Thursday, May 19, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: finger eleven - “Paralyzer”

Hmmm. Okay, this video basically involves two separate stories. The first is a tidy little tale wherein members of the band perform the song while on the roof of a very tall building. Not much drama or plot, just some jamming whilst the Eleven Fingers bang on their instruments and sport clothing that is appropriate for slightly angry musicians given permission to make music at high altitudes. A bit pedestrian, but nicely done and no one gets hurt.

The other story? Well, it has something to do with a horde of mimes wearing designer business attire as they try to infect an unnamed city without getting arrested. This has much more promise, so we’ll ignore the Fingers on the Roof and focus on the exploits of the Office Workers From Hell as they work their dirty magic and run amuck, intent on an evil uprising that may or may not have anything to do with reality. You decide.

The first mime we see is a man with probable Asian features walking alone on some road that might be Wall Street. He looks very innocent, but don’t let this fool you. The Mime Man’s strolling is interrupted by that other story with the band rocking on the roof. Mime Man gives them a look like the sushi is not up to par, then he continues walking to wherever it is that smartly-dressed mimes go.

We next see the Mime Man, or at least the lower half of him, doing a little slide-step action as he crosses a street. (This smells of Broadway, so maybe these mime beings were hatched during a matinee performance of “A Chorus Line”.) Then Mime Man does some lazy pop-and-lock action, so it’s possible their origination was somewhere Off Broadway. (You get into some of those smaller theaters away from The Great White Way and anything goes.)

Mime Man then meets up with some of the other pod people, and they do some artsy aerobic stretches in front of a window. Mime Man at first pretends that he doesn’t really know who these other people are, but then he glances across the street and sees a Mime Woman that wants nothing more than to dance with him, and he changes his tune. He saunters across the street and dramatically touches Mime Woman’s back, which causes other pod people to spring forth out of nowhere and wave their hands about. I’m thinking I’m not really fond of this development.

This suddenly-large family of mimes starts cavorting around the street, doing a lot of hand gestures that just might be signaling the mother ship. I do have to say that it’s very emotional, in an “I really don’t care” sort of way, especially the one woman who seems to be reenacting key scenes from Sophie’s Choice. I also like how the whole group manages to do things to the beat, a skill that escapes many modern bands because they are used to Auto-Tune doing everything for them.

Brief scene where rude people yank apart Mime Man and Mime Woman, with both of them reaching beseechingly toward one another as they are forced to take separate cars to the next scene.

Mime Man, because he’s a trooper (and possibly not really all that invested in Mime Woman, because their relationship only lasted about 17 seconds) keeps strutting down whatever street this is. Oh wait, we have another shot of Mime Woman, and she’s strutting as well, sans captors, so maybe she got away from the rude mimes and is determined to rekindle her brief love affair with Mime Man. Or she might just be late for an appointment with the gynecologist. (How does a mime deal with such an exam? Do they just pretend that the stirrups are there?)

Anyway, the now-twirling (for no explained reason) Mime Man and Mime Woman are marching toward one another. During this trek, the Mime Woman pauses in her marching to walk into the middle of the street and give birth to several fully-grown mimes who then proceed to dance and frolic about. (A bit odd, but I’m all for saving money on child care, so skipping the developmental phase is quite appealing.)

Side note: Can you imagine, as a dancing actor, having this on your resume? “I was the fourth dancer shot out of the Mime Woman’s womb and directly into adulthood. Click here for video footage and references.”

This overwhelming display of fast-track maternity captures the attention of Mime Man, who starts to high-kick his way toward suddenly-spotted Mime Woman, only to be instantly surrounded by a gang of her offspring. For some reason, they are holding him back from being reunited and feeling so good. Perhaps they’ve checked his credit history and realize his child support checks will not be as forthcoming as they should be.

But love, or at least infatuation, triumphs over all, and Mime Man finally breaks free from his ungrateful children and clenches Mime Woman, triggering the start of a hair-whipping pas de deux wherein hair products are put to the ultimate wind-fan test. I’m happy to report that, between the two of them, they come up with enough frenetic hand gestures that their love is safe, at least until the next episode of “Survivor”.

In a celebration of them finding each other after mere minutes apart, they start pro-creating again, with mimes flying out of somebody’s orifice. The quickly-escalating amount of family members is still able to do that super cool business with everybody bopping their heads at exactly the same time, but I’m really concerned about this huge leap in population. I’m thinking we need to put a cork in somebody’s delivery chute.

My hesitations are ignored, as the mime count triples and quadruples, until the street becomes a sea of mimes, an outpouring of offspring familiar to so many inner-city social workers to want to slap their fertile clients. (Stop making babies! Read a book instead!) The video comes to an abrupt end with Mime Man and Mime Woman rising above their thousands of children and gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes.

But I can’t take my eyes off those children. This is too much like the early scenes of lumbering zombies in Day of the Dead, just before people realized that they might have to kill their way out of a shopping mall…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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