Rendezvous with Ragnarok (Dave Brockie, 1997, USA)

Rendezvous with Ragnarok is a 1997 performance film from the legendary shock rock collective GWAR. Though meant to coincide with the release of the 1995 album RagNaRok, the film contains footage from their 1996 tour and wasn't released until a year after that. Needless to say, it is something of a disappointment to go from the narrative feature film of Skulhedface back to a traditional concert film, but the team at GWAR does their best to make this concert film unique. The concert film is enhanced in several ways - firstly, included are three music videos for songs from the RagNaRok album - "Saddam a Go-Go," "Meat Sandwich," and "Surf of Syn."

The concert footage itself is intercut with interviews with the band members - Flattus Maximus, Beefcake the Mighty, Techno Destructo, and Balsac the Jaws of Death. These interviews provide a running commentary on the concert itself. The concert has its storyline, involving a visit from aliens who take a sample from Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie, GWAR's former bandleader and also director of Rendezvous). The aliens then impregnate Slymenstra Hymen (GWAR's sole female member at this time), which leads to a birth-abduction setpiece that has to be seen to be believed.

The live concert footage is the highlight of the film. GWAR concerts in their heyday were not just metal concerts, but also a bizarre form of comedy performance art that has very little competition even in the world of shock rock. GWAR were/are truly sui generis, and this is why the band has been a successful touring group for decades. That being said, the music on these early albums was certainly catchy, and that couldn't have hurt them as they were trying to promote these albums on MTV and various other outlets in the 1990s - including Beavis and Butt-Head.



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