Wasteland, Another Roadside Attraction from MEL Films on Vimeo.

Some people love a movie so much, they re-watch it over and over and over again. Others, decide to live it. Literally.

Such is the case of the Mad Max enthusiasts who gather in the Southern California desert each September to live out their post-apocalyptic dreams. Wasteland, directed by David Freid takes us into the mind of Mike Orr, a.k.a. “Sweet Lips,” a regular at the Wasteland festival.  When he’s not modifying cars and driving through the desert, Sweet Lips works at a public aquarium in Las Vegas. His real passion, however, is Wasteland. “I’m married to it!” he exclaims with a laugh.

The festival attracts those who want to try living in a place were rough is the norm and rules are a thing of the past. “It’s the end of the world” Sweet Lips tells us. “You get to do whatever you want to do.” And what Wasteland enthusiasts like to do is build mind-blowing cars and enjoy an entire weekend of living in this fictional world. Because there are no rules, whatever happens here depends on whatever the people want to happen. Usually, there is combat, fire spinning, and burlesque shows.

Like most other festival regulars, Sweet Lips tries to come up with bigger and better car designs each year. On his third year, he took the idea a step further and brought in a refurbished ship— which happened to be the one from the 1995 film Waterworld. The ship, just like Sweet Lips, got to leave behind its watery life and be reborn in the desert.

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