Things the 90's Ruined( Or the horribly misguided attempt to be profound in Duran Duran's Come Undone video)
Duran Duran is a band that I enjoy from a distance. I've never taken them super seriously, but I can clearly see that some of their songs are really, really great. As one of the most popular, influential bands of the 80's, quite a few songs in their catalog are really awesome. Even the song we're discussing today, “Come Undone,” is a pretty good song. Unfortunately though, the video is positively horrid.
The classically 90's video opens up to drop of blood filling up the water of a fish tank. My first thought here is was the fish alright? I presume it was because I never heard those bastards at PETA mention that one of the biggest bands of the 1980's killed a fish. We zoom out and see the band playing in front of said gigantic tank. Also there's a well dressed victorian looking person falling into water. Also, said person is tied up. She very well might die in this video.
Getting back to the outfits though. THEY ARE HORRIBLE. It's almost as if no one told them how silly they looked in all these frocks and shit. Hey Duran Duran, “Age of Innocence” called and they want their wardrobe department back. A quick flash back shows that two people were making love. We also get to see the drowning woman cloaked in a massive blue sheet struggling to break free of the mighty chains that hold her in 90's modern hell. The images go back and forth between drowny magoo, the band playing in those ridiculous outfits, and a scene presumably in the house where the couple are doing the sex. The next thing that stands out, and is really quite creepy, is there's a little kid just laying under the bed. Why is she there? Where are her parents? Well, we quickly find out that the child is straight up chilling as her parents get it on on the bed in which she is under. How into the sexy time are these people that they don't even see a kid walk into the room, watch them, and then start playing under the bed. At least close the door when getting it on. Jesus. Also, why does she have a bunch of toys just chilling under the bed? Then we see a scene of an elderly couple sitting on a park bench, except the bench is under water and their shit is everywhere. Old people making out is weird, and I can't help but wonder if the dementia has kicked in because who in their right mind wants to make out while your legs and everything is submerged in water. Either this video is one of the best uses of symbolism in modern history, or the director just threw a whole bunch of out of place shit in at once and figured it would make it more profound. I'm leaning towards the second choice. Another thing that makes utterly no sense is even after the drowning lady BREAKS OUT OF HER SHACKLES, she's still swimming and seizing all over the place. Get out of the water lady, you're gonna drown!!
One of the great things about life is unnoticed creepy looks. Sometimes you can't even tell you're doing it until someone informs you that you just looked like a pedophile. I mention this merely because at the 1:34 point, the guitar player John Taylor, gives probably the rapiest look ever captured in a video. It's so unsettling I had to call the girl from “Audition” just to settle me down. This look really captures everything about the video without doing hardly anything. Where was “To Catch a Predator” when this look was being bombarded all over MTV back in the day. I have no doubt that a band this talented has since gone back and discussed how bad this video has aged, but even though a video ages badly, that doesn't spare them from everything. The 90's may be over, but that creepy look will never unmake itself.
Maybe it's just me, but does the band look like they absolutely hate what they're doing? Maybe they got forced into this. The keyboardist, Nick Rhodes, looks especially depressed. There is no emotion happening in that face, at all! Then we get a brief image of a dude punching a bag. Then a rose gets hammered, then a barbie doll(Was hasbro pissed?), then finally a football. They all fall under the mighty hammer. Um ok, that makes sense. Moving along...
I'm gonna quickly go past the woman making a milk shake in the dark, because frankly, it can't be explained. This is like the “Inception” of 90's videos, in the way that each person who watches this will come to a different conclusion. It's unlike “Inception” though, in the way that it's horribly outdated and isn't entertaining. Next we get a cross dressing man, who works all damn day with a corset on. How does he do it? Next we see the cross-dresser in a satin thingy, smearing lipstick all over his face. This again makes little sense to the overall video. I wonder if the lipstick is Elizabeth Taylor. Sadly, we may never know...Also fire-breathing man. Finally, the chained lady breaks free and with her freedom, comes the freedom of the viewer not having to watch this cluster fuck of a video. Lastly, I'm aware this piece might be all over the place, but forgive me. I was just trying to convey the shambled mess of said video.
Thanks for reading.
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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