Sunday, July 11, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Duran Duran - “Hungry Like the Wolf”

We start off with various people doing boring things in some vague city that is not in the Western Hemisphere. If I paid more attention to the news, I would probably know where this is, but I don’t. This probably makes me a loser in some way. Anyway, the city streets are crowded, there is poverty, and folks have an affinity for sandals.

Next thing you know, two of the members of Duran Duran (the cute short one and one of the drag queens) suddenly run across a street and are nearly killed by angry people on Mopeds. But they survive, and are joined by the other drag queen one. Are they late for the concert? What’s going on? Can they people possibly look more flamboyant and out of place?

Cut to a café of some kind, where a small person with interesting headwear is sitting on one of the tables and trying to coax a snake out of basket. I hope the waiter doesn’t sit us in that section. Oh, look, there’s Simon LeBon at one of the tables, looking about 12 years old, drinking a beer, singing, and staring at a rude man who is doing something with a monkey.

Simon takes off his glasses, which is a cue for the camera man to zoom in on an asexual necklace that Simon is wearing. Then Simon flips his table over, so I guess the service is really bad here, which is not surprising, considering the presence of livestock and all. Simon then dashes to a nearby farmer’s market, perhaps intent on making his own food, or maybe he just likes to fondle local produce.

Quick shot showing that other band members have commandeered a jeep, which means there is probably an unhappy native sitting by the side of the road somewhere, cursing British pop stars in a language that we don’t understand. Simon is still at the market, and I think he’s drunk. More band members running through the crowded streets, one of them wearing an offensive headband. Brief glimpse of woman with lipstick who is apparently very tired and falls to the ground.

Meaningless shot of a bushel of corn.

Simon encounters some oxen or some such pulling a wagon. He stares at them quizzically, not sure if he’s found the rest of his band or should keep looking. He decides it’s not them, so he and his fedora run somewhere else. (Another brief glimpse of lipstick woman, now in a jungle and sporting face paint. I guess she’s done with her nap.) Then we have a transition shot, with special effects that make it very clear this video is nearly 30 years old.

Now we have Simon straddling a canoe on a river, trying to be cool and squat like the natives but really looking like he’s got a body part caught in something. He’s making some other guy do all the paddling, which isn’t really fair, but maybe Simon has a clause about manual labor in his contract. We spy another face-painted person peering out of the jungle, but we don’t know them so we don’t care.

Back in the city, two of the band members accost a small boy and torment him with a photo of Simon LeBon. The boy shakes his head in terror, not being fond of white people with odd names, even if they can sing.

Another crappy transition scene.

Now Simon is crossing a rope bridge that’s practically falling apart, so you fully expect him to fall through and he does. This triggers another small boy to roll a big tire in front of a gas station, avoiding unexplained campfires in the roadway. The we have shots of a non-drag queen band member, girls walking in short skirts, and Rush Limbaugh. Oh wait, that was just an elephant at the end there.

The camera pans to the right of the elephant, and there’s Simon, standing in the middle of the river and bellowing the song. He tries to do a shimmy thing, which is totally inappropriate, then he makes a seductive face, turns toward the elephant, and then heads that way. What the hell?

Quick shot of offensive-headband guy, who has apparently totally enraptured some woman just by pretending that he’s in a Karate Kid movie. They immediately clutch each other in a sensual embrace while mystified street people look on.

Back to Simon, wading in that damn river. (I guess things didn’t work out with the elephant.) Short scene with the lipstick jungle woman grabbing the cute band member, and then kissing him, which causes her to briefly transition into a lion. Why all these images of horniness and animals? Is it the heat, or have I just not been reading the right magazine articles?

Simon’s still in the river. He frightens some boy on the shore, who then runs in terror while dead trees sway in the background. Oh wait, he’s running TO Simon, who has been magically transported to a convenient pile of rocks. Simon is very thirsty, despite having been swimming in water for the whole video, and the little urchin soothes Simon’s parched throat by squeezing liquid out of a dirty rag. We don’t know where that rag has been, and Simon could possibly die, but at least he’s not in the river any more.

Oh wait, I lied. He’s back in the water, doing a slo-mo Swimsuit Model maneuver, rising out of the river all drippy and such. This causes the nearby lipstick jungle woman to arch her back seductively and then start running through the trees. It’s not clear if she’s on the hunt or just remembered she has an appointment with her therapist.

Culture Club makes a brief cameo.

Then we’re back in the jungle, where Simon has also been to one of those street fairs where they do face-painting. He and lipstick woman appear to be stalking each other, now that they have artwork in common. They finally meet up and howl at each other, which qualifies as a first date in some countries, then lipstick woman gets all moody and claws Simon on the neck, thus living out the fantasy of every teenage girl in 1984.

Then Simon and Lipstick start making angry, beasty love on the jungle floor. Clothes are torn, leaves are trampled, and we have an unwelcome close-up of Lipstick’s derriere as she crouches in animal lust. While they bang a gong, we have explanatory shots of all the band members finally getting together at that nasty café with snakes and bad service.

As the song and the mating winds down, the band members all gather around Simon as he apparently relates his adventures of the aggressive woman who did more than just throw her panties on stage. They all nod knowingly, being pop stars and used to having jungle sex every time they turn around. Meanwhile, the obviously poorly-paid extras in the background stare directly at the cameras and don’t even pretend to be eating, adding even further polish to this fine piece of cinema…

Fade out.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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