MY SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH… GWAR

“Like a growth on the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu’s testicle”: a horror
comedy in several acts.

 

BY MICHAEL G. PLUMIDES, JR.

 

GWAR and I go all the way back to 1990 – but I knew of the
band before then. We had a copy of Hell-o on file at WUSC-FM.  A high school friend
of mine, Emily, went to Virginia
Commonwealth University,
so she was primarily responsible for turning me on to the gory theatrical
outfit circa December 1987.  GWAR
was among her favorite RVA punk acts alongside Death Piggy, Mudd Helmut, The
X-Cops, and the Alter Natives. Little did I know?

 

I promoted my first GWAR show at the 4808 Club’s second and
most viable incarnation on 7th Street in Uptown Charlotte on March 3, 1990, drawing several
hundred people to their parody of torment supporting the release of their
punk-metal aural assault, Scumdogs of the Universe.  The 4808 was shut down a month later
after a L.A. Guns show on Easter Sunday, due to fire code
infractions.  Subsequently, I was forced
out of that building; a historic old textile warehouse that has now been
leveled to put up another parking lot. 

 

But being the stubborn, idiotic, glutton for punishment that
I was, I opened a new club on 5th Street three months later in another old
warehouse, also now leveled.  Paramount
had just shot some scenes from Jerry Bruckheimer’s dog shit racing film, Days of Thunder starring Tom Cruise, at that location
(who incidentally, I met at a college party in Wilmington in 1986 – as throngs of
poodle-haired Eastern North
Carolina females stood in cue to offer Cruise
lip service while a stoned Emilio Estevez looked on).  I couldn’t wait to destroy the leftover set
and use the building material for the new and soon-to-be
ill-fated, 4808.  I hated that dumb
fucking movie, anyway – it represented everything I despised about the “World
Class” shit hole that was my locale.

 

I had spent somewhere around sixty-thousand dollars
up-fitting the new 4808 Club due to code enforcement – they were really up my
ass with a magnifying glass, Sherlock Holmes-style, making sure I was in
compliance.  When I finally got the doors
open, I was flat broke, writing bad checks for beer and hiding my Jeep Cherokee
in the weeds from the repo man.  So when I wrestled GWAR away from a rival
club owner, I felt like a bandy rooster – it was going to be the show that
bailed me out, or at least that’s what I hoped. 

 

The GWAR crew was dirty when they arrived on Tuesday, September 18, 1990.  As they loaded in blood
spattered amp crates, and costumes covered in end trails, it occurred to
me that I was in for a long night. My sound crew painstakingly covered all of
the equipment with plastic. The stench of the stage props was inescapable as
filthy, Bohemian art school weirdos prepared their alchemy. That night, the
club was at capacity. I wanted a big crowd. Be careful what you wish for.

 

On stage, GWAR looked and sounded like something conjured
right out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel. Oderus Urungus, the lead singer, (aka
David Brockie) had the most vivid costume, vile yet brilliant. With a demon’s
face, spiked shoulder pads, body paint, monster feet and hands, netted
stockings, and a big fish like penis hanging from his groin he called “The
Cuttlefish of Cthulhu” with a three-testicle scrotum sac suspended between
his legs, Oderus’ “Omni-sexual” character was festering and oozing with
presence.

 

The other members of GWAR consisted of: “Balsac, The Jaws of
Death” with cloven hooves and a metal bear-trap face, on guitar; “Beefcake the
Mighty” dressed as an oversize breast-plated Macedonia warrior, on bass;
“Jizmak, the Gusher” a Neanderthal, on drums, and “Flattus Maximus,” a
primitive Viking on guitar (the legendary ax-man character now memorialized and
retired after the tragic death of long-time GWAR guitarist, Cory Smoot) and, of
course, there’s the slaves who do the band’s dirty work during the performance.
By this time, I was over capacity and absolutely slammed.  Between keeping up with crowd control, door
money, and bar money, I missed a lot of the show.

 

Sometime during the performance, Oderus had sodomized a
Catholic priest, and then shoved a giant crucifix in his sphincter. That was a
big mistake. None of it was real, and was all part of GWAR’s twisted, yet
comical and debauched spectacle. I didn’t see it. Had I witnessed the event, I
probably would have had a stroke, like my dad. But the show was also chocked
full of satire and social commentary, no matter how grotesque, not to be taken
literally. Try selling that to bunch of redneck cops. At the end of GWAR’s
performance, Oderus sprayed a milky load on the crowd with the Cuttlefish of
Cthulhu. The Urban Dictionary describes the stage prop as
“Oderus’ sexual reproductive organ” resembling “a huge slug” with lips, which
“spurts when excited.” Spurt it did, sealing my fate.  As I counted the
door money in my office, the club was raided. I had spied a couple of
out-of-place mustaches in the crowd, a little too eager with their Nikons. 

 

 

***

 

Daniel Sellers, Chief Alcohol Law Enforcement Detective,
raided my office while I counted door receipts.
Upon Sellers’ request, while in handcuffs, I lead him back to the dressing room
where the band had just finished their encore and were taking off their
costumes. The dressing room was steamy, close, and uncomfortable. Sellers spoke
with authority, “Which one of ya’ll is the lead singer? Brockie, still in
costume from the waist down, said indignantly, as if answering to roll call,
“I’m the lead slave!” Sellers responded, “Well son, you’re under arrest for an
obscene performance under North Carolina law.”

 

Brockie bent over to take off his monster feet and the
Cuttlefish, aiming his blood-crusted bare butt cheeks toward Sellers where the
Detective then commented, “I could have gone all night without seeing that.”

 

“Confiscate that fish, or penis, or whatever the hell it
is.” Brockie interjected, “It’s the Cuttlefish of…” Sellers spat, “Put a plug
in it, boy.”  The policeman then asked
me, “You got somethin’ we could put this thang in?” The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu
was covered in fake blood and still dripping. One of my bartenders offered an
old rusted mop pail. The police confiscated the stage prop carting “The
Cuttlefish” and us out with it.

 

The cops were all chuckling among themselves, as if they
were a bunch of kids who had just peed the pool. Brockie wasn’t surprised. His
brand of sarcastic, sadistic mayhem was bound and determined to eventually piss
the wrong folks off somewhere in the South. It was only a matter of time before
some “Bible-Belt” yokels caught wind of GWAR’s theatrics, and these cops were
ready to kick both of our asses up around our shoulder blades, especially after
the national attention on the 2 Live Crew Nasty
as They Wanna Be
record store arrest in Florida.

 

When Brockie and I were led out onto the street in
handcuffs, the crowd was in an uproar. The scene was chaotic outside the 4808
Club, awash in punk rockers soaked in sweat and fake blood, blue-clad
constables brandishing their nightsticks, and of course, the media, ready to
report the whole scene as inaccurately as possible. A column of police cars
were lined up outside the club blocking Fifth Street. 
And to add insult to injury, a police helicopter
was hovering overhead with a spotlight to arrest me, Brockie, and a rubber
fish. The crowd became riotous, chanting anti-fascist slogans, and pushing up
against the squad cars, resulting in a few more arrests.   Brockie and I were then muscled into a
squad car.

 

“What am I charged with?” Brockie was a Canadian National
and nervous about possible deportation. 
Detective J.H. Hurd of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Vice Squad, pulled a
small pad out of his back pocket, and read him the charges:

 

“Violating North Carolina Felony Criminal Statutes, more
specifically, you’ve been charged with ‘Disseminating Obscenity,’ by simulating
ejaculation with a two-and-a-half- foot latex penis, simulating sodomy, and
eating feces, along with other misdemeanors.” Brockie pondered the charges for
a moment, and queried, “You mean you can’t do that in North Carolina?”
It was a night filled with cruel jokes.

 

Needless to say, the club was shut down and Brockie and I
went to jail for the night during the moral hysteria of the PMRC years.  I
didn’t really know Dave all that well, and the first time we ever had any
conversation was in an 8 x 10 holding cell as I stared at the back of his
shaved head noticing the boot scars.  And what circumvented us from
getting to know each other then was a grunting homeless man who
had defecated down his pant legs sitting three feet away. 
The Sheriff’s office thought it funny to put us all in there together – a
small cinder block room with a metal door and little ventilation.  One officer was kind enough to come in and
spray Lysol, holding a towel over his own face, giggling, while the excrement oozed
down this vagrant’s shoe.  It was a
blatant human rights violation. Dave and I certainly were in “a world of shit”
that night. No question about it.

 

 “Raunchy Singing Act
hits Wrong Note with Police,” was the headline. Nice. Catchy.  Thanks, Charlotte Observer.  The incident
made MTV Music News, Billboard, Rolling Stone (alongside Dee Dee Ramone’s pot
bust) Detroit Alternative Press, and
the Associated Press picked it up
too.  It was one of those weird, water
cooler stories – I didn’t leave my house for weeks. But it was the end,
beautiful friend.  It was the end of the 4808 Club, and GWAR was banned
from North Carolina for a year. So, I left Charlotte and its aftermath behind
and went where all the criminals go: Myrtle Beach, SC – the town that Kenny
Powers made famous. 

 

The incident did, however, spark international stardom, to a
degree, for GWAR.  The Charlotte arrests were the springboard Dave needed
to get to his band to next level, later making appearances on Joan Rivers, and Jerry Springer,
among other TV and talk shows, and would eventually become favorites of Mike
Judge’s Beavis and Butthead and MTV’s Headbangers Ball also darlings of Lonn Friend’s RIP Magazine. Later they would make the hour-long video based on the arrests, the
confiscation, and the summary execution of said Cuttlefish; the
Grammy-nominated Phallus in Wonderland – right down to a cartoon version of Judge Richard Boner, who coincidentally
couldn’t stop laughing at the pictures of Dave in costume. The family of
midgets in the courthouse pew didn’t help much either.

 

Dave’s remark to The
Charlotte Observer
regarding the band’s ouster was, “Judge Boner handed
down a pretty stiff decision today.”
In a recent interview with Fred Mills – who in 1990 was the music editor for
Charlotte weekly Creative Loafing,
which covered the GWAR bust in great detail – he was reminiscent: “Loafing expressed outrage and dismay at the
actions of the ALE agents, especially because they arrested the 4808 Club
owner, Michael Plumides, along with Brockie. We already knew that Plumides had
rubbed the authorities the wrong way by booking all the ‘unsafe’-type acts that
other clubs wouldn’t book [metal, rap, hardcore punk], so our feeling was that
he had been in their crosshairs for some time and the GWAR bust was a thinly
veiled form of legal harassment.”

 

“We were kind of asked
by the club to tone things down before the show, but of course we ignored
them,” Brockie recalls today. “We were trying to provoke the
situation. Why would you create a band like GWAR if you’re not trying to provoke
people?”

 

Brockie went on to say, “The
legacy of the incident has definitely endured over the years and it’s one of
the strongest GWAR legends,” admitting that, “getting arrested for making
art is pretty funny. The weirdest part about it to me is that somewhere in
Charlotte, in some lockup facility, there is the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu – the
offending member, if you will – sitting in an evidence box.”

 

 

***

 

I hadn’t spoken to Brockie in a long time – I think it was
the horn section on This Toilet Earth that deterred me from the band around the time I was listening to a lot of
Kyuss, Catherine Wheel, Consolidated, and Meat Beat Manifesto.  I always had a soft spot in my heart for America Must Be Destroyed, because it
was personal to me.  I’d
occasionally go and see the band and Dave would always put me on the list but
we would never have time to talk, or I would leave early.  Let’s be honest, I don’t often stay for the
bands that I really do like.  

 

After a series of ill-advised relationships, and personal
failures spanning almost a decade, I had lost my direction.  Starting with
my father’s death in 1995, and never living anywhere more than a year or
two,  I grew this nomadic sense of
boredom, malaise, and self-deprecation infused with a debaucher’s lifestyle.   And the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners held
up my application for so long, due to the GWAR incident among other things, by
the time they allowed me to sit, I had forgotten everything.   So I left
Atlanta, and made my homecoming back to the Queen City.

 

After several months back, my Jack Russell Terrier,
Tyberius, was hit by a car. I knew it was coming.  That fucking dog had a death wish. He’d been
attempting to get himself killed for eleven years. But, he was the last
beautiful thing left in my life, and now he was gone.  By then, I had almost lost all hope. I
was riddled with guilt, and felt indefinitely consigned to the tree of woe.

 

But they say, “A man has to lose everything before he is
truly free to be anything.”  That’s when
an idea popped into my head. I thought to myself, “Wait a second.  I was
part of a glorious time in music: The stuff of legend.  I wasn’t just some
shoe-gazing moron.”  It was then I
decided I would write about the 4808 Club. The tale needed to be told the best
way I knew how to tell it:  raw and real. The era was highly
under-documented.  So, I set a schedule
for myself. It was the first time in my life I actually had a schedule. And
I would dedicate my book to Tyberius. 
Tyberius was my best friend and saw me through the tough times – he was
a good boy.  I owed him that.

 

When I started writing KILL
THE MUSIC
, I found Brockie’s email address and let him know I
was writing a book and a screenplay.  He was receptive.  We chatted a
little about a warehouse in Richmond that he wanted to buy, and he committed to
a film if I could get one made. I had already written a few short stories about
Megadeth, Jane’s Addiction, Danzig, and Soundgarden so I weaved those together
and expanded them a little. Once released, I began working on the KILL THE MUSIC screenplay; I was also
attaching as many folks as I could to raise interest.  Dave didn’t like it
when I mentioned the prospect of John Rocker, the infamous Atlanta Braves
baseball player, appearing in the film as a character based on Ric
Flair.  Brockie said of Rocker, “I don’t want anything to do with your
film if that racist asshole is gonna be in it. That guy is a fucking pig.”

 

My response was, “Rocker’s not that much of a racist.
 Rocker’s actually a pretty good guy once you get to know him.   And
besides, Dave, you’re in the most offensive rock band in the Universe, and
write songs like ‘Hard for a Tard’ and ‘Chinese Don’t Eat Cheese’…  ‘Rock-
n-Roll Never Felt So Good’ is about having sex with a girl with no arms or
legs!  The lyrics say you’re gonna fuck “her asshole with a piece of
frozen shit.’  I won’t even mention, GWAR’s ‘Black and Huge’ – so you need
to lighten up.” Then Dave said, “I’ve read everything you’ve sent me and it all
sucks!  Maybe you should consider taking some writing courses at your
local fucking community college.”  He was in what I refer to as
“Oderus-mode” when the unbridled caricature of Dave without his morning coffee
comes out. Then we didn’t speak for a while, even after the book was
released, and I was depending on him to be behind it – but Dave pulled a no
show.

 

After reading KILL
THE MUSIC
, Greg Green, General Manager at the Masquerade in
Atlanta, called me in the fall of 2009 and told me how much he enjoyed the book
and asked if he could do anything.  I suggested maybe he could host a book
signing at his club. Greg replied, “I’ve got GWAR here in October. Consider it
done.”  So we had a guerilla book signing
at Masquerade without telling the band, and Greg put Dave and me back together
for a photo op.  I gave Dave and the band
copies of the first edition, (a rush job – rife with errors but we couldn’t
have a release party earlier that year without books so our hands were forced
to release it prematurely).  Dave told me
later how much the band loved KILL THE
MUSIC
, despite the errors, and they thought it was clever and
hilarious.  I had never penned a book
before, and the band’s praise was positive – Dave said Jizmak liked it,
especially, and he couldn’t stop talking about it.  (The second edition is absolutely flawless…
well, almost, available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Music-chronicle-idealists-censorship/dp/1439234477).

 

The following year I covered GWAR at Bonnaroo in June of
2010 for Blurt.  A note about Bonnaroo –
that shit is for the young unless, of course, you have a hotel room close to
the KOA back gate and a “Guest Parking Pass”. 
Write that down.  So Dave and I
got together again twenty years later in Manchester, Tennessee for the South’s
biggest music festival.  Anne and I got
the last motel room at the Scottish Inn, owned by the Patel’s directly across
from a Best Western with a bombed-out meth lab in it and police tape on the
perimeter. We didn’t mind that there was a chalk line on the floor in our motel
room.  The air-conditioning blew cold and
offered a well-needed respite to that one hundred degree heat.

 

Dave was enjoying some revitalized notoriety in the role as
“Intergalactic Correspondent” on Greg Gutfield’s Red Eye program on FOX NEWS, which I always thought was
ironic.  The same right-wingers trying to
put GWAR’s lights out decades ago, are now embracing them? Fancy that? I was
fucking jealous that he was getting off light. 
I was also curious to see how long it would last. Dave said of the
experience, “Greg’s great and it’s a ton of fun
being on the show. I am part of the Red
Eye
 family and it’s really
cool. They love GWAR and I don’t give a shit that it’s on Fox News.  Most
people end up watching the clips on YouTube anyway. But I would say this is a
good example of us being good businessmen for once. We took a one-shot deal and
turned it into a recurring thing. I hope I am on Red Eye forever as long as I get my own show
at some point.”

 

A year later, Dave made his last appearance
on Red Eye.  Rumor had it that the Red Eye staff was constantly hiding Dave from Bill O’Reilly –
afraid that Oderus, sans pants, would impale “Mr. Fair and Balanced” with his
monster of cock by accident as he turned the corner.  Truth of the matter was, Vice-Presidential
nominee, Sarah Palin caught wind of her likeness’ nightly decapitation and
disembowelment on stage, while GWAR toured. 
The band was celebrating their 25th anniversary with the Lust in Space release on Metal Blade
reuniting with the label after a twenty year hiatus.  The Alaskan Governor and Fox News political pundit had a little problem with Oderus playing
politics with her corpse; so did a lot of people at Fox.  It was almost like
Gutfield’s time slot of 4 AM hid Greg’s pension for alternative programming
from the red eye of Soron until the joke wore a little too thin among the early
rising wing-tipped types and aged, angry veteran viewership begging for the
Cold War era to return – you know, the ones who call Obama “That Muslim”.

 

Meanwhile, the release of my memoir was
“well-received” according to my fair-weather friends at The Charlotte Observer, to some decent reviews.  Of course, there were a few jerk off
reviewers who took offense to the sexual content.  I believe that resentment stemmed from a fan
boy mentality – guys who never lived in the era of “Sex, Drugs, and
Rock-n-Roll” – so they had no point of reference because they were too
preoccupied with Todd McFarlane’s Spawn while
they listened to GWAR, to notice girls. 

 

Devin Grant of the Charleston Post and Courier wrote, “…If
you’re just looking for a good read about the weird, wild world of the music
business, then KILL THE MUSIC is
highly recommended.”  John Gary
Nettles, long-time Athens, GA fixture at The
Flagpole
wrote, “As a manifesto against censorship, KILL THE MUSIC, fails completely. As a
chronicle of the ’80’s alternative scene it’s no PARTY OUT OF BOUNDS, but it serves. But as a memoir of someone who
did something you and I will never be able to do, it works…” John B.
Moore, writer at InnocentWords.com called it, “… possibly the best memoir
written this year by a guy you’ve never heard of.”  It was safe to say that KILL THE MUSIC was a punk rock underground hit and although
self-publishing at the time was considered “vanity press”, I still got my name
out there in the stream of commerce without Simon and Shuster.

 

There were some rumors floating
around that I hired a “Ghost Writer”. When I heard that, it made me want to
write something original, and as there was no money in self-publishing, I
turned to screenwriting.  And I milked those photos of Dave and me to death on Facebook
to support sales of KILL THE MUSIC
which, coincidentally did well on both Kindle and Amazon for a time in 2010 and
early 2011, making a number of “Top 20” categories in “censorship”, “rock”,
“punk” “metal” and “memoirs”.  I always
wanted to make a KILL THE MUSIC film.  I thought what better way to fund
it than make a successful horror franchise.

 

 

 

 

By this time I was deep in the throes of
developing GHOST TREK [see poster, above], a horror-comedy concept sprung forth from the head of Zeus after
watching marathon episodes of paranormal reality shows.  In late 2009, I
absorbed myself in Ghost AdventuresParanormal State and Ghost
Hunters International
. In one particular episode, a team was looking for
the “Ghost of Robin Hood”- who is a fictional character for the most part – and
I thought that was so stupid. Although the investigators use a number of
electronic devices to detect these supposed entities, there’s no valid
scientific approach. A lot of it is based on personal experiences like a ‘cold
spot’ or an unintelligible ‘EVP’ (Electronic Voice Phenomena). They basically
created their own mythology regarding how the research is conducted, almost
like in Ghostbusters, and viewers are fascinated by it.

 

Some of the investigators even incorporate what
I call “Guerrilla Ghost Hunting Tactics” to provoke the spirits into
materializing when they lock themselves in old prisons or sanitariums for
optimum effect. I think people want to believe in the paranormal so much, they
throw reason out the window. 

 

On Ghost Adventures, a muscled Zak
Bagans, the lead investigator, flexed his arm in camera view and said, “Look at
the goose bumps on my arm, dude.” I laughed to myself – it was really more
about Zak’s muscle than it was about the paranormal. What Bagans was really
saying was, “Check out the goose bumps on my guns, dude”.  I wrote an entire feature script around that
line, entitled Ghost Trek: Confederate
Ghouls
, a story about a ghost hunt at an old house adjacent to a
Confederate cemetery in South Carolina where the restless spirits of
Confederate soldiers are antagonized and rise from the grave to kill the
investigators. How utterly hilarious would that be?

 

The script was funny and the
characters were all founded in paranormal reality TV. There’s a good-looking
lead investigator (who’s an ex-chiropractor), his ex-girlfriend is the
showrunner, there’s a security team called the “Goon Squad”, there’s a
flamboyant psychic, a couple of stoner tech specialists, and a cute, bubbly,
investigator-in-training. I felt it had to be character driven and familiar,
but more like Clerks or Entourage meets Scooby Doo than Ghost Hunters.

 

In case I couldn’t get the feature made, I wrote
six television episodes to keep my options open, the first being loosely based
on the JonBenet Ramsey case, entitled, Ghost Trek: The Kinsey Report,
where the Paranormal Underworld Detective Society (PUDS) travel to Aspen,
Colorado to investigate a supposedly ‘cursed’ house where a young pageant girl
was strangled with a jump rope.  Another
episode investigates the “Ghost of Ike Clanton” in Tombstone’s Not A
Pizza
, a third where a rapper is resurrected by a voodoo priestess after he
is shot in a drive-by entitled, Zombie Straight Outta Compton, and
one based on the bizarre New York mortuary case called The Goomba Body
Snatchers
. After all, the tagline is “paranormal research with an emphasis
on bad taste”.

 

We shot the pilot in December of 2010, with some
additional footage in March of 2011, and completed the final edit by May, just
in time to screen at the summer horror conventions. I hand-picked most of the cast from local indie film screenings. As
there were certain budgetary constraints and I couldn’t afford to do a
SAG/AFTRA film, we had little choice other than to use unknowns, reality stars
and wrestlers. We had some preliminary casting calls in the summer of 2010 for
the feature. I did pick one rising young starlight, Julia Bullock (recently
featured on X-Factor singing “Pumped Up Kicks”) who was in high
school at the time, for the role of our cute college newbie Jules Partridge.

 

 

 

Robert Filion, my co-director
and producer [pictured above, with Plumides],
had a guy he used occasionally, a full-time cop and part-time thespian, Michael
Melendez, I hired for the lead role of ‘Dr. Zeke Wallace’. Another great
comedic actor, Brett Gentile (Seeking Justice, You Are Here) I hired
as Guy Swisher, the psychic. Glenn Gilbertti, otherwise known as the wrestler
Disco Inferno, was a friend of mine and he agreed to be in the pilot. After
seeing a post on Glenn’s page, I was hit up on Facebook by Jonny Fairplay (Survivor)
inquiring “What is Ghost Trek and can
I be in it?” I hired Fairplay as one of the “stoner tech specialists” and he
brought on his Survivor associate, Mike Bortone, wrestler Colt
Cabana, and Gia Allemand (The Bachelor).

 

I cast Zeke’s side love
interest, model Cora Deitz (K-Swiss ads with Danny McBride) as Svetlana, actor
Kevin Johnson as Weasel, the kleptomaniac cameraman, Christy Johnson (Tobe
Hooper’s Mortuary
) as the ‘Living-Dead Roller Girl’ case manager called
Scary Carrie Carmichael and lastly, Addy Miller (the iconic “Little Zombie
Girl” from The Walking Dead)
as the ghostly pageant princess Tyler Rae Kinsey. When I saw Addy in the
opening scene of Dead, I knew we had
to get her – I thought she would be the next Linda Blair. I was right. Addy now
has her own Halloween “TWD Animatronic” for sale in all Spirit Halloween and
Party City stores.

 

I was convinced horror-comedy
was the untapped commodity that TV needed. 
I did so much research on horror-comedy I knew everything there was to
know: Who was doing it, where they lived, and what they ate. I’m tenacious like
that. I first heard that David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) had acquired the rights to the 80’s art slasher
film, Suspiria. Then I heard about
Ghostbusters 3
stallingThen I heard about this guy, Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen), who was originally
optioned by Comedy Central for a show called Holliston which was now at FEARnet, about a couple of cable access
horror show guys played by Green with his partner, Joe Lynch. And guess who
plays Green’s imaginary friend who lives in his closet? Dave Brockie – AKA
Oderus Urungus.  No shit.  We’re both doing horror-comedy now. Well,
Dave was always doing horror-comedy but it was normal to me because I’ve been an interested party for two decades.

 

Coincidentally, GWAR released
their new album, Bloody Pit of Horror – their last album with the aforementioned Cory Smoot, AKA Flattus Maximus, who
died on the band’s tour bus en route to Canada in 2011.  The incident made national news and sent Dave
into a tailspin.  As I examined his
photos on line I could see he was drastically losing weight. When I asked him
about it, he said, “Dude, if you had the year I had, you’d be either skinny or
dead.”  No thanks.  I felt sorry for him. Dave had already told
me the Canadian authorities had a file on him and it was a pain in the ass to
renew his passport. Imagine showing up on the border with the corpse of your
friend discovered by the patrol officers. 
I’m sure Dave had a lot of explaining to do.  But the outcry of the fans in support of the
band was overwhelming, and people came out to the shows en masse.  I’m sure that was gratifying to an extent for
Dave. There were also rumors of the bands ultimate demise – but I knew
Dave.  He wasn’t quitting.  Dave would resiliently rebound as he’s done
countless times before.

 

 

 

(above: Oderus with author Plumides)

I wrote, produced, and
co-directed, GHOST TREK: THE KINSEY
REPORT
and won “Best Comedy” at Fright Night Film Fest – believe me, I
wasn’t expecting it. The horror folks really embraced the concept. We also won
a “2011 Silver Addy Award” for “Best
Film Presentation Package”, a “Daily Deviant” from www.deviantart.com for a promotional photo designed by Associate
Producer, Justin Kates, and lastly we won the “Viewer’s Choice Award” at Mad
Monster Party 2012 and hosted a make-up exhibition with Conor McCullagh from SyFy’s Face Off, which was a huge
success.    I put it all together from
scratch and I promoted the shit out of it, grass roots, treating Ghost Trek like it was an indie band on
the road, driving to horror conventions and stirring up fan interest. Fuck, if
I could put on rock-n-roll shows nightly, for years, I figured I could make a
movie, and promote it.

 

Now we’re enjoying some
notoriety on www.dreadcentral.com,
as our very popular webisode presentations have been airing for the month of
October to rave reviews – with the fourth episode of the award-winning GHOST TREK: THE KINSEY REPORT having it’s finale’ on Monday, October 29th.

 

Go here to catch up on our webisodes:
http://www.dreadcentral.com/ghost-trek.
Described by Fearnet.com as “Haunted hilarity…” and by FilmThreat.com as
“Ridiculously entertaining…” we’ll also premiere GHOST TREK on October 29th in its entirety at Crownpoint
Cinema in Charlotte, NC for the first time – in high definition, no less, along
with the Canadian indie darling hit, A
LITTLE BIT ZOMBIE
for a “Double Creature Feature” and our next screening
will be in Los Angeles in mid-to-late November. 

 

 

 

 

Holliston [above] ran its first season to favorable reviews among the horror
faithful, on Fearnet, and the series was optioned for a second season. My
buddies at Dread Central call the show, “laugh out loud funny” as a “twisted
mash up of situation comedy, horror fan hijinks, and heavy metal attitude.”  The Holliston Complete First Season on
Blu-Ray was just released, said to create, “…a new raucous band of humor that’s
unlike anything seen before.” The sitcom comes equipped with 70’s style canned
laughter, which is a little irritating at times but is entertaining, over all.

 

Joe’s Lynch’s “adorably demented girlfriend”
Laura (Laura Ortiz, The Hills Have Eyes)
joins Adam’s ex – and greatest heartbreak of his life – Corri (Corri English, Unrest) in rounding out an ensemble cast
of this hilariously original and offbeat re-imagining of the traditional
American sitcom that has comedy and horror fans loving its hard hitting laughs,
tremendous heart, and slapstick violence.

 

Co-starring Twisted Sister lead singer Dee
Snider as the glam rock loving boss “Lance Rockett” and Dave Brockie,
Holliston: The Complete First Season is filled with cool and crazy cameos and
wickedly sly inside jokes – it’s a bloody good time!

 

In a recent chat with Dave Brockie on Legendary Rock Interviews, he was quick
to say about his Holliston experience, “It was pretty amazing to be involved in. Adam Green is the
director and creator of the series, along with Joe Lynch. I was a fan of
“Hatchet” and knew of him through his body of work but also through Kelli
Malella at Metal Blade Records. Adam, I feel so bad for him, he was so pathetic
as a child. He used to set up all of his action figures like they were a fake
audience and he would play air guitar for them and he’d always play the GWAR
song, “The Road Behind”. They used the song in Holliston. I gotta give him credit for that. It was a ballad, but
it’s a great song and he had a pathetic crush on a girl at the time. I met him
through Kelli at our label and he came to see us when we’d play L.A. and he
kept coming to see us and we kept having dinner before the shows and we ended
up talking about this show he had.”

 

Dave went on to say, “Oh, cool, Oderus in the
closet, giving advice, he’s like the fucking Great Gazoo off The Flintstones, that’s fuckin great.”
Then I kind of filed it away.  Adam came
back later with a guy named Peter Block who was the president of Fearnet and
that was when I could really tell that something was definitely happening.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday, October 22nd, GWAR [see live photos, above] played in Charlotte, NC with
DevilDriver, and I was there, mostly to see Dave and for us to get one of our
many photo ops – but also to pick his brain a little. Just fresh from Rock and
Shock, where they shoved Danny Trejo, and Bill Moseley in a meat grinder for
the horror fans, the band was on tour to also debut their Flattus replacement,
“Pustulus Maximus” – the latest addition to the GWAR menagerie. 

 

In full costume Dave hugged me for a moment, and
said, “Dude, what you’ve been doing is amazing – getting your name out
there.  I’ve been keeping up with all of
your shit, with Ghost Trek and the
magazine. I even answered one of your posts on Fearnet about Holliston. The stuff on Dread Central is
awesome.  I applaud all of your efforts.
I read about everything you do.  Please
don’t leave, Mike.  Hang out after the
show. We really need to talk.” We got off a few photos and then the band
started.  During the set, I was actually
surprised and even more excited to hear them play, “Rock-N-Roll Never Felt So Good“.

 

After the show, Dave invited me up to Richmond
in January. He also invited me to produce on a project he has in mind, and he’s
expressed interest in furthering my efforts with a Kill the Music film.  In a
weird way, Dave and I are like family, who don’t necessarily see each other
that much, but pick right up where we left off – what Dave referred to as
“Kindred Spirits”. When I asked Dave to help me get my book adaptation made,
Dave replied, “When have I ever turned you down?”  My response? 
“John Rocker.”

 

Dave quipped, “Oh, we’ll that’s
understandable.” But when I told Dave that John Rocker had lost much
of his fortune recently and is now living with his African-American girlfriend,
Dave’s gleefully responded, “Wow, that’s ironic.”

 

It seems like GWAR has “…been in my life
for so long, I don’t know anything else,” as Ellen Ripley once said of the Alien.  I am tethered to GWAR, to the point
I feel like a growth on the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu’s testicle… and that, in
itself, is strangely validating.

 

 

***

 

Michael G. Plumides, Jr. is the author of Kill the Music,
creator and intellectual property holder of Ghost Trek and Psychic Brats, also
a Creative Consultant on Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Television Series in
development at Morgan Creek Productions. 
For further information, please visit
www.michaelplumides.wordpress.com, https://www.facebook.com/michaelplumides, or  http://michaelplumides.tumblr.com/

One thought on “MY SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH… GWAR

  1. Pingback: Michael Plumides interviewed about KILL THE MUSIC, GHOST TREK, FILM FESTIVALS, and GWAR | Michael G. Plumides Jr.'s The Decline of Southern Civilization

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