Sunday, October 31, 2010

Eeeeeeek!!!!! Seven Creepy Music Videos (Just in time for Halloween)

So, Halloweeen's got me thinking: What are the scariest music videos of all time? When all the universe sent back in return was the sound of crickets, I was struck with the realization that in spite of the popularity of both music video and horror movies as visual genres on their own, and in spite of the fertle breeding ground bewteen the two - the instance in which Music and the Macabre have made sweet love together has been few and far between.

We have of course had any number of videos that either drew from the cultural touchstones (Eddie Money's 'I think I'm in Love' and 'Doing it all for my baby' by Huey Lewis & the News come to mind, see here ) or are music videos for scary movies that arent in themselves scary to begin with. :P Music has sought to make the horror movie genre its bitch. And at times it has irreverently tried to satirize and caricature, and make light of the dark side. The result has been that the pop mainstream has been spared the bleeding reality of someone like Ozzy or even Marilyn Manson reaching their fullest visual potential.

So in spite of the fact that Rob Zombie has become a Movie Director in his own right, there has still been a surprising deficit of scary and / or startling and / or creepy music videos. In fact its been somewhat of a wasteland.

So until such a time when Freddy can throughly gouge out the eyes and skullf#$k pop-music, we're just going to have to make do with the following coutdown of the Seven Creepiest Music Videos:

7. Nine Inch Nails "Closer"

Several of the videos on this countdown have the built-in advantage of sounding insidious, dark and brooding. Much of the NIN catalog would be at home being used in the soundtrack for a horror movie. In fact much of this particular video plays like a series of experiments gone wrong. And even though there is no apparent threat. No copious amounts of blood and gore to drive the message home, this is still a very provocative clip and song. Even now. And if you dont believe me, I dare you to turn the lights down, watch this video and say Trent Resnor's name in the mirror three times. You know what I'm talking about.

6. Swans "Love of Life"

In spite of the fact that many of the images (repeated ad nauseum) in this clip are religious in nature, this song admittedly creeped me out a bit back in the 90s. Must have been the style and delivery of the track itself. That and the fact that I never quite got the image of the bunny setting itself alight. WTF!?

5. Rob Zombie "Dragula"

Rob Zombie has made the 'successful' transition from creepy music to film-maker, with such movies as 'House of 1000 corpses' and 'Devil's Rejects' under his belt. His videos have run the gamut from weird and repressed to downright laughable. This particular video is a great mix of classic horror footage as well as his own twisted mind. If this doesnt convince you, try watching his vid for 'Living Dead Girl' ( ) or even 'Return of the Phantom Stranger'. So strange indeed. But having seen his movies, I am driven to ask - 'In the Absence of a Rating System for Music Videos, has the apparent 'censorship' and careful administration of themes and images been a concious effort to self-police and self-regulate?

4. Prodigy "Breathe"

Is there much needs to be said about these sneering British Latter day lost boys. Their menacing is much more Kubrick's Droogs (a la Clockwork Orange) than anything to do with vampires, werewolves and ghosts. But truth be told, I'd have more of a hard time meeting up with one of these guys down a dark alley than something more conventional. At the least, this might just move you to dance as well.

3. Tool "Stinkfist"

Any description of this video is certain to sell it far short of its mark. The only thing as distinctive as Tool's sound is their body of music videos. Strange, but I havent got a clue what any of the members of Tool look like. I just hope that they arent any of the pseudo-cadavers in this vid.

2. Marilyn Manson "Beautiful People"

There is certainly no shortage of provocative videos from the Godfather of Shock Rock. Marilym Manson certainly prided himself on being different, controversial and almost anti.....everything. He's not too far removed from Madonna in so much that he has wielded religion and social norms in much the same way that 'madge' flaunted her sexuality for fifteen years. Once again, there are elements here that are both strange and symbolic - and in the end, just downright creepy.

1. Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy"

This is probably the 'Daddy' of creepy music videos. In the years since I first saw this (in a time long ago when MTV still showed music videos well into Prime Time) the imagery and the dark sinister music have stuck with me. Is it any wonder that it features at the top of this impromptu tribute. I can hardly imagine anyone - let alone - MTV running a clip as macabre as this anytime soon. If you click on just one clip in this countdown let this be the one - but dont do so too close to your bedtime. The images will stick with you and haunt the dark recesses of your mind.

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