Kate Bush "Hammer Horror" Music Video

Blame it all on Margaret Atwood again. While I was taking that Major Author class on Canada's most profitable literary export, I can only assume the professor became bored with the class and chose to show us the extended music video for Kate Bush's song "The Red Shoes." I'm all for strange, weird, and random occurences in classrooms, so I supported the decision at the time. I believe the justification was minute references in either Wilderness Tips or Awakening, but I can't remember which. Now I'm not too sure. I'm becoming obsessed with the music video output of Kate Bush.

The video that's been running my days and haunting my nights is "Hammer Horror." For one thing, someone in "art rock,"  for lack of a better description (Wikipedia does have its uses), choosing to pay tribute to the horror genre is a welcome surprise. For another, the focus is on the British powerhouse of extreme horror (recently reborn for new productions, hallelujah), Hammer Film Productions. They launched modern Frankenstein, Dracula, and Mummy franchises during their heyday and produced stellar standalone star vehicles for Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, and Oliver Reed, among others.

The song and video are a bit hard to comprehend. Watch for yourself:

Strange, perhaps even haunting.

Kate Bush certainly knows her horror film standbys for female characters, making references to The Bride of Frankenstein, The Birds, Cat People, and countless others in the four minute clip. Most perplexing is the hooded figure representing Hammer Horror.

It's nightmarish and captivating, even if it is essentially Kate Bush and another dancing on an empty soundstage. One day I'll figure out what draws me to this. Until then, I'll keep sketching Kate's facial expressions and body positions for future Halloween sculpts. At least the children can be frightened if nothing else comes of it.

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