Thursday, October 23, 2008

Both Trick and Treat Simultaneously

In 1988, German power metal powder keg, Helloween, delivered an intricate yet vitriolic assessment of modern bourgeois culture with the video interpretation of “I Want Out.” Inspired by Rousseau and other 18th Century political theorists, this articulate creation denounces virtue as a synthetic trait born from society whilst addressing the acute awareness of, and regard for, oneself in relation to others as a deeply detrimental psychological deformation. There is also a watermelon. Let us view this theatrical masterpiece together and achieve enlightenment.

Press play…now.

There seems to be an excessive amount of waiters meandering about an empty restaurant. And if they aren’t catering to the feather-haired gentleman in the aquamarine jacket, what the hell are they doing? This place is overstaffed and the manager needs to punch someone’s timecard post haste. The dude at the table is obviously hungry. He opens his mouth and exposes a long, barren hallway; a gateway to his soul perhaps. I hope you’re ready for a wild ride ‘cause there ain’t no turning back!

Nothing like singing while you’re being stuffed into a creepy wooden coffin. He’s probably not that concerned, however, as there is no dirt in sight—nor is there a jackhammer to pierce the abandoned warehouse’s concrete floors—and it does not appear to be an airtight receptacle. I believe a third grader with a learning disability constructed that thing in the shed out yonder. Seriously, once these bullies leave, he could punch through those rickety old planks and run like the dickens.

Okay, in which socket is this guy plugging his electric pink Flying V amongst the desert ruins? And is that a “Frankie Say Relax” shirt under his black trench coat?

0:49 — Yes, I do believe that was a watermelon flying across the screen.

They want out. They want to stick their heads out of the windows of moving cars like Labradors. They want to prance about the flatlands with red capes, jump out of the shallow ends of swimming pools, and stand in front of factories. They just want to live.

Reversing down the hallway. It’s all over. No, wait; we’re going back! Now the band members are circled around Kai Hansen, pushing and shoving him. Wasn’t trapping him in a casket enough? This guy must be a real prick. I told you he’d escape from that paltry piece of shit.

Up the esophagus again. He belches, dabs the corner of his mouth with a napkin, and—really? Again? The first two times blew my mind, don’t get me wrong, but isn’t this just a bit gratuitous?

Fans? Concert scene? What? Why?

3:13 — Yes, I do believe that guy is toting a vacuum cleaner. Look carefully. I thought it was a rubber snake at first, but it is in fact a vacuum.

I swear on all that is holy, if they do the trippy camerawork with the mouth and the hallway again… There’s the watermelon! It breaks! And so?

With those two simple words, Helloween invites the viewer to ponder the notion of a truth inside of the evolving self; a declaration of man's existence in which he defines himself and the world in his own subjectivity, wandering between choice, freedom, and existential angst, yet at the same time recognizing the absurdity of trying to find meaning in the universe. Well played. Kinda makes you want to eat Basmati rice and read The Myth of Sisyphus, doesn't it? Well played indeed.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

So, referring back to the whole sunglasses and snapping of the fingers to be cool and where did it begin...Helloween does the sunglass thing with the air left hook and right jab combo. It's very profound at the end of the video when one of the band members removes his sunglasses from his face and remains standing and staring at the camera, as if to say, "Take me seriously because I just removed my sunglasses." I dig this video. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being bad), 10 for vocals and 2.5 for creative direction.