Every January 5, you can guarantee there’ll be a high-end bakery in Hollywood frantically sourcing some pitch black icing for Marilyn Manson’s birthday cake. But what would you buy the self-styled God of Fuck so soon after Christmas, anyway? Taxidermy tokens? A relaxing spa day? An Anton LaVey action figure? While we have a think about that – and we really can’t be bothered to go to the shops, to be honest – here are 13 classic videos for your ocular and aural delight.
Some of them are creepier than we remember.
GET YOUR GUNN (1994)
This creepy promo for Marilyn Manson’s first official single – not Snake Eyes and Sissies, as originally planned – was directed by Rod Chong (Front Line Assembly, Junkie XL) in a dank, abandoned home. This video is unusual for the fact that it’s one of four videos that feature the frontman’s eyebrows.
And here’s the second. The video for Lunchbox was directed by New York experimental filmmaker Richard Kern and features the band getting in the way of some serious rollerskating, an amateurish makeover and a ruined packed lunch.
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (1996)
The videos from Antichrist Superstar album really kicked things up a notch in the weirdness department, thanks in part to director Floria Sigismondi. Filmed inside a disused Canadian distillery, The Beautiful People features prosthetic devices and shaky camerawork to unsettling effect. The video was nominated in two categories at the MTV Video Music Awards the following year, for Best Rock Video and Best Special Effects and its style was aped in many rock videos since. Sigismondi went on to write and direct the 2010 rock biopic The Runaways featuring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.
TAINTED LOVE (2001)
Taken from the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack, this video captures Manson in what dusty historians may look upon as his ‘playful gangsta goth’ phase: huge cars with excitable suspension, shiny silver grills, frothing jacuzzis and a host of scantily women dressed as rabbits. Manson would probably describe this as a typical Tuesday evening.
This promo for the first song from the 2003 The Golden Age of Grotesque was co-directed by Manson and cinematographer Thomas Kloss. The video – filmed in the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles and Vasquez Rocks – is notable for its zombie dancers and burlesque performance by his former wife Dita Von Teese. According to the frontman, the red underwear worn by the dancers cost $2.
DEEP SIX (2015)
Bart Hess – a Dutch designer who has worked with Lady Gaga – is responsible for this unusually bright video, which features dancer Amy Gilson and Burlesque performer Olivia Bellafontaine. “Inspired by the song’s lyrics I wanted to generate creatures that feel as if they’re partly made of pulsating water, that would slither through space on the rhythm of the track,” explains the director. These snake-like creatures swallow bodies on their path and taking them into a black void, where the bodies become the worms themselves…”
THE DOPE SHOW (1998)
Marilyn Manson wanders around the Hollywood Hills as an androgynous Bowie-esque alien in this video directed by Paul Hunter, which went on to win an MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography. Look out for a cameo by Billy Zane as an entertainment mover and shaker.
THE NOBODIES (2001)
The third single to be taken from Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), it was up to director Paul Fedor – who previously worked with Alice In Chains and Jimmy Eat World – to handle Manson’s creepily fantastical concept. “I already had a story for the video that I wanted to do, a sort of fairy tale about some children escaping from an orphanage and seeking refuge with me after fleeing from some terrible, evil nuns who abused them,” explained the vocalist. We think Fedor did his idea justice, but we’re guessing it wasn’t a ton of laughs on set.
DISPOSABLE TEENS (2000)
Directed by Samuel Bayer – the man responsible for Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit video –this is perhaps one of Manson’s most iconic videos. From the opening shot of the vocalist emerging from a dark lake, baring blackened metallic teeth, Disposable Teens is an orgy of religious imagery, rioting crowds and violent police, spliced with the band at their antagonistic best.
PERSONAL JESUS (2014)
Plastic-wrapped balloons, rodeo rides and confessional booths are the order of the day in this clip, directed by Nathan ‘Karma’ Cox. The band perform against a backdrop of bleak skies and images of a cast of historical figures including Stalin, Mussolini, JFK, Gandhi, Castro and George W. Bush. Manson also manages to hold a newborn baby without freaking it out, too.
Taken from the album Antichrist Superstar, this video, like The Beautiful People, was also directed by Floria Sigismondi. It’s also the creepiest one he’s made, too. Shot in an old, disused house, the band perform among living mannequins and an army of cockroaches. It’s basically your strangest nightmare brought to juddering, washed-out life.
SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS) (1998)
This five-minute clip has all the ingredients of a classic Manson video: disorientating camerawork, a derelict building, found medical props and a maniacal performance from the titular frontman. Oh, and some doves who’d rather be anywhere but the set. It’s a world away from the farm-based backdrop of Eurythmics’ 1983 video, but the scene where the singer is astride a pig is perhaps a nod to the new wave duo.
THE MEPHISTOPHELES OF LOS ANGELES (2015)
Directed by Francesco Carrozzini and shot in black and white, this moody mini film begins with a cameo from The Wire star Michael K. Williams and stars Manson as a demonic preacher who runs with a fearsome street gang and baptises a woman with horrific consequences.