God Is Dead

Cut Slash Kill

God Is Dead (music video) 2' 52" stereo © 1989

Background

God Is Dead is a music video for the track from the mini-LP A Fistful of Rock.

Credits

Crew

Script, direction & editing - Philip Brophy
Camera - Barry Lanfranchi
Camera & lighting assistance - Philip Samartzis
Costumes & props - Maria Kozic
Hair & make-up - Rosaleen Brophy
Production assistants - Ian Haig & Madelynne Cornish
Thanks - Bruce Milne & Greta Moon, Media Arts, Phillip Institute of Technology

Cast

The Pounder - Grant Hardie
The Chopper - Martine Corompt
The Human Drum - Jonathan Williamson
The Head - Warren Butler
The Proclaimer - Mr. Haig
The Girl - Maria Kozic
Satan - Ian Haig

1989

Produced for Present Records, Melbourne

God Is Dead production stills © 1989

Overview

In keeping with God Is Dead's lurid samples (Christopher Lee on high) and hardened iconic rock sculpting (AC/DC on high), the music-video's scenario restages the definite tropes of the Hammer horror film: pretentious rituals, occult frippery, satanic delusions, and theatrical bombast. The bulk of the music-video was shot on 16mm on a dark, freezing night on remote farm-land in Flowerdale.

Technical

Original script

A pulsating heavy beat sickens the atmosphere and carves it up. Some guitars pound out industrial strength chords that seer the brain. It can only be music of the devil. The sun is setting. The site is ready; the potion is prepared. Slivers of vinyl and miscellaneous delicate powders are cast into the mortar. The Pounder is ready. He sniffs the air of the setting sun and stands upright, long dark hair casting shadows over his taut muscles. The beat commences. He pounds the potion in the mortar with his pestle, keeping time with the relentless rhythm. The Chopper joins in with similar purpose. Small in height - a vicious looking elf of a woman - she brings down her cleaver on leftover body parts from the previous ritual. Tonight’s will be even better. The Head starts up the chanting. Each time it is delivered with more conviction – “God is dead! God is dead! In the name of Satan - King of hell!” The Pounder and the Chopper keep perfect time. Darkness comes. As the fire reaches upward, their shadows dance against the dead tree that marks the site.

The music builds. It is being played in the early hours at a nightclub. Bodies writhe and wriggle, oblivious to the power the music holds over them. Their dance is a surrender to sensory overload. The Proclaimer rests high in the rafters above them, surveying the hedonistic effect of the music on the impressionable minds below him. He spits his incantation at them – “Oh yale shall offend thee oh protector! Zahee zah-zah, salabim salabah!” A Girl with long black hair cascading down to her hips is among them – head-banging in hot pants and red leather shoes. She doesn’t even realise that she’s dancing with the devil. She’ll do perfectly.

Back at the site, the Girl continues dancing. She knows little of where she’s been or where she is. Or where she’s going to end up. Her dance is energised further by the brutal, military pattern of the Human Drum. Its arms flail in the night’s chill air, maniacally hitting its own stretched skin in time with the music. The Head joins in – “God is dead! God is dead! In the name of Satan - King of hell!” The Pounder and the Chopper never miss a beat. An eerie apparition is beheld over the dancing flames: a vinyl record, melting into a viscous shape of putrescent blackness. Satan’s face appears in the vinyl - just eyes and lips, joining in with the chant – “In the name of Satan - King of hell!”

The music continues at the night club as the bodies move with increasing intensity. The whole club seems to be possessed. The Proclaimer’s spurs them on – “Oh yale shall offend thee oh protector! Zahee zah-zah, salabim salabah!”

The dead gum tree reaches up into the sky as sparks from the fire shoot off into the darkness, sailing up between the trees twisted white branches. The ritual is reaching its climax. The Girl’s black hair dances wildly about her as her head is thrust up and down with incredible force. The Human Drum strikes its skin with frightening impact. The Proclaimer suddenly grabs the girl by her hair and yanks her head up, screeching into her face – “Oh yale shall offend thee oh protector! Zahee zah-zah, salabim salabah!” Her eyes bulge out as the proclaimer points over at the head it tasks out a final chant – “God is dead! - just as the music suddenly stops. The silence is deafening. The moist blood around the Head’s neck glistens on the silver platter. The Girl’s fate is sealed. Satan’s face in the melting vinyl grins.

God Is Dead production still © 1989

Invasion of the Teenagers

Cut Slash Kill

Invasion of the Teenagers (music video) 4' 13" stereo © 1990

Background

Invasion of the Teenagers is a music video for the track from the CD The Present Compilation.

Credits

Script, direction, camera, editing & post-production - Philip Brophy
Arms & legs - Maria Kozic
Camera & lighting assistance - Ian Haig
Thanks - Media Arts, Phillip Institute of Technology

1990

Produced for Present Records, Melbourne

God Is Dead production stills © 1989

Overview

Invasion of the Teenagers takes the frightening gaudy veneer of The Miss Teen USA Pageant (televised at the time on Channel 10 in Australia) and visualises it in all its terrible beauty. In this transmogrified music-video, the contestants are presented as a hyperbolic parade of ectoplasmic figures of the American Dream at its most gross. Their voices scream out ludicrous self-statements of postivity, proving that when the world is a beautiful place - it isn't.

Technical

The Invasion of the Teenagers music-video utilizes then-state-of-the-art devices to imagine the nihilistic limits of saccharine visuality: tacky chromo-keying of impossible and ridiculous body-montages; blunt vision-mixing to crop and highlight the obvious; and Fairlight video synthesis for blaring the name of each of America's glorious states like a belching digital logo pulsating with guffaws of social do-goodery.