German alt-metallers Rammstein are, no matter how you measure it, a remarkable band. An unholy live spectacle, pure artists in an ever-encroaching commercial world, completely committed to their culture (name one other non-English-speaking band that sings in their native tongue who could sell out stadiums in London and New York) and, let’s not forget, dryly funny, their black mordant wit running through everything they do.
It’s little wonder then that when it comes to making videos, their approach is one that could best be described as inimitable. Much like their combustible live show, it’s best to leave preconceived notions at the door. That their bleak video vignettes can be both ghoulish and the stuff of nightmares is a probable given; that their performances are so charismatic, engaging and clever is not.
Their latest video, Deutschland, is perhaps one of their most ambitiously cinematic and theatrical to date. Ten minutes of high-octane drama, the band breathlessly run through a good 2000 years of German history which – in true Rammstein style – doesn’t scrimp on any of the country’s more grisly moments. To say it’s dizzying is to understate it somewhat. That it’s caused its fair share of controversy, a given.
With a back catalogue which lends itself to such moments of cinematic expression, it’s unsurprising that Rammstein’s music has made its way to the silver screen more than once. Here, we round up five movies which feature the German industrialists on their soundtracks.
Lost Highway (1997) – Rammstein
This movie is perverse, even by David Lynch’s standards. Protagonist Fred Madison is accused of murdering his wife. On death row, he morphs into another man called Pete Dayton who has lead an entirely different life. When he’s freed, things start to get really weird. Rammstein provide a fittingly ominous soundtrack to one particularly strange scene.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) – Engel
Marginally better than the Street Fighter movie, Annihilation sees the once-mercenary fighters banding together to save the world from the evil Outworld Leader, Shao Kahn (imagine Henry Rollins in a Skeletor mask and you’re halfway there). In case there should ever be any doubt that the film was released in 1997, the soundtrack also included contributions from Megadeth, Face To Face and Pitchshifter.
CKY2K (2000) – Du Hast
Before gaining notoriety with the Jackass team, skateboarder Bam Margera released his own low rent movie which featured a lot of pointing and shouting, a trip to Iceland, furniture surfing on the motorway, some literal toilet humour and a totalled rental car. Hilarious…
xXx (2002) – Feuer Frei!
Vin Diesel is an extreme sports nut with a neck bigger than your leg who’s enlisted by the US Government to bring down Yorgi (not the animated bear), a fiend who’s plotting to bring about the end of the world. Rammstein actually feature briefly in the film, playing Feuer Frei at a gig.
The Nightmare Ends on Halloween II (2011) – Sonne
Freddy squares up to Halloween’s Michael Myers, Friday 13th’s Jason Voorhees and Texas Chainsaw’s Leatherface all over again. Hellraiser’s Pinhead over-sees things for good measure before they all reconcile to take over the world. They don’t.