‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: The Bizarre Origin of the War Boys’ Silver Mouths and Teeth Will Give You Chills

For die-hard fans of Mad-Max: Fury Road, there won’t be a need for character introductions. But for anyone who is unfamiliar with the movies, in general, this more modern rendition of the popular films is more than a reboot. 

Charlize Theron plays the lead female protagonist Imperator Furiosa. Tom Hardy portrays Max Rockatansky. The ultimate enemy role of Immortan Joe is eerily portrayed by Hugh Keays-Byrne, who remarkably played this role in the 1979 original.

Mad Max: Fury Road takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where water and gasoline are the most valuable assets in a vast desert landscape. Immortan Joe and his army of silver-soaked War Boys rule resources with an iron fist. This brings us to the next point: Why do the War Boys have silver mouths and teeth, anyway? The bizarre origin of this look will send chills up your spine.

How the War Boys prepare for battle in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

In the context of Mad Max: Fury Road, hoards of shaved-headed men, often shirtless, serve as Immortan Joe’s army. The War Boys pledge allegiance to their master, willing to sacrifice their lives for him. Before they head into battle, they spray their teeth and lips with a silver-looking substance that looks like spray paint. Mad Max Fandom explains.

This practice of lining their mouths with a silver substance is more of a religious ritual. Both Immortan Joe and the War Boys themselves describe it this way in the movie. It ensures their entrance into “the gates of Valhalla, shiny and chrome.”

The War Boys embraced the ritual as a necessary component of their value and salvation. But their evil leader had far more sinister intentions with the mouth-spraying ritual.

The actor who invented and portrayed Immortan Joe, Keays-Byrne, explains the backstory of the War Boys’ silvery mouth spray. He says while the hoard believes it’s a ritual, it actually involves inhalation of “a very euphoric drug” that, in reality, keeps the War Boys high and suicidal in their devotion to Immortan Joe.

Are there really narcotic properties involved in the War Boys’ silver paint?

Immortan Joe Valhalla sprays Nux with silver paint in Mad Max: Fury Road
Nux gets sprayed with silver paint in Mad Max: Fury Road | Legendary Movie Scenes via Youtube

Of course, Mad Max: Fury Road is just a movie. None of the actors portraying the War Boys actually inhaled narcotics. But the concept is rooted in reality. In fact, the writer and director George Miller said he came up with the idea from a Vietnam War documentary, Front Line.

In it, Cambodian soldiers performed a similar pre-war ritual. Soldiers would suspend tiny jade figurines of Buddha from their mouths, signifying their pre-war courage to meet their makers.

The War Boys of ‘Mad-Max: Fury Road’ enter the online cake-decorating scene

According to IMDb‘s trivia and little-known facts about Mad Max: Fury Road, there was an unintended side effect of the silver spraying ritual. A cake decorating company called Wilton makes “Color Mist.”

The silver spray intended to put a silver sheen on cakes and baked goods. But it saw some serious changes on its Amazon seller’s profile. Before the movie premiered, the reviews and comments were few and far between, mostly coming from baking professionals.

Once the movie was released in May of 2015, the Amazon listing for this “Color Mist” gained a following. The comments and FAQ sections both flurried with comments from users who were posing as War Boys, offering bizarre reviews of the silver baked goods spray.

Some five-star reviews include one user who says, “Great chrome spray, but may not guarantee entrance into Valhalla.” Another tells a harrowing tale of how his “war party was flanked on the I-495,” and having this silver spray ensured his victory.

It’s a tad chilling to know that the War Boys’ ritual was inspired by similar mouth-related pre-war antics during the Vietnam War. It’s equally bizarre to witness the self-proclaimed War Boys in real life, buying their silver spray on Amazon.

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