Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cronenberg in Jeopardy

One of the main reasons I loved MTV in the channel's early days wasn't the novelty appeal of the medium or the great tunes or my undying crush on VJ Martha Quinn but the fact that so many of those early videos were steeped in horror movie influences - everything from Billy Idol in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies in the Tobe Hooper-directed "Dancing With Myself", Ozzy Osbourne turning into a werewolf in "Bark at the Moon" to most famously, Michael Jackson's undead dance-off, "Thriller". But one of my favorite horror-themed videos from that time remains Greg Kihn's "Jeopardy" from 1983.

In "Jeopardy", Kihn plays an anxious groom about to sweat his way through his vows when suddenly his bride-to-be along with the entire wedding congregation turn into zombies and a giant Lovecraftian tentacle erupts from the floor to drag a fleeing Kihn back to the altar. Prior to all hell breaking loose, Kihn's fears of being 'joined at the hip' are made flesh by the sight of an older married couple standing side by side connected by a pulsating growth between them - a surprisingly Cronenbergian image that anticipates the visual of the Mantle twins joined in a dream sequence by a similar growth in 1988's Dead Ringers. And any video that can combine zombies, Cthulhu, Cronenberg, and a hero who wears checkerboard vans to his own wedding is alright by me.

Adding to this video's appeal is the fact that Kihn bears a downright uncanny resemblance to 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper of WWF and They Live fame (especially when Kihn grins at the sight of his bride's wedding band at 1:55). I'm telling you, if someone had cast those two as brothers in an '80s action show, that would've been one for the ages.


kindertrauma said...

You are a mind reader! I was all set to post this video. My post certainly never would have been written as well as this though, that's for sure!
I am beginning to think you are THE SENDER! -Unk

Jeff Allard said...

That's ok, Unk - there's been many times when you've beat me to a post I was planning to do (just recently you got to Shocker before me!). I don't know - maybe there's a little bit of The Sender in both of us!

Marty said...

Allow me to interrupt your oddly homerotic exchange to giev you big thanks for posting this, Jeff. I thought I had remembered this video pretty vividly, but watching it again pointed out some faulty memories (including the fact that I thought Greg Kihn lip-synced to the music throughout). Great, great post.

Multiple Miggs said...

Kind of stumbled across your blog and this is a little late in regards to your post about Greg Kihn, but did you know he went on to write a few horror novels?

Horror Show being the better of them. (Nominee for the Bram Stoker Award for 1st Horror Novel.)


Jeff Allard said...

Hey Miggs, I was aware of Kihn's work as an author but having not read any of his books I felt a little wary about trying to talk about them. But thanks for sharing the info here - it's much appreciated!