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Video Breakdown: Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love

This Marilyn Manson video is definitely not safe for work

The Soft Cell classic, itself a cover of a 1965 Gloria Jones' song, gets a millennial do-over from the God Of Fuck. This is Marilyn Manson’s biggest UK hit to date, spending 22 weeks in the charts and peaking at number five. The video is absolutely not safe for work, but then, nor is Marilyn Manson. Right, let’s get to it…


00:09

A pleasant suburban high school party is underway, populated by the cast of the best-forgotten 2001 film Not Another Teen Movie. What’s very strange to think is that Chris Evans, who plays the popular jock, weighs about 100lbs of muscle less in this movie than he does as Captain America, and yet is still a big strapping hunk. Madness. Anyway, the party’s got an unexpected visitor in a big bouncy limo: Marilyn Manson.


00.22

Mazza’s got a plaque saying 'Goth Thug' on the front of his car, which presumably he had made. Whoever he had make it probably didn’t think it was silly or anything. But then he followed it up with a bigger plaque with his initials on it, big enough that the Goth Thug one looks a bit underwhelming now. Planning, Manson. Planning.


00:31

Mia Kirshner (the parachuting terrorist from 24) is responsible for Manson's appearance, and a queue of scantily-clad ladies have arrived from somewhere to follow him in. Manson himself, who's a bit of a cad, describes the video concept thus: “When I saw the movie I thought it would be a good idea to try and put myself in a sexual scenario with as many of the actresses as possible.” Delightful.


01:11

It’s worth pointing out that the pole this lady is dancing on has been properly installed in the house. They could definitely have made a bit more effort on the ceiling, but as long as it’s all sufficiently load-bearing, it’s not a bad DIY job for a bunch of people mostly wearing sunglasses who’ve just rolled out of a limo.


01:24

Chyler Leigh, familiar to anyone who’s accidentally watched all thirteen seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and feel it peaked around the sixth, has a split-second makeover in the mirror and suddenly has the God Of Fuck (self-appointed nickname) loitering behind her. See how he appears and disappears like he’s in the popular nineteenth-century theatrical illusion Pepper’s Ghost. Yeah, that one.

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01:31

Manson’s in the hot tub with three women and an 'M' necklace that matches his neck tattoos. Wanna know something really weird? Those neck tattoos, a big gothic M on either side, aren’t real. Look him up on Google Images. Loads of tattoos, including lots done since this video, but no big neck Ms. Why would a dude with loads of real tattoos have fake ones painted on in waterproof paint for a music video? Marilyn Manson’s weird, man.


01:40

This t-shirt, that says 'Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Goth Thing', is not a cool garment.


01:49

It totally looks like Mazza’s got a forked tongue here, but it’s a mirror. Given that part of his treatment for this video was “I wanted to [...] have naked girls and exploit them”, maybe, right, maybe it’s his problematic attitude he really wants to take some time to reflect on. Yeah?


02:04

You don’t see a lot of gazebos in music videos these days, but Manson’s totally making this one look like the baddest-assest of all outbuildings. Also, he kinda looks like a black-and-white photo of an aviation-themed stripogram mid-routine. Think it’s the sunglasses.


02:16

This is obviously a giant bed, but just pretend for a bit that it’s a normal-sized one and Marilyn Manson was just always really small. Would that make him more sinister or less sinister? Can something be adorable and sinister at the same time? He’s usually photographed on his own – maybe he’s tiny like a Borrower or Billie Joe Armstrong or the baby from Baby’s Day Out? Like, he’s not, but just pretend he is, for fun. See?


02:23

Very good “I am literally so unimpressed by these goths that I’ve got throw-up in my mouth” from future My Name Is Earl star Jaime Pressly.

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02:29

In a crazy twist, the way Manson’s followed up arriving with scantily-clad women, transforming fully-dressed women into scantily-clad women and frolicking in a pool with scantily-clad women is by transforming cuddly toys into scantily-clad women. Is this guy full of surprises or what? You should see him at Christmas.


02:34

The way that Brian matches the song’s 'doot doot' bit with two smacks to an entirely dehumanised furry’s behind reminds us he’s not called Marilyn Gentlemanson.


03:16

Hang on, did he bring his dressing gown from home? What a legend.


03:30

Ladies and gentleman, he’s disappeared! Literally the worst party guest ever – brings a bunch of mates, fucks everything up and bails, leaving DIY stripper poles, cuddly toy innards and Joey Jordison everywhere. Marilyn Manson, you’re a bloody scoundrel.

What Tainted Love taught us...

It’s entirely possible for a cover of a cover to be the best version of a song. If you’re a homeowner, don’t invite Marilyn Manson to your party, he’ll destroy your house. If you’re a guest at a party, though, he seems like a pretty good dude to bring if you’re even slightly worried it’s going to be boring. Not Another Teen Movie is probably not due a rewatch, and Manson could probably benefit from a few platonic female friendships.


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