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GWAR: Phallus In Wonderland (1992)

DVD Cover (Metal Blade)
Movie Connections:
Band: GWAR
> GWAR: Phallus In Wonderland (1992)
> GWAR: Ultimate Video GWARchive (2002)
Genres / Traits:
Music, Musical Comedy, Rock Musical, Video Collection, Dinosaurs
Directors:
Judas Bullhorn Judas Bullhorn
Distortion Wells Distortion Wells
Starring:
Gwar Gwar
Dave Brockie Dave Brockie
Beefcake The Mighty Beefcake The Mighty
Balsac the Jaws of Death Balsac the Jaws of Death
Flattus Maximus Flattus Maximus

7.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 05, 2011
GWAR, for the uninitiated, is a thrash / shock rock band that is known for their elaborate costumes and stage shows, which generally revolve around them murdering people, spraying the audience with various bodily fluids, and either saving or destroying the world (whichever fits their current storyline). Their music is quite good if you're into that sort of thing (I am), but their live performances are the real appeal of the band. Over the years, the band has released a number of home videos for those poor folks who can't make it to one of the shows, and today, we're going to take a look at Phallus in Wonderland, a video that was released to compliment their America Must be Destroyed album and which was also nominated for a Grammy in 1993 (it lost to Annie Lennox).

There are five music videos sprinkled throughout the movie, including:

1. Crack in the Egg
2. Have You Seen Me?
3. The Road Behind
4. The Morality Squad
5. Gor-Gor

These videos and the surrounding movie tells a story which begins with the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu (also known as lead singer Oderus Urungus' penis) being kidnapped and brought before a court on charges of obscenity. Leading the charge against this poor cuttlefish is Granbo and her pro-censorship group The Morality Squad, who claim that this is the final straw and that GWAR must be destroyed before they can corrupt the nation's youth any further. Meanwhile, GWAR are holed up in their Antarctican fortress, injecting a Tyrannosaurus Rex baby with crack so that it can grow faster and kill more viciously. When they hear the news, they rush down to the States to settle this once and for all in a bloody duel to the death.

The members of GWAR claim to be ancient warriors who were imprisoned on earth millions of years ago for their vile interplanetary deeds, awakening from their collective coma once pollution dethawed them from their Antarctican prison. Their manager, Sleazy P. Martini, discovered them and found that they could actually play instruments, so he started paying them in drugs and hookers so that he could profit off of them. If this doesn't exactly give it away, GWAR is an over-the-top group that mixes comedy and gore with their music, and though they aren't for everyone, they certainly have their fans. I count myself as one of them, and have for the better part of the last two decades.

As for the movie, I loved it. I loved the music, and I especially loved watching the boys wreak havoc on those who would defy them. They are as offensive as ever in this release, and viewers will be treated to numerous bloody fight sequences, a priest being exposed for molesting a child (and in turn, getting his cross shoved up his ass while being spanked with the bible), children eating cocaine-and-cum laced cereal, and yes, an epic showdown between a handful of alien warriors and a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex.

One thing I should point out for those poor newcomers out there is that this is not a big-budget production - in fact, none of GWAR's stuff is. The costumes, the dinosaurs, the spaceships, and everything else that went into making the film was nothing more than foam latex, a dash of stop-motion photography, and gallons of blood. All of the effects are laughably fake, but that has always been the charm of the band: it's sort of like watching a horrible b-movie, without the trappings of plot to slow it down, coupled with some great music and loads of humorous moments. Again, it isn't for everyone, but if it sounds like your cup of tea, you may very well end up loving it. Of course, if you're already a fan of GWAR and know what to expect from them but haven't seen this video yet, I'll go ahead and tell you now: you will definitely love it.

Even as someone who counts GWAR as one of their favorite bands, I wouldn't say that it's a perfect film, but it comes close and is damned entertaining. It drags in spots and there are times when it tries way too hard to be offensive (resulting in scenes that aren't fun, but just boring), but the overall product does get a thumbs up. There's even a positive message about free speech buried in here, if you can believe it. 8/10.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 03/24/2014, 09:49 PM
Rest in peace, Oderus.
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