GWAR-Blood Bath And Beyond (The Unemployment Chronicles) (DVD Review)

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Reviewed: March, 2023
Released: 2006, DRT / Slave Pit
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Back in March of 2020 I was laid-off because of the pandemic and I spent my free time writing a series of 50 DVD reviews called the Covideo Chronicles. It was fun and productive! What comes around goes around and in February 2023 I have been laid off again! Over the past three years I have accumulated another stack of about 25 DVDs to review. Additionally, it has long been a personal goal of mine, and, to review every Hard Rock and Heavy Metal DVD on the planet. Over the years we have reviewed hundreds of stand-alone DVD’s, more than almost every other Metal webzine. So instead of sulking and/or wasting my time I’m going to review as many as I can in the month of February. It’s cold outside here in Canada so it beats going outside and/or looking for work! Feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.

Most Metal fans know of GWAR as a band, first and foremost. However, GWAR, the institution, is much more than that. The collective art community that created and runs GWAR has employed hundreds of people from all walks of life and skills; musicians, puppeteers, painters, models, artists, sculptors and film makers. GWAR from Day One has always been a visual spectacle and they have embraced the home video medium very early on.

As of time of this review GWAR has over 20 home videos. They have more home videos than they do albums. This is an interesting point because not only do they have more home videos than the vast majority of all Metal bands but no other Metal band I can think of has more video videos than albums. It begs the question. Is GWAR a Metal band that puts out lots of videos or a theater troop that puts out lots of Metal albums? A subtle distinction to be sure!

For the record, BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND is GWAR’S 18th home video. This DVD was released in 2006. The majority of these 20+ videos released by GWAR to date were released by Metal Blade or independently by their own empire Slave Pit Inc, about a 50-50 split.  After their indie debut, GWAR was signed to Metal Blade and released seven albums. After that GWAR signed to DRT for a brace of albums (WAR PARTY in 2004 and BEYOND HELL in 2006) before going back to Metal Blade. During the non-Metal Blade years DRT put out a single home video and this is it.

BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND is hard to define and categorize, as can be said with about 100% of their output and I think that is the point. This is not a concert. This is not a collection of videos like GWARACHIVE is (which we also reviewed here at Metal-Rules).  This is…a mess? Let’s just call it a clip show for lack of a better term. It has comedy, drama, sex, violence, comedy and everything you would expect from GWAR. I guess you could contextualize this as a rarities compilation but GWAR would cut off my head with a butter knife for using the prententious word ‘contextualize’.  BLOOD BATH AND BEYOND might even serve as a defacto 20th Anniversary thing, and although GWAR roughly started in 1984 (Death Piggy / Gwaaarrrgghhlllgh) as it was roughly 1986 before GWAR became the GWAR we know and hate today. I’m over thinking it. Did they name this DVD as a parody of the retail chain, Bed Bath And Beyond? Probably.

It has a 93-minute-long main feature and three bonus features that run for about 21 minutes for a total; a good value run time of almost two hours There is no booklet and the text on back cover is very clever with the phrase, “Will anyone buy this DVD? Buy this DVD to find out!” So, I did buy a copy, because GWAR’s command is my wish.

Blood Bath And Beyond is a parody awards show. Sleazy P. Martini host a clip show during an award show for the ‘The Show Biz Award’ of which Oderus is the main guest and recipient. The jokes comes rapid fire and it is quite clever how they tear apart mainstream Hollywood style award shows, complete with fake applause and a generic announcer. There are tons of vintage clips from across the ages, with themes such as ‘rape’ and ‘gore’. It is a spectacle to behold!

The bonus features are mini-movies. The first is called ‘Filthy Chunks’ which runs about seven minutes is two performance pieces. The first is an extremely graphic and sexually explicit clip depicting murder/rape/torture (probably the most graphic thing I’ve ever seen them do) and the second mini-film is an action/comedy? that would bring a tear to the eye of Troma films! Poor ol’ Tom!

The next is an eight-minute live clip; a medley of GWAR performances. The last clip is a four-minute sight gag/live appearance, with a Star Trek reference, that seemed to be filmed at some sort of GWAR fan convention.

I’ve only seen a few of the 20+ GWAR home videos so I don’t really have a frame of reference where this stands in relation but as I said in my introduction these things are hard to define. If you a slave of GWAR you probably already own this home video as it was more available than some of the independent Slave Pit releases. I think you would have to be a die-hard fan to own all 20+ GWAR home videos but this one seems as good/bad as any of them! If you like GWAR as a Metal band, you may put this as a lower priority. If you like GWAR as performance art, this is better than your ‘average’ GWAR concert.

Track Listing:

1. Blood Bath and Beyond

Bonus features 

2. Filthy Chunks (The Movie) and Poor Ol’ Tom
3. Hell-O Again Medley 05
4. Sleazy P. Presents “Capt. Chris Pike!”