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.
As vulgar, gory, and downright disgusting as they are, GWAR are actually no strangers to the world of cinema and TV. After all, maybe it’s their insane demeanor that’s made the shock rockers perfect fits for The Jerry Springer Show and Joan Rivers. And if a character from the film Empire Records is to have a pot brownie-induced hallucination about a band devouring him onstage, shouldn’t that band be GWAR?
But imagine its 1991, and you decided to go see a teen comedy starring Ethan Hawke. Maybe you even brought a date thinking this could be a cute film to see together. Then suddenly, out of know where, Oderus Urungus and his (less than) lovable clan of vile space lords appear on the big screen. Even now that seems like a pretty random scenario to catch GWAR in. The film didn’t do too well with critics or at the box office, BUT it did give us GWAR’s very first appearance in a film.
GWAR had been touring in support of their sophomore effort Scumdogs Of The Universe when they filmed a cameo for Mystery Date. In it, Hawke’s character mistakenly taking his date (played by Terri Polo) to a club where GWAR is seen playing “Horror Of Yig”. Throughout the rest of the film, Hawke is chased by the mob, gets accused of murder, and even gets his date kidnapped because he’s mistaken for his brother (whose car Hawke’s character is borrowing just so happens to have two dead bodies in its trunk… on second thought, maybe it does make sense that GWAR’s in this film).
We caught up with GWAR drummer Jizmak Da Gusha to talk more about how this cameo came about, as well as who his favorite actor named “Ethan” is. Check out what he had to share, then relive GWAR’s cameo in Mystery Date below.
How did GWAR end up appearing in the film Mystery Date?
GWAR was playing a show in LA and we had consumed all of the crack in California, so we had to go all the way to Vancouver, Canada to score. I remember getting into town pretty late, 4am or something and the only place open was this movie set, an obvious place to find drugs. GWAR was very confused because we went to Hollywood, the epicenter of the movie industry to party but had to go all the way to Vancouver to be in a movie.
Any fun memories or stories from shooting this appearance?
Well, the only reason we were in the movie in the first place was because we had no money to pay for crack, so they made us play a show before they handed over the boulder. I guess the cameras were rolling and presto. We gave them the standard show and when a crowd member was slaughtered, his blood spewed on the star actress. They shut down everything just so she could go to wardrobe to get her dress dry cleaned. It was so boring and took the director forever to finish the shoot and deliver the drugs.
Arguably GWAR’s most well-known film appearance came in Empire Records. You even partook in a “Rex Manning Day” live event, and were joined onstage by the film’s co-star Ethan Embry. So we have to ask, who do you like better: Ethan Hawke or Ethan Embry?
Ethan Embry hands down is a way better chauffeur, besides I don’t like birds.