Brutality, the Berzerker, Blood, & Babes: Metal Film Clips Censorship

Rarely do my modelling and metal chick worlds collide, but when they do, they collide with a crash of big bang proportions! A bang loud enough that it’s necessary to be censored, apparently.

So when does a metal chick get to model as a metal chick? In a metal film clip of course. Traditionally music film clips released to promote metal singles have been a mish mash of violence, heroic posturing and gruesome monsters. However somewhere along the line the metal world has learned what the pop world knew all along: namely, that sex sells!


So now more than ever we’re seeing metal clips featuring sexy girls – but since we’re still metal, we want a bit of edge with our sex appeal, thanks – some spookiness, some horror, some blood, some gore. And that’s where I come in – need a sexy gory girl? While some other professional models turn their noses up at this kind of work, I’m yelling “yes please, pick me, pick me!”


Sounds awesome, right? What could be a better combo than sexy girls and blood and metal?


Well you and I might agree… But the censors don’t.


Yep, once upon a time video clips lived in a grey world were censors feared to tread, but ever since the release of Girls on Film censorship of video clips has not only been the norm, in some ways it is far harsher than standard censorship of films or TV. While film or TV will be slapped with a guidance rating, music film clips can actually be banned outright – yes, rather being given a PG or M or R rating, they are, in many cases, not ever shown on TV at all.


So what is so bad that it would get a clip banned, you may ask? After all we can all sit down on a Saturday or Sunday morning and watch clips aimed at pre-teens, in which pop girl groups sing about their boobs and their butts and ability to please a man, and dance around shaking their bits while wearing almost nothing – rappers can be portrayed sitting in a spa surrounded by a harem of adoring women and rap about how they’re all “hoes” – bands can sing detailed love songs about their illegal drug of choice and the fun of being high - and this is considered perfectly acceptable daytime viewing for all ages.


What could be worse than the depiction of women being nothing but sexual objects for men? Well, apparently, women being in charge of their own sexuality is far more dangerous. What could be more offensive than music promoting the joys of illegal drugs? Music that promotes the joys of silly horror movie style gore. And if blatant references to and cutaway footage of girl-on-guy sex are fine, what sexy stuff could they be censoring? Anything vaguely fetish-y or portraying girl-on-girl apparently is just not on.



Wait, what? Is this really about protecting innocent children and keeping TV clean of sex and violence? Of course not, sex and violence are what TV is all about. Seems the censors are in fact pushing some sort of right-wing Christian based morality onto us, and that really doesn’t often work with metal.


I’ve been in four film clips, and they were some of my most enjoyable modeling experiences to date. The music was fun, the bands were lovely, I was treated with nothing but respect and never once asked to do anything I felt uncomfortable doing. And yet, of all the modeling I’ve ever done, the metal film clips are the only things I’ve done that have been censored.


Let’s use The Berzerker as an example of a major, successful, extreme metal band that we all know and love. They have a long history of their clips being censored. Back when they wore masks, they had clips censored due to being ‘too scary for children.’ Got it? Michael Jackson in Thriller = ok, Aphex Twin in any of their crazy scary clips = ok, but metal band looking scary? Not ok. Banned.


Then their clips involving strobe lighting and flashing effects were banned. Well, fair enough, you may think. Except they actually deliberately ensured that their clip followed the letter of the law in having the allowable number of frames per second as described by the censors. But banned anyway. Is there a pattern forming here?


Then there was the recent clip to Internal Examination, featuring my lovely friends and I absolutely covered in fake blood, with a fake wound here or there. Banned. Blood is no longer allowed in video clips… at all! A TV show or movie in which a victim is shown killed in some horribly realistic, gory way, for the entertainment of the people at home? A-ok. A music video clip in which the bloody and gory are girls running around happily and not appearing to be suffering? Not ok! Banned.


So given this history it will be interesting to see what controversy arises from the latest Berzerker clip, just now released. It is a cover of that T.A.T.U. track, All The Things She Said – yes, the underage lesbian anthem. That clip was hugely popular, and somehow, despite the girl-on-girl kissing, despite the underage schoolgirls getting their white shirts drenched in the rain, that seemed to be played on TV endlessly. Perhaps because the clip showed quite visibly a large group of onlookers showing obvious disapproval, and because the girls themselves appeared miserable? Who knows.


All we know is that a metal band covering exactly the same song, with exactly the same theme for the clip, looks set to be censored where the original was not. Already flagged as viewable to 18+ viewers only on YouTube, the clip has had a record number of complaints – despite featuring no nudity, no actual sex, no violence.


What does it show? It shows one pair of sexy girls wearing fetishy clothes, getting kinky. It shows another pair of cute girls playing in their bedroom and kissing. No guys, no sleaze, so to many of us far less offensive than your standard music video clip. But the girls are enjoying themselves, there’s no guys involved, and it’s metal. So once again – it looks set to be censored.


The Berzerker's The Reawakening is out now. Get your copy exclusively from The Berzerker at their MySpace or official site.

What is your take on censorship regarding metal film clips? Drop your comments here or tell us in the forum.