Because mainstream pop music has bled its saccharine all over what was once a powerful form of storytelling, it seems many have lost sight of the fact that the music video is a great medium to tell powerful, compact stories that usually have solid resolutions. Though we rarely talk about music videos at Unreality, sometimes we like to throw curve balls at you guys.
The last list about disturbing music videos was fun to compile, seeing as to how twisted it was. In this case, I decided to focus on music videos with “twist” endings. These may not be Fight Club sized revelations, but a few of these still blew my mind.
Unkle: Rabbit In Your Headlights
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
If he’s homeless, why does he have a nicer jacket than me?
Make a quick note that Thom Yorke from Radiohead does the vocals on this track, because he is going to pop up later, too. Unkle are a British electronic duo, and Yorke actually helped write this particular song with them. Fans of cinema will notice (in the real track) the awesome Danny Aiello sample from the film Jacob’s Ladder, which ended up being inspiration for the video game Silent Hill. And that, my friends, is the mind of someone with ADHD. Everything is like a weird game of “Six Degrees of Nerd Separation” with me. Anyway, this video, to put it simply, features a man getting hit by a bunch of cars. That alone should compel you to watch, but watch it for the ending.
Enough talk. Just watch:
In that single moment, he goes from being the rabbit, to being the headlights.
Prodigy: Smack My B*tch Up
Directed by Jonas Åkerlund
Man, SO many sexy girls I know have ants poorly tattooed on them.
When everyone knows your twist ending, it is not so much of a surprise anymore. But let me tell you, when this video first dropped, it really blew some minds.
What you have on display here is the night in the life of a hooligan, all told from the first person. You see the person have sex, get into fights, do drugs, and all other sorts of madness. And because we are all trained to think a certain way, when we see the big reveal at the end of the video, it is hard NOT to be shocked.
I’ll pretend six of you haven’t seen this and I won’t ruin it here, but just watch it, trust me. By the way, most of the bad stuff is pixelated, so this is SFW for the most part. If you work at a fairly messed up place, atleast. In an office, even the edited version of this would probably not go over to well with Wendy in the next cubicle. At which point, you should smack her up.
Am I allowed to make a crude and tasteless joke about how this is Chris Brown’s favorite song?
Directed by: Jamie Thraves
When I found out Dr.Pepper only had 4 ingredients, it hit me hard, too.
I think this to be one of the best music videos ever made. Why? Because it asks a simple question of the viewer, and it is a question that only gets bigger in scope, but never fully gets answered. I also find it brilliant how they integrate the footage of the band playing into the video, merging the two in a very natural fashion, as oppose to tossing in band footage in between the story, which would have been disjointing for the viewer.
My only real question, after watching this video is, what was said?
There is much speculation to what was said, but even Radiohead admit there is no solid answer for that, and that was the whole point.
Bon Iver: Towers
Directed by: Nabil
Some say the Gorton’s Fisherman let himself go, but I say he found sexy.
This ending may not so much be a “twist”, as it is a stunning turn of events, but it has as much right to be on this list as any of the others. The song is haunting, and when paired with the visuals, I find the whole experience to be quite moving. It is the story of an old man and the sea, but not the story you are used to.
I also believe that music videos like this reflect just how powerful a well directed music video can be. In this case, the song and the visuals match eiach other so perfectly, it feels like a union that was meant to be. This video shows me that a good director can do more in under four minutes than some directors can do in over 120 minutes.
I was far more moved by this video than I had expected to be. And it is documented in the review I did for the video here.