The Misfits were one of those bands you thought were really cool when you were a teenager. As you got older, you realized that they were just a bunch of middle aged dudes trying to act spooky while simultaneously marketing every single property they could. There were Misfits action figures, Misfits shower curtains, Misfits bikinis… the list goes on and on. They even wrestled for WCW in the dying years of that company. They are KISS level sellouts without the worldwide fame or musical credibility. I’m of course speaking of the version of the misfits that re-booted in the 90’s after Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only went through their messy divorce. These days, the two spend most of their time in a competition on who can be a spookier 60 year old douche, but back in the day, it was pretty heated. When the American Psycho album came out, I was actually kind of pumped. It was 1997, and in my defense, I was a teenager. I didn’t know dick about shit. Looking back as an adult, I can’t help but be amused at just how hard they tried to be spooky and sell out at the same time. Gone was Danzig’s use of horror movies as metaphors, and legitimately disturbing lyrical stylings. It was replaced by poo. Overproduced pop metal poo. One of the first singles off this album was a song called Dig Up Her Bones, which might have one of the most painfully lame music videos of all time. Here is a list of the 10 most cringeworthy moments in that video.
- Jerry Only’s Goofy Fucking Faces
Is he flexing? Is he pointing an imaginary gun to his head? Is he duck-facing? I think he’s doing all 3. This is what your middle aged dad would look like if he was trying to impress you by trying to be a badass in a metal band. Also, note how the devilock does little to cover up the onset of male pattern baldness. Nobody should EVER make this face. Ever. Especially if you are trying to come off as a spooky scary man.
- Michale Graves Crying Blood
Ok, let’s get this out of the way… Michale Graves isn’t that bad. He’s a good singer, and seems to be a pretty cool dude. He gets a lot of the blame for the problems for this version of The Misfits, simply for the fact that he’s not Danzig, and since he’s the variable, it must be his fault that this band is lame. Truth be told, this was Jerry’s show. It was his band, and Graves was just the guy he hired to sing in it, at least for a couple records, until Jerry decided to just fire everyone and do it himself. But I can’t defend tears of blood. It’s lame. It makes me want to cry tears of tears.
- Heavy Metal Guy Fieri
It’s a short clip in the video, but this fucking guy is seen bro-ing out in the front row, and fist pumping as he sings along to the chorus. I can’t exactly put a finger on why this guy bugs me so much… It’s probably a combination of the spikey hair, the skeleton glove, the Korn t-shirt, the earrings, the facial hair… ok, it’s a lot of reasons. This guy looked like every piece of shit fake metal dude you all knew in high school. Also, that guy over his right shoulder looks kind of like Bill Paxton with a moustache.
- The Crimson Ghost Muppet
The only cool piece of merchandise ever associated with any version of this band was the iconic Crimson Ghost design on their shirts. Of course, the 90’s Misfits would find a way to mess that up. So, they took the design, made him a muppet, and had him sneaking around the stage like a creeper. Here he is poking his head out of a curtain, presumably to ask what brand of mayonnaise the guys wanted on their turkey sandwiches backstage. I don’t really have anything to base this on, I just like the idea of Jerry Only making all his road crew and craft service people dress in spooky costumes. Tell me that’s not at least plausible.
- Michale Graves in the Michale Gravesyard
It’s weird… I actually saw this version of The Misfits several times in concert, and Graves had a real presence about him when he performed. He looked cool in the skull facepaint, twitching around like a tweaker. Here, he looks like a completely different dude. It hurts that he’s not in full stage makeup, as it kind of takes away whatever coolness the persona held. Also, he’s trying to sing-act. I’m pretty sure in this picture, he’s singing to a dead leaf. It’s not great. The on stage bits are much better as far as Graves is concerned. Too bad everyone else is awful in those segments.
- These Fucking Guys
- The Spooky Stage Props
This shit is scary in the same way you’re neighbor’s amateur Haunted House full of Party City products is scary. Look! A rubber skeleton, you guys! OOOoooooOOOOOoooooHHHH! Also, Let’s take a minute to talk about the drum set here. It has spikes on it. Big spikes. These are 40 year old men wearing makeup and playing with muppets.
- This Phony Embrace
Since Graves and Only parted ways, the fact they never got along hasn’t exactly been kept a secret. Here’s a story. I saw the Misfits in DC right after the Famous Monsters Album Came out. On one song early in the set, Graves was having mic trouble. Rather than waiting for someone to fix the problem, or bring a different mic, Jerry just kicked him off the stage and took over lead vocal duties. He didn’t stop in between songs, so Graves had to sit at the side of the stage for like 10 minutes before there was a break, and he could resume his singing duties. He was visibly pissed throughout the rest of the show. He quit the band a few months later. I bring this up to hammer home the point just how forced this hug looked even a few years prior to all that. Plus, it’s really out of place in the video itself, what with all the spooky skeletons and spikey drums.
- This Stupid Sign
More cheap props. It’s not clear from this since it’s a static image, but that hand comes to life and points, kind of like the bony dismembered appendage of a member of ZZ Top. Also, the Fiend Club could not be a lamer combination of words if it tried. Robin already touched on the lameness of the Mickey Mousketeers-iness of the Fiend Club song here. That’s important to keep in mind.
- This .Gif
Not a whole lot needs to be said. I’ve been watching this for like 10 minutes, and it’s still just as funny.
As you can see, this was a lame group of lame dudes making lame videos for lame songs that lame people enjoyed. Looking back, It’s kind of mind-boggling that people even enjoyed this at all. The Misfits always had a degree of tongue in cheek to their work, but this is just embarrassing to everyone involved in the production and consumption.
I should also add that Danzig is also a major ass. I’m not entirely convinced the band wouldn’t have been this lame had he been around. This is a completely true story. On the way back from the Housecore Horror Festival last year, I was at the Austin airport on my way to fly back home to Pittsburgh. As I’m going through TSA screening, I look over next to me, and who do I see but Glenn Danzig. He was wearing sunglasses, a leather jacket, and giant biker boots. It was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen watching him strip away all those layers of artifice to go through the metal detectors like just a dude trying to catch a plane. The funny thing is, he was about 4” shorter after he took the boots off, so it was pretty clear he was wearing some pretty substantial lifts. Later that day, someone took a picture of him sleeping in the terminal. Good times were had. Anyway, like The Misfits if you want. They provided me with a lot of good times both ironically and otherwise, but we can all agree that this video is indefensibly lame.