Austrian Death Machine would be a very guilty pleasure of mine even if I weren’t a lifelong fan and admirer of champion bodybuilder, global action star, and political maverick Arnold Schwarzenegger–but hell, sometimes it’s the synergies in life that make good things even better. The fact that a group of enterprising young men recorded hilarious–yet also talented–songs based on the Austrian Oak’s cinematic exploits shows true admiration to the Teutonic legend and serious dedication to their craft. Taking this dedication to the next level are the YouTube videos by @wittyname84–in particular, his perfectly-synched tribute to “See You at the Party, Richter,” a beautiful homage to Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall. (Mention the 21st-century remake and lose all cinematic credibility.)
Verhoeven, of course, is known for perfecting films utilizing explicit, over-the-top violence to voice social satire, with the principal narrative often set in the not-so-distant future. Among Verhoeven’s most memorable releases include Robocop,
Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers, and Hollowman, all of which were largely panned by critics seemingly oblivious to the political commentary layered into the script by the director who grew up in the ruins of World War II. Verhoeven’s biggest box-office success, of course, was the Schwarzenegerr-anchored Total Recall, whose ensemble cast also featured fine performances from Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox, among others.
In 2008, an upstanding group of gentlemen, led by As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis with studio support from Mark MacDonald, Dan Fitzgerald, Chris Storey (All Shall Perish), and Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage), among many, many others, released Total Brutal, a collection of tracks based on Schwarzenegger films. The band, unsurprisingly, quickly achieved cult status, with two subsequent records released and even a handful of live shows performed for enthusiastic fans.
The reaction online was similarly all-in. In fact, a YouTube.com member using the moniker @wittyname84 took the time to edit footage from Verhoeven’s 1990 film to Austrian Death Machine’s “See You at the Party, Richter,” at the results simply could not be more perfect. In fact, @wittyname84’s work is an example of how musical tribute art should be done. Vocals from the track are synched expertly with the dialogue from the film that inspired the vocals, and, in three minutes at 40 seconds, the entire plot of Total Recall is recapped in all of its ultra-violent glory. This YouTube auteur’s work has been viewed nearly 69,000 times, which is far, far too few; furthermore, 12 soulless human beings have given this masterwork a “thumbs down,” revealing both a lack of humor, and, most likely, lack of a human soul.
“See You at the Party, Richter”–the track itself and the video–is ultimately what metal was meant to be: fun, violent, and with a self-aware sense of humor. If you can’t enjoy the work ADM and @wittyname84 put into this two-pronged masterpiece, well, take a trip to Rekall and get yourself lobotomized.