June 20, 2001
I have now watched the new Nine Inch Nails video, and I guess it's time to let the world know what I think about it, since my opinion is the only one that matters.
First of all, this video isn't like any other Nine Inch Nails video. Well, except Starsuckers. At first I thought I was watching the wrong thing, because the very first part of the video shows Fake Connie Chung talking about a bank robbery on the news. My bewilderment passed once the totally rockin' opening beat started up, but quickly came back again upon seeing a green Trent Reznor crawling out of a beat-up car.
"Why is Trent Reznor green?" I asked myself, but there came no response. "Why?! Why is he green?!" I pleaded once more, and began to weep. I tried adjusting the colors on my computer monitor, but to no avail. But then I started to figure it out as I watched the rest of the video. Apparently the storyline goes backwards, just like that one episode of Seinfeld. At least I think it was Seinfeld, but it might have been Days of our Lives. Damn paint thinner.
Apparently, the reason Swamp Thing is green is because he and his African-American lady friend have robbed the "National Mint". I assume this is the same robbery that Fake Connie Chung was talking about in the beginning. You pick up on these little details when you watch the video several times.
One thing you learn early on in the video is that Swamp Thing is a very poor driver. This is shown by the wreck at the very beginning (or rather, the end) of the story. Swamp Thing slithers out of the remains of his phat ride and crawls over to his Nubian lover who is lying on the road, and proceeds to lick her. As anyone will tell you, the first thing to do when you encounter an accident victim is to give them a thorough tongue bath, then call for help.
Now we are treated to shots of Swamp Thing and Mrs. Swamp Thing (who is in a different car, and is covered in orange muck instead of chartreuse), driving around and singing Nine Inch Nails lyrics. I'm not really sure how this ties into the story, but as soon as I figure it out, I'll be sure to let you all know.
Apparently Swamp Thing is displeased about the fact that he and his car are completely drenched in green goop. That's pretty understandable, though. I was pretty pissed last time that happened to me. His girlfriend doesn't seem too happy about the situation either, but Swamp Thing just seems extra upset off about it. Poor guy. Sounds like he could use a refreshing Mike's Hard Lemonade.
Next we get to witness the car crash. Now, since this is Nine Inch Nails, it has to be different and all "avant garde"-like, so instead of just a regular, run-of-the-mill automobile accident, we're treated with a backwards crash, complete with a backwards explosion and backwards glass shattering. This should be a totally new and refreshing sight for anyone who hasn't seen a David Lynch film before.
At last we get to see Swamp Thing's impeccable driving skills in action, swerving around and completely disregarding the lines on the road, people on the sidewalk, etc. Actually, now that I think about it... director Enda McCallion might be the one driving during this part (he's from England). We can't really tell for sure, though, so who knows. Anyway, the car careens drunkenly for a few seconds before ending up in an empty parking garage. Keep in mind that this scene takes place when Swamp Thing was still Trent Reznor, before he got slimed. Remember, we're going backwards. Once he's safely in the parking lot (or rather, once the people on the road are safe from him), he decides to force open the "security box" that Fake Connie Chung specifically warned him not to open. I swear, some people...
After pounding on the "security box" with his trusty crowbar, the box (surprise!) coats the entire inside of the car, including Swamp Thing, with green. Who'da thunk it? Swamp Thing is a little bit vexed by this occurrence, and uses it as an excuse to sing some more Nine Inch Nails lyrics. Notice how he is suddenly wearing goggles on his head after the incident. If he knew he was going to get splattered, why didn't he put the goggles on beforehand? If he didn't know, why the hell did he bring them in the first place? And what purpose does it serve to put them on afterwards? I would really like to know.
After this lovely scene, we see Swamp Thing and his better half driving around some more, once again singing Nine Inch Nails lyrics. Sometimes when I get mad about something, I sing along to Nine Inch Nails in my car, so I guess I can relate to this, although I usually listen to Broken, myself.
Now we get to watch the girlfriend get sprayed, except she gets to be coated in orange slime. For some reason I get the feeling I'm watching a game show on Nickelodeon, except NIN doesn't do music for Nickelodeon (yet), and there aren't any annoying kids running around all over the place.
As you can tell, this hasn't exactly been the best day for Swamp Thing and his lover. At least she tried to carefully open the "security box", as opposed to Swamp Thing's "hit it with stuff" approach. It doesn't really matter though, because they're both in deep trouble now! I bet there wasn't even anything important in the boxes anyway.
The video goes on for a little bit more, allowing McCallion to completely drive his point home ("slime is cool"). Finally, we reach the end. Ladies and gentlemen, and those in between, you're all in for a big surprise. Apparently Trent has been brushing up on his acting lately, because at the very end of this video, he makes a brave foray into the world of theater! That's right, he takes part in a gripping dialogue with his woman. Sure, he only says one line, but he delivers it with such raw intensity... such power... well, let's just say it left me in tears.
In conclusion, I'll say that this wasn't the worst Nine Inch Nails video I've ever seen. It certainly has its moments. Since I'm a guy, I like car crashes and explosions, especially when set to rock music. I think maybe they could have gone a little less buckwild with the paint. I mean, how could they have packed that much gunk into a box so small and still had room for whatever else was supposed to be in it? I think that's a little silly. I yearn for the day when a new Nine Inch Nails video meant lots of disturbing imagery and decaying stuff, and toilets... not Trent getting his freak on. But I guess there's something to be said for variety. I'm not sure what, though.