Mad Max: Fury Road opened this past weekend. If you caught it, you were undoubtedly captivated by the Doof Warrior, a blind mutant who plays a flame-throwing guitar on a truck loaded with a giant sound system and a band of “tiger drummers.”
But in an age where it seems pretty much every movie effect is computer generated, the guitar and truck required no Hollywood trickery. They were the real thing.
Production designer Colin Gibson told MTV, “The plan basically was to try to come up with a vehicle, an idea that could be heard over the roar of a couple of hundred amps. And the only way to do that was to build the largest, last Marshall stack at the end of the universe.”
The flame-throwing guitar was also fully operational. Although flame throwing was not originally part of the plan, Gibson realized he needed a way of “punctuating action.”
“It was a bit like a Kiss concert: there needed to be flames,” he says. “There needed to be fun.”
The part of Doof was played by cabaret artist iOTA, who donned a red onesie for his role and hung from a bungie cable on top of the vehicle. He also had to perform with the guitar while racing along through the African desert.
“[Director George Miller] actually had the guitarist come over fairly early on in pre-production in Africa,” Gibson says. “And so he had a month or six weeks of getting used to it, of actually being able to play at full speed, while bungee jumping and blind.”
You can read Gibson’s entire interview here. Below is the trailer. You can catch Doof briefly around the 1:52 mark.