Feb 27 2012

Eight Disturbing Music Videos You May Have Missed

Published by at 11:00 am under Lists,Movies

Horror can be enjoyable in smaller doses, which is why I’ve often felt that when done right, music videos are a wonderful place to explore the genre. Yet it seems so few artists choose to touch the medium, and one can understand why as horror is a very alienating genre. Those who like it, usually LOVE it, but those who don’t, usually LOATHE it. So an artist is taking a chance when he decides to make a horror video, knowing he may very well alienate half the viewing audience. The ballsiest among them say screw it and do it anyway. Here are six such examples.

Aphex Twin: Come to Daddy

Director: Chris Cunningham

httpv://youtu.be/5Az_7U0-cK0

Aphex Twin is one man, who goes by the generic sounding name of Richard David James. I could EASILY fill this list with his videos alone. I decided it best I start the list with one and end the list with one. But I am starting the list with the seminal disturbing video.

This video set the tone for all of the “children behaving badly” music videos you see now. Skrillex has taken this idea and run with it, almost ramming it into the ground in the process.

It would be foolish of me to start this list with anything but this video, though as it’s what started my fascination with creepy ass music videos. I came home very late one night, back in the days when MTV still played awesome stuff, but they relegated it to play a t4 AM. I sat in front of my TV with my mouth hanging open, and it truly got under my skin.

This video is creepier in the short time it is on then some 90 minute movies. Maybe it’s the kids, who all happen to have Richard’s face with a big, shit-eating-grin on it. Tiny kids with adult faces are very creepy as further evidenced by midgets. Maybe it is the scene in the middle, which I will not ruin here, but I will tell you that if you have an anxiety disorder, you may want turn down the volume a bit during that part.

Maybe it’s so terrifying because this little old woman looks so sweet that we have to wonder how she ended up in a hell overrun with anarchistic children who have ugly, adult faces and who may or may not report their misdeeds back to a giant, horrific demon that might live in my TV.

I also have to go on the record to say that ALL the videos you guys are going to tell me I didn’t pick when you comment after this article were ALL rip offs of this video. Y Control by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs being just one example. I love Karen O as much as you do, but a rip off is a rip off.

Highlight: The “scream” scene in the middle.

Berndsen: Supertime

Director: Helgi Johannsson

httpv://youtu.be/ysPcyOvNJew

Alright, so this video is equal parts funny and disturbing, but I REALLY wanted to include it on the list because I know so few people saw it, and I just found the idea original. Plus, they do not shy away from the use of blood and guts, which is nice to see in this medium. I also think the cartoon-like pop sensibilities of the song make the video seem even more insane, which I’m sure the band was going for. Icelandic bands are the shit.

Plus, who saw that coming? People on the side of road seem like they’re going to help these people who just got into an accident, but instead, they make a game out of it. It sounds far more creepy than it is, or it ends up being far more creepy than it sounds. I haven’t decided which side I fall on yet.

Just out of frame: The blood covered Slip n’ Slide.

I think the crowning moment was when the lead singer was standing on the upside down car dressed as a ringmaster, and they were throwing blood-filled water balloons at the victims, all to a song that sounds like it could be sung by Abba, and that point I fell over. I literally fell over. It was too awesome and too insane. My legs just buckled uncontrollably.

Car accidents have never looked so fun. Well, they looked more fun in that David Cronenberg movie Crash, but that’s a different article.

Highlight: When they’re playing one of the car crash victims legs like a guitar.

Boards Of Canada: Everything You Do Is A Balloon

Director: Video sampled from “One Got Fat” (1963) bicycle safety movie

httpv://youtu.be/dQEmaj9C6ko

Ok, so this one cheats a little, but that doesn’t mean it’s not creepy as hell. The band simply used the archival footage from the old bike safety film from the 60s called One Got Fat. I am one of the people unlucky to have seen this video before, and it ruined me.

There is just something about these monkey masks and the dead eyes that reside within them that still haunt me to this day. I watched this video with a friend who began weeping and had no idea why. They said they felt like they had been violated by the video. Ok, I may have just made that up. Sorry. It really is sort of like that, though. Plus, the song changes tone, from the sweet, welcoming intro, to when the drums kick in and the song takes a decidedly darker turn. It works freakishly well with the images in instilling an overall sense of discomfort.

It really is creepy, though. Obviously, this band knew it and constructed a haunting song around it. Either that, or they hired a director that was lazy as hell and slightly brilliant. Who knows? Who cares, though, because if the end result is a bunch of kids, driving around on bikes with terrifying monkey masks on, then everybody wins. Or we all lose. I still haven’t worked that one out, either.

This is that moment Nietzsche was talking about. The abyss is staring back!

Highlight: When that first monkey kid pulls in front of that car and gets killed, and then you realize that ALL of them are going to get killed in increasingly brutal fashions. It was a precursor to Final Destination, I think.

Health: We Are Water

Director: Eric Wareheim

httpv://youtu.be/toG4bHjPLEU

Come on, guys. You knew there had to be SOME nod to slasher films on here, and I think these cats do a pretty decent job of conveying the best parts of those movies. Plus, the song works incredibly well with the visuals. On top of that, there’s a huge nod to the cinematography. If only all slasher films looked this poetic in their chase scenes.

It is a tense viewing experience. Hell, anytime a half-naked man with a machete is chasing someone through the snow it’s a tense viewing experience. You had to have grown up in Boston in winter to know how accurate it really is.

Plus, when he finally catches her and the scene goes where you think it is going to go, and then it takes a hard right, then comes back, and by that time, a guy has been stabbed in the dick with a stick. Yeah, I sure as shit didn’t see that coming. Either did he, apparently. That is why you wear pants when you kill people, duh.

The new commercial for GUSHERS fruit snacks is really intense.

Highlight: The decapitation. The body looks freakishly realistic as it hits the forest floor. Also the wig. Roleplay ALWAYS ends that way for me, too.





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34 responses so far

  • Frothy_Ham

    God I love Aphex Twin.

    I can’t decide which video is creepier, Come to Daddy or Windowlicker (WL is creepy for different reasons…maybe more disturbing overall IMO).

  • A6stringronin

    Cephalic Carnage’s Ohrwurm is one of those it gets better videos as my friends say. They are not that happy that I showed it to them.

  • j

    Rubber Johnny from Aphex Twin is also pretty sick

  • Unknown

    Prodigy – Hot Ride was somewhat disturbing as well. Nice List.

  • http://www.youtube.com/almondxjoy #SickWarrior

    Berndsen – Supertime was most disturbing for me.

    http://youtu.be/yuEOqzs76sE if you want one that still gets me badly.

  • Nall

    This has been circulating here and there on the internet but this is totally a strange music video. Catchy song too for electronica fans.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QFwo57WKwg&ob=av2e

    Also, MGMT’s Kids, watch the making of video. The little baby they had in the video was actually well supervised and laughing a lot of the times. Common misconception.

  • Lima Zulu

    I know mentioning Japanese music is almost cheating, but Dir En Grey’s Raison D’être video has a girl spearing out chunks of her eye with a scalpel. That part always got to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MrCinema Mr Cinema

    Stinkfist freaked me the hell out growing up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07pLGIgyfjw

  • Sideshow

    Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden was pretty creepy. Not Top 10 creepy, but I’ll always remember it.

  • Jake Fortner

    @Mr. Cinema

    That video is messed up . . . So is Prison Sex from Tool. It’s worse if you know it’s supposed to be molestation and rape . . .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5sIXUbMgF0

  • Paul S.

    Haven’t seen any of these videos before, but wow…just wtf. Also, I’m surprised you didn’t feature any Tool videos on here as they could easily have been the whole list just like what you said about Aphex Twin. And that weird monkey face reminds me of Christopher Lloyd’s character in Who Framed Roger Rabbit…vaguely…that mofo creeped me out as a little kid. I’ll be sending you the bill from my therapist kthx.

  • Remy Carreiro

    Wow, guys, these are some killer examples you guys are posting in the comments. To be honest. I was VERY close to putting PRISON SEX from Tool on the list, but I held back because I felt that enough people had probably seen it that I reserved the places for some lesser known videos. I also was really torn between Windowlicker and Rubber Johnny for Aphex Twin, but most people I show Rubber Johnny to find it more strange than creepy. As a result, I find THOSE people more creepy. @ Nall, Actually, that news gave me some relief. I looked into the footage you were speaking of and it does alleviate a lot of the fears I had for that small child, so thank you for that. I may just steal some of these examples and make a second list down the road guys. But I swear I will credit where credit is due.

  • Eileen

    Wow! Honestly, I have never seen or heard of any of these music videos. I went to watch one, and couldn’t finish them, that’s how freaked out I was LOL! Seriously though, I never really thought about (indie) horror music videos before. I gotta say though, Skinny Puppy, ‘Worlock’, scared/freaked me out when I first saw it.

  • Jordan K.

    I know you didn’t include any heavy metal videos, but I thought that the video for Metallica’s All Nightmare Long was pretty creepy and had some very haunting and disturbing imagery. Seeing a skinless, emaciated cat rise from the dead and attack people will stick with me for a while.

  • Joey

    “Pretty when you cry” by VAST always creeped me out too.

  • Nihilus-rex

    You have forgotten the most disturbing (and fantastic video of all): Kate Bush’s Experiment IV. I was scared witless when I saw this video as a child:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1pq93AbVxA&feature=related

  • Kyle

    I really like that MGMT video. I’ve only ever heard their “Time to Pretend” song; I liked it, too, so I might check more of their stuff out. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Marilyn Manson’s video for “Tourniquet” is swathed in crazy visuals and the song itself is engulfed in hidden meanings, not to mention just the singing ties shit together nicely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmfQ7gSaJgM

  • Jon

    Where’s Rubber Johnny bro?

  • http://www.mandyatlarge.com Mandy

    Speaking of creepy videos… did you watch the new Manson video directed by Shia LaBeouf?? It’s one of the most fucked up videos I’ve ever seen… and by the kid that looks like Fred Savage… that alone is shocking enough.

  • Remy Carreiro

    @ Jon, I addressed Rubber Johnny and why I didn’t post it, so read the comment, “bro”. @ Everyone else, Marilyn Mason would have been an easy out. I am a HUGE fan of the Tourniquet video, which I felt meshed gore and visual poetry nicely, but I figured most people had seen them and wanted something a bit more rare. @ Mandy, ALMOST did post that because it is rather shocking, but I have a rule, never give Shai TheBeef props on any list I do, unless it is for Even Stevens. Lmao.

  • Schteeve

    YYYs Y control is pretty nutso too.

  • Mr. Chopper

    Wait… So you won’t pick Y Control cos it’s too similar to Come To Daddy (which, for the record, it completely isn’t), yet you allow the addition of Skrillex’s UTTER RIP OFF?

  • Dondon

    Just about any Death in Vegas video could be on the list.

  • Remy Carreiro

    ^ I addressed those issues directly in the piece, good sir.

  • John Clark

    “Blue Orchid” by The White Stripes is pretty messed up.

  • Will

    How about I Fink U Freeky by Die Antwoord?

    http://youtu.be/8Uee_mcxvrw

    I really like the Skrillex video.

  • cage

    We are Water by Health

    much more of a Motown and Hip Hop kind of guy but directed by Eric Wareheim!!

    TEASGJ! FTW!!

  • RapidRoll

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c7XwsYmF2c top of the top.I will never forget it.

  • https://www.facebook.com/daniel.accipiter?fref=ts DanielAccipiter

    Wow, really? i’ve seen something more disturbing than those, try watch Dir En Grey – Obscure (uncut Version)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUvpMhw5ALw

  • Himz

    No First of the Year/Equinox? ARE YOU KIDDING THE GIRL USES THE FORCE SCREAMS CALL 911 AND SLENDERMAN POSSES HER AND POPS BEHIND HER.

    ERMAGHERD

  • Emma

    Does anyone know what the singer or song is where the video has a guy with a pig mask on?
    He’s a solo artist and he wears this animal mask and it has a snout and horns.
    It’s really bothering me.

    Please help.

    • Blightness

      Matthew Good – Carmelina?

    • Glaivester

      If he is playing a violin while a parade goes by, I think it is “Mr. Krinkle” by Primus.

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