Last week, after Coilhouse’s crushing loss to neonatal mush pushers among others, an impromptu battle began, based on the desire to unleash risque and tasteless content, which had theretofore been stifled in the hopes that Those Who Were Judging Us would not be horrified by our dribblings, which they may have been regardless of our self-censorship. I did not participate, for I am above such puerile displays of gross indecency.
Nadya’s wink to Bob Flanagan did, however, serve to bring to mind a formative event in the formation of my alt-culture understanding, which you see embedded above. The rumor of “the Broken movie” came into existence almost simultaneously with the release of the album and it was not long before its legend had grown into dark and monumental proportions. Chief amongst the details of these rumors was that the film was interspersed with scenes from a real, honest-to-god snuff film which, it was further postulated, was from Trent Reznor’s personal collection of snuff films which he most likely kept in a vault of some sort, no doubt situated in the catacombs under the abandoned warehouse in the industrial park that he called home. Or maybe just in a box under his bed in his L.A. mansion. Who knows. What we did know, my friends and I, was that we needed to find this movie.
It would be many years before that would actually come to pass and, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I would get to see The Broken Movie in its entirety, after having already seen most of it on the official release of Closure. Mr. Flanagan, of course, plays a significant role in the film, being as he is the centerpiece of the video for Happiness in Slavery. The Broken Movie did not disappoint and, while it was obvious that there was no way what I was watching was a snuff film, it was still rather shocking at the time. Years later, scarred from my time on the net, I suppose it holds less sway. Some of its imagery has, disturbingly, almost become mundane; but only some. Watching it again there is still plenty here that makes me wince. Time and knowledge have, thankfully, not managed to wash away completely the feeling of watching something, perhaps, taboo.
Author’s Note: Nothing linked in this post is safe for work. Some of it is not safe for life.