Song: “Screaming in the Night” by Krokus
So this gem was introduced to me via VH1 Classic. The oddity of it all has been written about before but probably not by someone who forgot the band name AND the song title and very nearly had to google “that music video with vikings I think and also the guy on the table?” to figure it out. Youtube algorithms being what they are, it appeared as a suggestion alongside Accept’s “Balls to the Wall” before I could see if those search terms got me where I needed to go. So without further ado…Krokus.
This video opens with slow motion high kicks, which means we are in for a treat and also we probably have figured out what Stephen Pearcy was doing for large swaths of 1983.
What’s great about this video is the number of times I squinted at the screen and asked but wait, ARE they vikings and how very little it has to do with the level of pixelation. (Could have something to do my barely-rudimentary knowledge of vikings but I am quite comfortable pinning this on Krokus.)
If you’ve been on a college campus in the past few years, you’ve probably accidentally stumbled on some theatre majors being led through some slow movement exercises on the quad. The opening of this video is basically that, except replace theater majors with probably-not-actually-vikings. (Or not, I’m not your dad, I don’t know where you went to school.)
So the band Krokus is being led through the town square in a manner that suggests they are doomed, except their captors aren’t so concerned about them they won’t let them play through it. The coffin doesn’t really bode super well though.
The captors unchain the lead singer and make him put a damn shirt on and lead him and the band on to their punishment. Along the way, a ladyfriend who really loves Pat Benetar appears, ready for one last canoodle.
The woman in charge, who is wearing a leather leotard, is like hell no, there are already four girls sporting the Pat Benetar look in there and drags her away. Not just away, but through the entire viking village and all the way up to a nefarious man in a helmet. She is not messing around.
Somehow, Pat Benetar escapes and finds her beloved in his prison cell. Damn if she’s not going to say goodbye. But the helmet guy has followed her, sans helmet, and HOLY MOLY DID HE JUST STAB HER WHAT ARE YOU DOING KROKUS.
This is literally the only face you can make.
The next day, the lead singer and his casket are delivered to a pyramid.
Let me just reflect on the fact that my entire life has led to typing that sentence.
So they chain the guy up and lay him next to the casket. You might think that this is where the video starts going off the rails, but this is actually when it starts to make sense. Clearly this guy is suspected of being a magician, which is frowned up on this society, and if he is truly magic, he will be able to escape his chains and then the pyramid, and if he’s not, um, well, the casket’s ready. It’s not not dark.
Turns out he is magic though because he breaks the chains, and then FREAKING LIGHTENING BOLTS HIMSELF A NEW SET OF CLOTHES. And it’s just like, okay dude, you can lightening in some menswear, but you couldn’t save your girlfriend? Or your band?
A trap door springs open in the pyramid just as the captors are coming to check on his progress. He climbs down the ladder and…..
Let’s be real. If we ever advance to magic portals, it’s going to be like this. Some rando from centuries ago popping up in a crowded-ass diner. Cutting line, pissing everyone off.
He’s okay with the leather leotard woman waiting tables and the guy who killed his girlfriend being the line cook and he doesn’t seem to give a rat’s toe, let alone ass, that his band is here too and enjoying some toad-in-a-hole , but his calm dissipates when he sees himself on the television. Then he discovers his girlfriend is alive and well and working as an MTV VJ and the emoting really hits another level.
The end of the video is him literally just screaming his song at the television like the girl can hear him. No clean emotional resolution here. It’s kind of poignant in a way. He thinks this is going to work.
Meanwhile, I’m over here like, why is there a ladder to other realms in this diner? Why is everyone only slightly inconvenienced by this joker’s choice to trod upon their food in order to get closer to the television? Why is no one moving their damn plate once his path is established? What kind of day has the waitress had that she is able to only muster up some bemusement at the whole thing? Does it have anything to do with a leather leotard? Does this dude have a plan beyond screaming into the television?
So many questions, and yet this video makes more sense than anything that has happened in the last six weeks…