Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I was a heavy metal dork for about two solid years in my teens, and during that time I lived and breathed for Iron Maiden. Naturally I'm deeply ashamed, and I apologize to anybody who had the misfortune to encounter me during this period. Every day I give thanks that I discovered the Sex Pistols not long before my 17th birthday, and pulled out of my heavy metal tailspin before it was too late.
Seriously, most heavy metal is embarrassingly juvenile, campy crap, and Iron Maiden is certainly no exception. Watching this clip for Maiden's 1982 satanic opus The Number of the Beast, it plays exactly like an outtake from This is Spinal Tap, released the same year. (It hardly helps matters that lead singer Bruce "Air Raid Siren" Dickinson was such a dead ringer for Nigel Tufnel in those days.)
But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this stuff still gets me on some level. I'm laughing at it, but it's still great fun and it's catchy as heck. And dear lord, that video! Featuring a parade of clips from movie monsters who were seemingly chosen specifically for their ridiculousness (Michael Landon from I Was a Teenage Werewolf? Really?) and culminating with the knock-out triple punch of the crazy ballroom dancers, some skinny guy in red PJ's and a dime store devil mask, and a shambling appearance from a giant puppet version of the band's zombie mascot Eddie, this thing is that close to being a performance clip from a Halloween episode of The Muppet Show.
I have to believe that the Iron Maiden boys were laughing their butts off when they made this thing. And if they weren't? Well, that just makes them even more adorable, doesn't it?
Fair warning that this is a song about midnight satanic rites, culminating in the line, "666, the one for you and me!" So if you're the sort of person who is going to see this ridiculous thing and then flip out bigtime and send me emails about how I'm going to hell, do us both a favor and just don't click on this clip in the first place. OK?
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