One of the blistering cool elements of Mad Max Fury Road is also a little unexplained. The “war boys” like to psych themselves up by ritualistically spraying their mouths with what looks like silver spray paint. What’s the deal with this?
At some point it becomes clear that they think this “shine” will help them get to “Valhalla”–the paradise yanked from Norse mythology where they will live forever as warriors as a reward for their mortal striving. (It also looks wicked cool.)
Director George Miller told Movies.com that he got the idea of this type of symbolism going into battle (and, in all probability, Valhalla), by watching a Frontline documentary:
“I saw a documentary where young [Cambodian] soldiers would go into war, they had little jaded deities — and before they ran into battle, they put them in their mouths and just held them with little straps.”
The silver spray also seems to be a nod to the real life dangerous act of “chroming,” or huffing. The silver paint symbolizes the cars, gas and chemicals that the characters’ culture idolizes, but it also may get them high so they’re more or less OK with putting themselves in dangerous situations.
A few “war boys” have been having fun with a silver spray listing on Amazon: