A collection of Nine Inch Nails’ videos from the Broken album, it was originally planned to be released in 1992 along with Broken. However, due to its very graphic nature it was never officially released. Rumor has it that somehow the police came across some of the footage to be included and, mistaking it for a real snuff film, put Trent Reznor and his buddies under criminal investigation. Although they were found innocent (they were accused of murder), the tape was prevented from being released. Not one to let the law stifle his art, Mr. Reznor gave copies to some of his friends and instructed them to copy and distribute the videos.
So what is so damn bad about this video? Here is a look at what happens:
The first shot is taken through the window of a car, as they scan through a seemingly normal suburban town. As the car slows down and pulls up into a driveway, the video focuses on a man standing in the driveway with an expression of complete terror. The video abruptly cuts to frighteningly real footage of a man being abused and hanged. After about 30 seconds of that, it cuts to the first music video,Pinion.
Pinion (the first track on Broken) starts off with a shot of a white, sparkling restroom. The video zooms into a toilet, which is then flushed. You follow the pipes all throughout the building, until it reaches its end, where the pipe goes into a struggling man’s mouth. We then meet up with the torturer again, who has strapped down his victim and is forcing him to watch Nine Inch Nails videos.
Wish is the next music video. Tamer than Pinion, this video merely shows Trent and Co. playing inside a large, metal cage with hundreds of blood-thirsty people outside trying to get inside. At the end of the video the break down a wall of the cage, stampede towards Trent, and….the video cuts off back to our kidnapped friend, who is now having his teeth removed with a wrench. The torturer is wearing some kind of mask that looks like human skin.
Help Me I Am In Hell is a pretty shitty video. The song plays to a black screen. Perhaps the movie was never finished, but as it is, it’s pretty lame. That’s OK though, because the next video more than makes up for it.
Happiness in Slavery starts off with Trent singing in some kind of jail cell, looking exceptionally evil. When the chorus comes around we see our good friend Bob Flanagan enter a room, light a candle, and undress himself in front of a mirror. He then straps himself into a table in the center of the room, where all sorts of violent things happen. Sharp objects plunge into his knuckles and a three-pronged claw tears away at his chest and penis, while the man seems to be enjoying it (all of this was actually done, read up some more on Bob Flanagan). Eventually, a large metal plate crushes his testicles and a drill goes through his stomach, killing him. He is mashed into what looks like ground beef and fed to the worms underneath the chair. The machine cleans itself and then we see Trent walk in and light the same candle before the video fades away.
Gave Up immediately follows, out-doing the previous video in gratuitous violence. We finally see the torturer again, this time opening a freezer containing a dead body. He ties the body and lets it suspend from a rope on the ceiling, where he cuts, maims, destroys, and blowtorches it, drinking the blood that drips off. The movie cuts to a rotting corpse outside the house, where a crowd of people and a police officer try not to lose their lunches. Back to the torturer, who is now holding a chainsaw. After cutting off various appendages, the man cuts open his chest and takes the heart. The movie ends with the man holding the heart to his mouth, drinking the blood and ready to eat it.
Since you can’t find this video outside of extremely rare music shops, ebay is your best bet to find a copy, if you have an extra fifteen bucks and a strong stomach.