Surfing. As you know, readers, it can be a dangerous and scary pastime. How can I forget when I first came across “The Hunger”. It was three minutes 47 seconds after deciding that Men at Work’s “Down Under” video was only properly scary from an acting perspective. OK, so it’s not that far from a Vegemite sandwich, if you are familiar with the Aussie band’s favourite snack, to the ‘hunger which burns forever’. Brief digression: Vegemite. Like Marmite only made from vegetables and yeast extract. Marmite? Let’s not go there.
Beyond that the videos to “The Hunger” by Joshua Michael & Realm 1-11 and the Antipodean number bear little relationship, other than they both reference zombies, strange ladies (who may or may not make you nervous or give you breakfast), and both excursions on celluloid can make you chunder. The video to “Down Under” is a shining example of how to apply literal images to the words of the song until about halfway through when the director decides to give up. Fairly soon afterward the lyrics do too.
Sadly for Joshua Michael, the director, cast and indeed us all, the Hunger burns forever. The hunger is never ending. It might explain why singer Joshua Michael, once dead, has to wear quite such an all-enveloping Matrix-style leather coat in the movie and why it didn’t fit co-star, the strangely named Christina Lorenzo Agront, when the script calls for her to don it. The poor girl appears in the nearest thing to Michael’s coat of glossy black that Wardrobe could find. At least she has the good grace to leave off the oversized sports bra she wears for the Egyptian bits. Agront is Asiatic in appearance but has curiously found herself cast as an Egyptian. It takes more than a Cleopatra cut.
The song comes from the album, Guardian of Secret Dreams. Yes there is an entire album. If you like “The Hunger”, you will be delighted to learn that there are 15 more tracks on it. It says copyright 2008 on the ad but surely this is the 80’s? The yuppie café. The guy who may work for Lehman Bros. The hunger. He’s been listening to Depeche Mode on a really off night when penning this tune. The almost square-jawed Michael is described as a prolific songwriter and compared to Tori Amos and Jim Steinman. Actually this is code for he likes Tori Amos and Jim Steinman and would like to meet them one day. Yes, wouldn’t we all.
I’m sure Mr Michael is a thoroughly decent chap who just makes scarily bad music and maybe should stick to a creative art like bricklaying. On the other hand, Joshua Michael would also make a splendid name for a hair salon or gentleman’s outfitter. Los Angeles is thankfully far enough away from our offices for him to hear this. And then there’s the video. Ed Wood might have been proud of this. Director, James Prince, is clearly keen to follow in the Plan 9 man’s footsteps, even though his sartorial style leans more towards that of Axel Rose. If this is a spoof, you ask yourself why. If it’s serious, you ask yourself even more why. Do Realm 1-11 really exist? And why does the CGI model of Anubis, Egyptian God of the Dead, look like he’d be more at home in a Wallace & Gromit short?
If you want pale-skinned Egyptians and vampires who’ve just raided the dressing-up box at your local fetish store, you’ve come to the right studio. You may have noticed the largely stream of consciousness style of this piece. It’s because I can hardly bring myself to comment on the film, which accompanies this song. We could be eternally grateful to Astaria Films for offering a rational explanation for the jumble of Egyptology, lost love and vampirism laid before us, but we’re not.
Basically Michael sees his ex in Egyptian themed café, has apology for a fight with girl’s new man, stares at Egyptian pictures on wall, gets knocked down by car with new boyfriend at wheel, dies, is unconvincingly transported down the Nile, encounters Anubis and his ex-gf in guise of an Egyptian Queen, lands in a vampire café, set upon, bitten by his ex (now a vampire), pushed away by PVC clad winged vampire and Egyptian consort, turns up at a train station, then yet another café via a pool game, sees girl again, lots of flashbacks, song fizzles out. Most of the time Michael sings an uninspiring dirge about his hunger in a voice that suggests he has a cold while all this nonsense is going on. There, you just can’t wait to see it, can you. By all means watch the vid but have some tranquillisers to hand.