Review: This is GWAR (Fantastic Fest 2021)


Title: This is GWAR
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Scott Barber
Starring: GWAR, Dave Broke, Ethan Embry, Slymenstra Hymen
Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins

What It Is: As legendary for their live show as they are their music this documentary chronicles the rise and fall and subsequent disappearance of extreme rock band GWAR. What started as a small time punk band full of college kids grew into an international sci-fi/horror experience. One complete with buckets and buckets of blood. But who are the men…and women behind the crimson-soaked masks? How do they get the whole thing going? This documentary mentions it all.

What We Think: Music documentaries are always of interest to me. That said this one is quite enjoyable. I don’t listen to GWAR’s music. I just don’t. But to see the people behind the curtain was certainly a fun experience. As we learn the story of this band you begin to get a sense of the magic that had to occur in order for a band like this to not just exist but thrive for several decades. It’s insane that an act like this has had and continues to have the longevity it does. All the talking heads are here but a few were surprising. The film isn’t afraid to show the dirty side of GWARs history. And that side is quite dirty.

Our Grade: B-, A good music documentary. Performs it’s function of telling the bands tale. It’s a twisty turny tale worthy of the musicians its about. If you’re a fan of the band you’ll love this. If you don’t know their music it’ll teach you what you need to know about them…if you go in with your mind open. Even if you don’t like their music I really feel like this doc does enough to warrant a viewing. Check it out. I think you’ll like it.

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