Who is the Guy with the Flame-Throwing Guitar in “Mad Max: Fury Road”?


It’s definitely going to be a while before people stop talking about Mad Max: Fury Road. As post apocalyptic franchises go, the film has a surprising and unrelenting bite to it, and remains fully committed to the notion that every character should be…well, committed.

Director George Miller‘s most unique filmmaking skill, other than his passion for beautifully choreographed but equally dirty action sequences, is his ability to establish characters without a dependence of any kind on heavy handed exposition or extensive dialogue. Indeed, the characters were mostly an exposition-free zone I’d you don’t count Max’s terrifying flashes of insanity. We know nothing about these survivors, and yet nothing stops us from 100% buying into their story and emotional investments. No small feat considering the board certified mental madness of it all.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that audiences took a shine to Coma the Doof Warrior, whom you may know better as the burgess suspended onesie wearing guitar player who joins the war party to keep everyone pumped up. Despite having no official on screen origin whatsoever, he’s a big focus of the film, if only for visual purposes. So it’s only fitting that he have an origin story.

Deadline is reporting that in an interview with Movie Pilot, musician Iota who was cast as Coma opens the pickle jar on the character’s brutal past:

“I knew that George had said that Coma was found by Immortan Joe in a Cave and taken under his wing and he learned to be a musician. I kind of embellished that for myself. Basically, my story was that Coma was found with his mother’s head, after she had been killed, and he was clinging to it and Immortan Joe came and found him and Coma took her face off and made the mask out of her face, to honor her when he went to war.”

Now that’s a backstory! The only question left to answer is what that origin has to do with a red onesie? Well, Iota had an answer for that too: the costume was his idea, designed primarily to make the guitarist more visible in a world of bright oranges:

“Coma didn’t really have a costume, as such. So there was lots of trying stuff on and I remember thinking that an old farcical onesie would be good with the butt flap hanging out the back. The mask was something that was worked on and influence came from everyone. And certainly Angus Young and AC/DC was an influence.”

So there you have it, the man and the mystery come full circle. Iota has even alluded to the fact that Coma shouldn’t come back for a sequel, for fear that it would run the novelty. A reasonable suggestion indeed, although I imagine that the Mad Max sequel, currently entitled The Wasteland, will be a very different creature altogether, with a whole new mess of madd’uns giving Max grief.
Now what are you still doing sitting there? Go see Mad Max you ruddy scamps! Mad Max: Fury Road is currently in theatres.

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