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When making a film about a band with a near four decade long history, it is naturally impossible to capture everything, and when the band in question is GWAR, that’s doubly the case, even if one restricts oneself solely to things which are important, fun or, shall we say, cautionary. That makes this Blu-ray release with its hefty package of extras a must for fans, whilst those who have only just discovered the band through the film will find that it includes a good deal more to entertain them.

That entertainment does not really include the audio commentary. Whilst some DVD and Blu-ray producers choose to simply decrease the volume for these, here it is muted completely, which deprives the film of much of its energy, especially during stage sequences. Derks and Bob Gorman don’t really know what they’re doing and struggle to develop any real conversation. They really could have done with an interviewer to help them with it. As is, this one is only for the die-hard fans.

The rest of the collection is fortunately much stronger. There’s a peek behind the scenes of a show which explains something of the management of costumes and props and the pumping of fluids, helping fans to appreciate not just the creativity but the sheer amount of work involved. There’s a summary of the story of how these intergalactic warriors originally came to Earth, killed the dinosaurs, created humans, fell into suspended animation and then awoke in the 1980s to become musicians. There’s a walk through the current Slave Pit, a maze of overstuffed rooms dubiously described as offices, and there are several different interview packages, including the last ever interview given by Dave Brockien (human slave of Oderus), who tells some great stories and seem intensely alive just a short time before the overdose which would kill him.

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A sweet little featurette explains how GWAR came to be featured in cult teen flick Empire Records, leading to a somewhat dazed teenage actor drinking his first Jaegernmester and being eaten alive onstage by a giant worm – we’ve all been there – and there are reflections on the history of the band from famous fans like Alex Winter, plus a look at its early days at the Dairy with photographs which really do emphasise why the building should have been condemned (though we can all be grateful that it wasn’t). Finally, there is a message from GWAR in more familiar alien form, giving their thoughts on the film.

Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2022

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