|“||Be still, my dog of war. I understand your pain. We've all lost someone we love. But we do it my way!||”|
– The Humungus
Lord Humungus, officially in the script as "The Humungus," or occasionally known as "Humungus," was the leader of a merciless and psychotic motorcycle gang of marauders that took dominance long after Toecutter's gang. He acts as one of the main antagonists in the events of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. He is portrayed by Kjell Nilsson.
Some time in the gap between Mad Max and Mad Max 2 Humungus formed and led a gang of marauders, bikers, berserkers and generally crazy individuals; androgyny is widely exhibited by a significant portion of the group. He commands this otherwise unruly cabal, using a combination of intimidation and violence, on an indefinite campaign to steal valuable commodities - killing anyone who gets in their way. Due to their dependence upon a moderately sized fleet of assorted vehicles, their main focus is gasoline. When knowledge of a functional oil refinery reached their gang, Humungus sought to take over the pump and siphon all the gasoline they could carry. Unlike his vicious underlings, who want to storm the compound and take over, Humungus shows an eloquent, reasonable side, and tries to convince its inhabitants to surrender peacefully, promising that no harm will come to them if they do. Anyone who attempts escape risks capture, torture (for information) and death. However, two of the compound's occupants defy this threat and in their subsequent (failed) escape attempt, ultimately attract the attention of Max Rockatansky; a former police officer, turned drifter, living off the corpse of the old world. This would ultimately lead to the downfall of Humungus and the presumed disbanding of his gang, as Max takes it upon himself to help the compounders escape, with their tanker of gas.
During the final chase, Humungus personally kills Papagallo with his spear and shoots at the tanker, while Max is driving. Temporarily put out of commission by the Gyropilot, he then activates a nitrous booster in an attempt to catch up to to Max, the tanker and the caravan. Unaware that Max had turned the tanker around and reversed direction, he rams into Max head-on. The collision kills both Humungus and Wez, who was on the hood of the tanker. Max and Feral Kid survive the crash.
- Mask: Cooper HM6 hockey mask. The mask was originally white plastic but was painted silver and detailed with black paint to look like steel with dingy patina. Wire mesh was attached underneath the holes in the mask. The original straps were replaced with what appear to be leather straps fastened together with copper rivets.
- Collar: The collar is a cervical collar covered in inner tube rubber, with 4 springs attached (front, rear and sides). The front and rear springs appear to be attached to sheet metal pieces that conform to the shape of the collar, and that appear be riveted to the collar. The metal pieces also happen to run over what appear to be splits in the collar, suggesting that the metal pieces are joints that help keep the collar together, and that the collar comes apart at these joints into left and right pieces for removal.
- Harness: Leather chest harness. It is a fairly large harness, with straps running around the torso, as well as straps running around the waist and groin. Scraps of black garment leather are riveted to the harness, particularly on the shoulders and sides.
- Shorts: The Humungus seems to be wearing leather hot pants, with the harness running over them. Over those, he also has a flat triangular codpiece. The codpiece is filled with a checker pattern of 3/8″ cone studs. There are pieces of fabric that appear to be tied to the sides of the codpiece.
- Bracelets: On the left forearm is a lace-up leather gauntlet checkered with 3/8″ cone studs. On the right wrist is a leather bracelet fastened by straps, also decorated with 3/8″ cone studs.
- Footwear: Humungus appears to be wearing combat boots with gray socks.
- Firearm: The Lord Humungus wields a Smith & Wesson .44 caliber Model 29 revolver with a scope and an 8″ barrel. As with Max's shotgun, ammo is scarce so he fires the gun on special occasions.
- Melee: Two three-pronged spears attached to the sides of his vehicle.
- Gun Case: The photograph of the couple appears to be from the WWI-era (1914-1918). The man is wearing a British officer field uniform (tunic, Sam Browne belt, jodhpurs and cavalry riding boots) and the woman wears fashions common around 1916-1920. There are two silver medals (possibly service medals), two commonwealth service stars, a large Prussian Totenkopf and Australian Military Forces uniform insignia amongst others.
- Burn injuries: Humungus - apart for wearing a cervical collar - has the top and back of his scalp exposed showing strands of hair and pulsing veins. The sides of his head reveal that he indeed has no ears, which may have been burned off. He is set on fire yet again after The Gyro Captain drops a Molotov cocktail on his vehicle.
Not much is said about his origin except for a few tidbits. Most notably, George Miller revealed that "Humungus had been some kind of military man who'd been in a severe accident or explosion and suffered facial or head burns" In the movie it is implied he lost someone he cared about, a fact which he told Wez when he tried to restrain him. Also in his gun case is a picture of a British military man and a woman and a collection of Commonwealth, Nazi and Australian military insignia which might suggest that Humungus is of British or German descent, served in Australian Military Forces, the people in the photo could be his grandparents or great-grandparents.
The character of Lord Humungus came about from splitting the traditional antagonist archetype into three different characters with corresponding characteristics: physicality, voice, insanity. Lord Humungus represents physical power, while Toadie is the mouthpiece and Wez represents craziness.
Other titles held
Lord Humungus has several titles. These are announced by the gang crier - The Toadie.
- The Humungus
- The Warrior of the Wasteland
- The Ayatollah of Rock and Roll (with "Roll" pronounced "Roll-ah")
- There's a definite homo-erotic allure going on within Humungus' gang. He notably has two castes of warrior which he calls out in the film: "gayboy-berserkers" and "smegma-crazies". Whilst the former is self-explanatory; the latter, which references "smegma", is the word for a combination of exfoliated (shed) epithelial cells, transudated skin oils, and moisture. It occurs in both male and female genitalia. In males, smegma helps keep the glans moist and facilitates sexual intercourse by acting as a lubricant.
- (From IMDB) Kjell Nilsson was born in Gothenberg, Sweden, and came to Australia in 1980 as a trainer of Swedish athletes preparing for the Moscow Olympics, being a former Olympic class weight lifter himself. While in Australia he met Australian actress Kate Fergerson, and they were married in Sweden later that year. She pursuaded him to return to Australia, and look for work in Australian films. He landed his first role as a pirate in "The Pirate Movie", and you can see Kjell "unmasked" quite clearly in a few scenes from that film. His next role was that of The Humungus in Mad Max 2.
- Originally Lord Humungus was going to be Jim Goose from the first film. The idea was scrapped fairly early, but this is the reason his marauders have police gear such as helmets, cars, and bullhorns.
- The professional wrestling character, Lord Humongous took his name from the fictional Mad Max character.
- In the night torture sequence, Humungus is seen giving a passionate yet incomprehensible speech. He is actually reciting a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe entitled "Der Erlkönig". It depicts the death of a child assailed by a supernatural being, the Erlking or "Erlkönig", king of the elves.
- Humungus is also an inspiration for the character Jagi in "Fist of the North Star", who committed violent criminal acts for similar reasons to Humungus.