Music Video of the Day: The Damned by The Plasmatics (1982, dir by Ron Swenson)


On Friday night, some friends and I were watching an old New Year’s special from 1983.  In between a few stand-up comedians and an interview with an oddly coherent Ozzy Osbourne, this video was broadcast.

Taking a school bus to the desert, singing on top of it, and then blowing it up?  Hell yeah!  All hail the revolution!  It’s interesting to think that, just a few years ago, everyone wanted to be rebellious.  As of late, I kind of feel like society has started to lose its rebellious spirit.  People now seem to prefer complacency and conformity.  That’s a shame but I think that revolutionary spirit is still out there.  It’s just the same people have forgotten how to embrace it.  It’ll return, though.  Like a school bus blowing up in the desert, the temptation of free thought cannot be ignore for too long.

Lead singer Wendy O. Williams did all of her own stunts in the video, including climbing on top of the bus and jumping off right before it exploded.  On top of the danger involved in driving a bus full of explosives, Wendy also did it all with a sprained ankle.  MTV was apparently so worried that the video would inspire other people to try the same thing that they insisted a warning be added to the start of the video.

(My personal opinion on warnings is that they’re counter-productive.  In fact, there’s something really hypocritical about warnings like the ones that MTV used to include before their shows.  If you’re that concerned that a video or television show is going to lead to people doing something stupid and destructive and potentially life-threatening, then don’t broadcast it.  The minute that you decide to air something, you’ve kind of lost the right to say, “Please watch this but don’t try to duplicate it.”  To be honest, whenever I see a warning telling me not to do something, it just makes me want to do it more.  That said, I don’t think I would be able to find the courage necessary to fool around with explosives.  Or, for that matter, drive a school bus.  I’m sure the bus is probably covered with germs and wads of chewing gum.  Bleh!)

This video was directed, over the course of one day, by Ron Swenson.  Of course, since the bus was due to explode during filming, almost every shot had to be completed in just one take.

Enjoy!

Lyrics:

Black visions from the satellite sky
Deaf ears hear not their cries
Fat jackals howl at the moon
Flies buzzing, playing death’s tune

Night ends but the sun it don’t rise
Tombs open and the dead they will rise
Black market buys your soul real cheap
No escaping, what you sow, you will reap

Prisoners of the damned
Find another land
Planet of the lost
Land of fire and frost

Prisoners of the dead
Fear the unknown dread
Tidal waves at sea
Set the serpents free

Coup d’etat on a global scale
Opposition, locked up in jail
Domination, the goons are the boss
Human race nailed to a cross

Prisoners of the damned
Find another land
Planet of the lost
Land of fire and frost

Prisoners of the dead
Fear the unknown dread
Tidal waves at sea
Set the serpents free

Prisoners of the damned
Find another land
Planet of the lost
Land of fire and frost

One response to “Music Video of the Day: The Damned by The Plasmatics (1982, dir by Ron Swenson)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 1/2/23 — 1/8/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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