Wave Twisters

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Wave Twisters
DVD Cover
Directed by Eric Henry
Syd Garon
Produced by Yogafrog
Screenplay by Doug Cunningham
Syd Garon
Eric Henry
Story by DJ Q-Bert
Music by DJ Q-Bert
Edited by Rodney Ascher
Kim Bica
Syd Garon
Eric Henry
Carol Lynn Weaver
Distributed by Thud Rumble
Release dates
Running time
46 minutes
Language English
Budget $250,000[2]

Wave Twisters is 2001 American animated film directed by Eric Henry and Syd Garon and based on DJ Q-Bert's album of the same name. It is known as the first turntablism-based musical. It is a mix of live-action, computer graphics, and cel animation.


A crew of heroes is determined to save the lost arts of hip hop: break dancing, graffiti, MCing, and DJing from total extinction. The lost arts are being oppressed throughout inner-space by lord Ook and his evil minions the Chinheads. DJ and dentist The Dental Commander, graffiti artist Honey Drips, robotic MC Rubbish, and breakdancer Grandpa have a series of adventures, synchronized to the music. Armed with the ancient relic known as the Wave Twister (a small turntable/wristwatch, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat the enemies), they travel to the far ends of inner-space for a final confrontation with the sinister army of oppressors. The film ends with the team teaching the liberated the lost fundamentals of hip hop.


  • DJ Q-Bert as Darth Fader
  • Yodafrog as Turbo Frog
  • D-Styles as Wax Fondler
  • Flare as Butchwax
  • Buckethead as himself


The film is entirely scripted to match the DJ Q-Bert recording. It was produced digitally using Adobe After Effects and a relatively small team of animators, who used Apple PowerMac G3 computers.[3][2] The film spent three years in production.[4] DJ Q-Bert wanted to make videos for his music without sacrificing his street influences. At the same time, he wanted to highlight the underground elements in hip hop culture.[5][6] Sources for the images used in the film include NASA and old cartoons. Other influences include Shaft, Star Trek, Bullitt, and Lost in Space.[2]


The film has had several different premieres, each of which debuted a new cut of the film.[2] After the showing at Sundance Film Festival, DJ Q-Bert self-distributed the film and released it on home video without any copy protection.[4][3]


Vibe called it "a Saturday-morning cartoon gone street".[4] Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote, "A dazzling sensory-overload goof, animated featurette Wave Twisters pays parodic homage to sci-fi actioners in terms as densely layered as its visual and sonic textures."[7] Harvey states that more staid audiences may not get the film, but it will appeal highly to the MTV generation.[7]


  1. ^ Comerford, Will (2001-01-16). "DJ Q-Bert Scratches His Way to Sundance". Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lowe, Justin (2001). "SCRATCH BACK". Filmmaker. Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  3. ^ a b Johnson, Gregory (June 2001). "Spaced Invaders". Spin: 61. 
  4. ^ a b c Bernstein, Kate (August 2001). "Wave Runner". Vibe: 60. 
  5. ^ Kelley, Brendan Joel (2001-02-08). "Enter the Wave Twisters". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  6. ^ Chonin, Neva (2001-01-28). "Underground DJ Culture Surfaces / Two films at Sundance highlight talent of S.F. stars". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  7. ^ a b Harvey, Dennis (2001-02-22). "Review: 'Wave Twisters'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-09-02. 

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