In a world where Hannibal Lector regularly dines on people during prime-time and HBO shows get ever-more gruesome by the episode, to think that any music video could really scare us any more is trite. But a quick walk down memory lane will prove you wrong. In the post-grunge era of the late 90s and early aughts, when MuchMusic still played music videos and MTV wasn’t all about pregnant teens, musicians tried to out-do each other by creating increasingly creepier videos.
Metallica, “Enter Sandman”
The eerie video is an ode to all the things that terrified you as a child, including bright flashing lights and creepy old men in black and white. I’d rather go off to Never Never Land with a teddy bear made of knives than with these dudes.
Nine Inch Nails, “Closer”
Beating hearts hooked up to electric chairs should never provide the base for a song. Never! If you can make it past the heart bass thing, you’ll be treated to cockroaches, crucified monkeys, dismembered pig heads, and a lot of really random nudity. I’m about 90 percent sure that this video inspired The Ring.
Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun”
Oh look, it’s suburban utopia! No… it isn’t… What the hell is going on with those people and their eyes? Who smiles that big? Why isn’t she grinning with a butcher knife? For three minutes of this video it feels like suburban hell is bubbling just beneath the surface, just enough to terrify you, and then, as the song says, “they just disappear.” This video has creepy on lock-down and if I never see it again it will be too soon.
Robbie Williams, “Rock DJ”
Robbie Williams’ video for “Rock DJ” is perhaps the most heinous offender here. At first you think you’re safe. Some nice Brit pop and some ladies in roller skates – nothing to be afraid of here. And then Robbie starts stripping. That’s not terrible, but when he’s out of clothing to take off his solution is to remove his skin. Yep, he rips off that pesky skin and swings it around like a drunken frat boy. It’s difficult to watch but eventually he feeds the roller girls some of his person in what I’m sure is a metaphor – but I’d rather not think about.
Evanescence, “Going Under”
The video starts with a gaggle of hags forcibly applying makeup to singer Amy Lee’s face before she goes on stage to perform for a crowd that is slowly morphing into monstrous ghoul-like creatures. Just as you think that maybe the crowd was just having a joint seizure and everything is actually okay, Amy looks over at her band-mate to see that he, too, has been zombiefied.
What are some of the creepiest and weirdest music videos you’ve come across? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.