As Predicted The Flamethrower/Guitar Guy From ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ has a Backstory!

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Even though you may not know his name (because no one ever referred to him by one), Coma the Doof Warrior, a.k.a. Flamethrower / Guitar Guy, played by iOTA was definitely a memorable character in Mad Max: Fury Road. And most times directors won’t just put a named character out there without a little bit of an idea as to who they are. But in a couple of interviews with director George Miller and iOTA, it’s crazy just how much detail these two really put into a character who had all of ten minutes of screen time in a two hour flick.

iOTA, in an interview with Audiences Everywhere (via The Playlist) said that Miller gave him a basic backstory, but then he went all out in making it much richer, including the unique costume that Doof wears:

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.

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 and AC/DC was an influence.

WTF?!?!? Really, his mom’s face? How fucking twisted is that? And the onesie just puts it over-the-top for me (but in a good way).

And in an interview with The Daily Beast, Miller explains just why Doof is so important to Immortan Joe’s army:

He’s logical to that world. Pre-modern communications, there was always the music of war—the bugle, horns, bagpipes, drummers. Every war culture had some sound to signal the troops… ours is just weaponized, so it’s a flamethrower as well.

So Doof was the sound you dreaded hearing, because it meant all hell was about to break loose. I can dig that.

Now, I know a lot of people out there probably thought “What a badass idea! I should make a flamethrower / guitar!” Well, don’t…just don’t. iOTA talked about how well it worked and as it turns out it didn’t do so well:

Well, it made a noise. You wouldn’t want to do an album with it. It was pretty shit. It made a great sound and, to me, it felt perfect for the environment. In the sun and the dust in the cold, it was perfect. But it was always going to be a bit shit.

That’s a bit of a bummer. But still you have to admit, this was one character that stayed in your mind long after the credits finished rolling. And while the actor would be willing to come back and travel the Wasteland one more time, he feels thatmaybe less is more, and giving fans another serving of Doof would ruin his rock star mystique.

But I’m sure there’s always a warlord looking for the next fearsome face to show his enemies. Even though he seemed to perish in the last film, I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of the Coma Warrior. He’s a survivor after all.