Friday, 8th February, 2019
By Callum Marshall
A documentary exploring the life of a diehard Mad Max fan and cosplayer of the ‘Lord Humungus’ character will be making its premiere at the Silver City Cinema on Saturday night.
The screening of ‘Lord Humungus: A Documentary’ is part of this year’s Silverton Collective event, a biennial gathering of Mad Max fans out in the Far West.
Jim ‘The Tank’ Dorsey is the ‘Lord Humungus’ in the film, and has been dressing up as the Mad Max 2 villain for conventions and other events for many years.
Director Faye Murman said the project began when she met ‘Lord Humungus’ at a convention while working as a journalist.
“I was a journalist working at a television station in Manhattan and I got sent to this convention to interview some cosplayers before it started the next day,” she said.
“I interviewed a Spiderman and an Ironman and then Tank walked into the room and he was this big, naked, muscly guy in this harness and hockey mask.
“I saw him out of the corner of my eye while I was interviewing somebody and I was like ‘who is this guy?’
“So I walk over to him and I’m thinking ‘finally something really visual’, and my first question was ‘who are you and why are you naked?’
“He had his little shtick, ‘I’m Lord Humungus’ and so on, but then I got to actually talk to ‘Jim’ and he was like ‘well actually I hand sew everything, and I make all these crafts and costumes and everything is clean and accurate.’
“And he just became this really beautiful dichotomy of a person.
“He went from terrifying villain behind a hockey mask to this gentle costumer who just loves crafts and games. So I thought, ‘wow, what a fascinating person.’”
Jim said what started out as a simple TV piece escalated into something much bigger.
“When we first spoke (at the convention) it was going to be a little three minute vignette for the station that she worked for,” he said.
“But then we started talking on the phone and I said, ‘well I also do this event called the Wasteland Weekend and I go to Australia sometimes. On top of that I conduct weddings and DJ as Lord Humungus.’
“And she’s going, ‘wait, what?’ So the rabbit hole just got deeper and deeper as we went on.”
“It was about only seven days into knowing each other, he called me up and was like, ‘do you want to go to Australia with me?’ And I was like ‘Hell yes, I do’,” added Faye.
“So I quit my job in Manhattan and I moved back home with my family to Pennsylvania because that was the only possible way I could take off as much time as I needed to film this documentary.
“Once I realised how special it was going to be I didn’t want my station to have it, I wanted to do it my way.”
Both Faye and Jim said the documentary that began to emerge went to a much deeper, more emotional place than either anticipated.
“As I got to know Tank and his friends and family, I realised that the story and the adventure went far beyond just the love of Mad Max,” said Faye.
“It went deeper to the level of family and what it means to have a family that’s not blood, as well as love, loss, mental health and life changes.
“The story just takes a rollercoaster ride halfway through and becomes something completely different.
“So I had to really roll with the punches and be ready for anything.”
Jim said watching over the documentary left quite a strong emotional impact on him given the turmoil he was going through at the time.
“This documentary certainly delves into some very personal issues and it is daring of me to allow myself to be exposed at the level that I am,” he said.
“I’ve been through some ups and downs and some emotional turmoil and had a bit of a nervous breakdown a little over a year ago.
“So the emotional level that we get to in this documentary surprises me.
“But I felt very comfortable working with Faye. There were times when I was so wrapped up in my own deep emotions that I didn’t realise she was there and I guess that’s the sign of a very good director.
“She had multiple cameras rolling on me and there I am crying in front of them and not even realising I’m being filmed.
“It has its highs and lows, but I can’t watch what we have so far in the documentary without getting emotional.”
Having their almost-three year Mad Max journey premiere at the Silver City Cinema was a great honour they said.
“This documentary has changed my life in so many ways, all for the better,” said Faye.
“Life is full of surprises and never once did I ever imagine I’d be making this documentary let alone premiering it at the same theatre that Mad Max 2 premiered in.
“I got to let all these Mad Max fans that have now become my friends and family be a part of its history, in a way they probably never imagined.
“So it’s a huge honour and I feel like I’m a part of Mad Max history now too.”
“My life has changed drastically,” added Jim. “Faye and I fell in love with each other and that has its own side-story there.
“But it’s definitely an honour for me and my portrayal of the Lord Humungus character (to be premiering at the Silver City Cinema), because I get to be on the same screen as the original Kjell Nilsson and his Lord Humungus.”
‘Humungus: A Documentary’ will be premiering at the Silver City Cinema on Saturday night from 7pm alongside a screening of Mad Max 2.
A QandA with Faye Murman and Jim ‘The Tank’ Dorsey will take place after the documentary as well.
Tickets can be purchased either at Silver City Cinema or out at the Silverton Youth Hostel 10am Saturday morning, which includes entry into a Mad Max scavenger hunt.