walks around shooting bad guys” kind of film, which has its attraction. Or maybe a Terminator kind of film…
Blöthar The Berserker: I did not have Terminator hopes for it, taking a look at these advertisements. I assume Verhoeven would do one thing type of related with Showgirls, the way in which that it was marketed. Discuss being cynical about Individuals! It was [marketed as] simply so lowest widespread denominator. I used to be pondering that I used to be going to stroll into Terminator. I assumed I used to be gonna stroll into one thing with lots much less depth.
I perceive from what I’ve learn that the Decide Dredd comedian ebook was an affect on RoboCop, as was Blade Runner. I’d think about these are issues that you simply love as nicely.
Blöthar The Berserker: Completely. GWAR [has] our personal universe that we spin round in and people worlds, these storylines, these narratives, these realities, have been crucial and figured very large within the origins of GWAR. A basic curiosity in comedian ebook tradition; Decide Dredd particularly was a giant affect. And sure, in fact, we love Blade Runner. And the entire novels and stuff like that have been issues that we learn and paid consideration to. I bear in mind being bitterly dissatisfied by Blade Runner and later pondering, ‘Ah, Okay, it was a good movie.’
I grew up into sci-fi, horror, comedian books, punk rock, and heavy steel, which is why I fell in love with GWAR. Like, ‘Oh, this can be a band designed for me.’ There have been us weirdos on the market that have been haunting the report retailers and haunting the comedian ebook retailers.
Blöthar The Berserker: Oh, yeah! That is us! That is what we have been doing. ‘Weirdos haunting comedian retailers and report retailers.’ An excellent description of a sure aspect of GWAR.
I like the Frankenstein comparability that you simply make. Life, consciousness, know-how, these are massive themes in that film, themes you would not anticipate a film known as RoboCop to enterprise into.
Blöthar The Berserker: You are proper. Completely. And that is what made me find it irresistible a lot. Additionally, along with being stuffed with simply form of probably the most gratuitous violence at instances within the movie, which was definitely a cause to love it. And a giant shock, too! It isn’t precisely Frankenstein, however it has that ingredient of bringing one thing form of unwilling or at the very least partially unwilling, bringing this subjectivity into the world that may not have needed to be there, via know-how and enjoying God and elevating the useless, all of these themes that they are undoubtedly in that film. However along with that, you may have the horror of that opening the place he’s killed so terribly. I simply do not forget that, particularly being in a theater. RoboCop is a film that we watch on the GWAR bus each single tour, that is not an exaggeration. It is at all times using with us, and we at all times watch it, and it picks up that means because it goes alongside. I do love that side of it and form of the weather of Gothicism that he works in there.
Issues would not anticipate to see in what ostensibly seemed to be one other eighties motion movie.
Blöthar The Berserker: Yeah! And also you scratch the floor and you have this entire factor a couple of policeman, you recognize, the police ingredient was large in it. It was rife with anxiousness about know-how, which is only a form of basic Gothic trope. And likewise, the barrier between life and dying, what carries over or what may not carry over; the opportunity of subjectivity residing in machines, which is one thing that is a actuality now, the thought of transhumanism. I am positive that there are a lot earlier examples, however this film was a mainstream enjoying out of these themes: humanity being one thing greater than what we’re, however it’s harmful to be that factor, to be that blend of humanity and know-how.
While you hear individuals theorizing concerning the potentialities of getting the potential to, say, for somebody like your self – the place there’s a number of recorded interviews, performances – that each one of that stuff may very well be collected after your bodily physique is gone and you might be recreated. Would that factor be you? Would it not assume that it is you? I like tripping out about all of that form of stuff.
Blöthar The Berserker: [Laughs] Precisely. You may think about how immediately I believe it turns into extra significant [with] the LSD journey within the empty movie show.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rutger Hauer have been reportedly thought-about for the lead position.
Blöthar The Berserker: I did not acknowledge [Peter Weller] and I preferred that I did not know that face. And the face is so necessary within the movie. The physique turns into a lot much less necessary. The face is the one factor, moreover his subjectivity which they bury behind a community of aims, the face is the basic connection between subjectivity and the surface world. It is at all times been very placing to me, the scene the place his face, that is all that is there. Once they present him with out the visor, it is simply that face. When you concentrate on it, it’s totally impractical. Why would they exit of their method to protect the face?
Let’s speak concerning the boardroom bloodbath.
Blöthar The Berserker: The boardroom bloodbath, I bear in mind it nicely.
I assumed that you simply would possibly [laughs]. It jogs my memory of that Howard Johnson’s efficiency.
It is a very grim scene. I like the layered unhealthy guys, too. It isn’t only one unhealthy man. Who is absolutely the villain on this factor? Most motion pictures have a tough time figuring out one, good, strong villain. On this film, you principally have three of them, at the very least, after which you may have henchmen. You could have the basic [Ray] Harryhausen type animation. You simply aren’t going to search out that anymore. I imply, it immediately jogs my memory of [1958’s The 7th Voyage of] Sinbad, when that monster comes out. In case you pay actually shut consideration, when he falls, you simply hear pigs squealing.
The remainder of the wide-ranging RoboCop dialog get into GWAR’s early experiences in Detroit, the film’s commentary on legislation enforcement, Colonel Sanders, and extra. Hearken to the complete dialog and different episodes that includes musicians speaking motion pictures proper right here at PopCurse.