In the past handful of years on the internet, Glenn Danzig has become known almost as much as a guy that gets photographed buying kitty litter or rumored to be involved in a neighborhood dispute involving bricks as he’s known as the legendary lead singer of The Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig. Partly he was a victim (insomuch as having memes about you implies victimhood) of his own tightly-controlled persona, where anything that punctured his carefully curated character was bound to be at least a little funny. Danzig came from an era where punk/metal guys don’t smile, and post-YouTube, a celebrity who seemed self-serious became the highest form of humor. It’s a persona perhaps forever immortalized in a Henry Rollins pullquote on the back of Henry & Glenn Forever, a comic strip about Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig in a gay relationship: “Has Glenn seen this? Trust me, he would not be amused.”
That’s partly why it’s so fascinating to see Glenn Danzig smiling occasionally and having a conversation like a regular person on the latest episode of Uproxx’s The Core (for AMC’s Shudder). Maybe he shouldn’t have worried. Rather than “ruining” his goth Godfather image, talking and smiling and thinking and reminiscing like a regular person has the reverse effect, of banishing all the kitty litter memes from your mind and reminding you instead of all the things that made Glenn Danzig famous in the first place. Namely, his intense, almost single-minded passion for B-movies, zombies, goth, gore, witches, and pretty much anything dark, satanic and horror-filled (also, “blood and nudity,” as he says).
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially to someone who spent so many formative years listening to Misfits albums like me, that Glenn Danzig is such a movie nerd, considering most of the Misfits’ songs seem to have been composed while looking at B-movie posters from the 50s. (“Return of the Fly” in particular sounds exactly like someone just reading the words on a poster across the room and passing them off as lyrics, albeit in a righteous punk rock Elvis voice over kick-ass music).
I guess at some level we always knew it, but maybe we didn’t feel it in the same way as we do watching this episode: Glenn Danzig is a much bigger movie nerd than you or I. Guaranteed. Though I’d like to think he’d still kick your ass if you called him anything that ended in “nerd.” (It should be noted that he’s also a martial arts enthusiast, and, as he demonstrates, a spirited knife player). And thus, in this post-Gamergate world, he can serve as an inspiration to us all (at least in that narrow way). It’s strange and kind of wonderful that after all these years Glenn Danzig should finally become fully real. Real-ly Danzig, anyway.
You can watch the full episode on Shudder now.