Total Eclipse of the Heart (Literal Video Version)
June 3, 2009 8:16 PM   Subscribe

Total Eclipse of the Heart (Literal Version) (SLYT). This video has a cracktasticness-surreality quotient that's through the roof.

Here's the original, summed up by Wikipedia as "Bonnie Tyler clad all in white, apparently having a dream or fantasy about her students in a boys' boarding school. Young men are seen dancing and participating in various school activities such as swim team, fencing, football, and singing in a choir. The video was shot at Holloway Sanatorium." The original song was written by Jim Steinman, by the way, who is the writer behind most of the overwraught melodramatic songs that hit the top of the charts, like Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" and Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".
posted by WCityMike (78 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
awesome.
posted by dawson at 8:23 PM on June 3, 2009


This is very well done. [related].
posted by tellurian at 8:24 PM on June 3, 2009


I found that the other day and sent it to my wife. I thought it was pretty old, but it is definitely something that needs more exposure. A good few genius moments.

Particularly the angel groping moment.
posted by Brockles at 8:25 PM on June 3, 2009


it's a total double of a post.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:26 PM on June 3, 2009


Funny. I kept thinking I've seen this before then looked in the sidebar and saw about twenty other literal versions of videos. The A-Ha - Take on Me (Literal Version) is really funny and where I first remember seeing this.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:26 PM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


When I was in highschool I went to a very serious, very emotional Christian retreat that used this song in one of its main orgiastic godpassion shows.

That being said, this is definitely best of the net.

Hilarious.
posted by aetg at 8:27 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was a lot better than I thought it was gonna be. By that I mean it was pretty hilarious.
posted by marxchivist at 8:28 PM on June 3, 2009


or, put differently, maybe it isn't a double.

here is the [previously] that i was thinking of.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:29 PM on June 3, 2009


Why is the "YOUNG CONS ANTHEM"

one of the featured videos?

posted by Hammond Rye at 8:33 PM on June 3, 2009


Pretty good job, although I still think the A-Ha one is superior. However, this post still wins, 'cause it gives me an excuse to link up the amazing cover of Total Eclipse by the Dan Band (as made famous in Old School).
posted by Banky_Edwards at 8:35 PM on June 3, 2009


But this video was already, ridiculously, hilariously, literal.
I mean, a kid with glowing eyes? Is that really what the songwriter meant by "bright eyes"?
posted by Flashman at 8:39 PM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


I love these literal interpretations. Although I agree that the A-Ha one is better, this still had me laughing the entire time.
posted by gemmy at 8:47 PM on June 3, 2009


For reasons unknown, I seem never to tire of the Hurrah Torpedo Total Eclipse.
posted by washburn at 8:47 PM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


This was hilarious! When Literal Videos are good, they're really good - makes me wanna watch a ton of them, only to be reminded that they're definitely not all created equal. I just got done watching one for Losing My Religion and one for White Wedding that should have been so good and really, really weren't.

I dig this Tears for Fears one, though.

washburn - that was terrific! thank you.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:55 PM on June 3, 2009


For some reason, the first time this song crossed my radar was Nicki French's dance version, which I must admit still really has a valued place on any exercise playlist I put together ...
posted by WCityMike at 8:56 PM on June 3, 2009


I've been passing this around for about a week before this post hit here.. and all I can say, I would have totally joined the Glee Club of the damned.
posted by MrLint at 8:56 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


A+ for the mockery, and A+ for the original video, which was completely awesome and weird at a time when I was far too young to appreciate it. Man, the brief window of awesome where the music video was a viable artform -- it gave us so much!
posted by Afroblanco at 8:58 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


So do I have to mention that the original video was so homophiliac ( they're ANGELS and NAKED) and so awash in dewy young boy inneduenda that the good country singer attacked the director mid-filming screaming Pre-vert, pre-vert?


Cause I shouldn't have to.
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 PM on June 3, 2009


ALso.

Metafilter: And they shouldn't fence at night, or they're gonna hurt the gymnasts.
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 PM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


For some reason, the first time this song crossed my radar was Nicki French's dance version

Same with me. I didn't even know French's version was a cover for a long while.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:05 PM on June 3, 2009


The first hundred times I ever heard this song was the Nikki French dance version, and whoa, was I ever disappointed when I heard the original. As a side note, though, how the hell do you get "a little bit terrified?" Isn't terror an all-or-nothing sort of thing?
posted by arcticwoman at 9:05 PM on June 3, 2009


Don't you mean Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" literal version?
posted by m0nm0n at 9:07 PM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm going to have to count my LOVING the original video along with my loving Olivia Newton John's "Physical", Little Shop of Horrors, Celine Dion's "It's all coming back to me now", Jessica Rabbit, Madonna, and Russell Crowe's ass shot in Virtuosity as Things That Made It Obvious.
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 PM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


My favorite so far is the one for Penny Lane

Horse Montage!
posted by Afroblanco at 9:15 PM on June 3, 2009


I love the one for White Wedding. Some of my friends are Gothic. (Gothic!) Some of my friends are New Wave. (New Wave!)
posted by scody at 9:19 PM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Looking at the guy's own page, it looks like he's collected playlists of all of his own 'literal video' adaptations and all 'literal' videos he could find, his or no, on YouTube.
posted by WCityMike at 9:30 PM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Speaking of covers of "Total Eclipse of the Heart", here's a ragtime piano medley of 80s songs that ends with that song.
posted by ErWenn at 9:36 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


...the original video was so homophiliac...

so noted
posted by zippy at 9:39 PM on June 3, 2009


STOPPPPPP!! Yer making it WERRRSE!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:44 PM on June 3, 2009


I swear to GOD this is the new rickroll. I can't hear 2.5 seconds of that infernal song without getting it stuck in my head for the next week. Damn you, WCityMike!
posted by Space Kitty at 9:48 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, here's a perfect example of why I love the Internet – there are people far more obsessed with something than I am, yet I get to take advantage of their fandom. Someone on Reddit or YouTube linked to this, which appears to be someone having typed out the lyrics to this parody. A quick copy-and-paste later:

CHORUS:
Pan the room ...

SINGER:
Random use of candles,
empty bottles and cloth,
and can you
see me through this fan?

CHORUS:
Slo-mo dove ...

SINGER:
Creepy doll,
a window,
and what looks
like a bathrobe.
Then, a dim-lit shot
of dangling balls.

CHORUS:
Metaphor?

SINGER:
Close-up of some candles
and dramatically posing
then stock footage of
a moon in the sky.

CHORUS:
Bottle shot.

SINGER:
Messing up my close-up with
a floating blue curtain.
Now let's see who's
coming in from outside ...

CHORUS:
Double doors open ...

SINGER:
Why aren't I
reacting in this shot?

CHORUS:
Ringo Starr?
Lined eyes.

SINGER:
Guess I should be acting
but I'm not ...

CHORUS:
Door's ajar ...

SINGER:
Wander through a hall with
doors that magically open
and this classroom has a fan ...

CHORUS:
Open shirts ...

SINGER:
Now it's getting creepy.
You can tell by my staring
it's a long time
since I've been with a man.

EMO KID:
Stupid chair ...

SINGER:
Emo Kid is throwing
Slo-Mo Dove in my face,
I guess that means that
he just flipped me the bird.

CHORUS:
Locker room ...

SINGER:
Staring at the swim team
gets you killed by a gang
of dancing ninja men
who know how to twirl.

CHORUS:
Spin around ninjas!

SINGER:
Then a bunch of preppies
make a toast.

CHORUS:
Drinking wine douchebags!

SINGER:
Most of it just
ends up on the floor.

And they shouldn't
fence at night,
or they're gonna
hurt the gymnasts.

Why do they play
football inside?
Here's another shot
of fencing.

And I've mostly been
lit from behind.

Watch these shadows run off.

I walk onto a terrace,
where I think I'm alone.
But Arthur Fonzarelli's
got an army of clones.

CHORUS:
Fonzie's been cloned!

SINGER:
They do
the Macarena,
but I'm still
not impressed.
They beg for me
to dance with them,
but not
in this dress!

I'll pose like Rocky tonight!

I'm running up
a bunch of stairs.

SINGER AS CHORUS:
Strip football and
surprise mirror!

SINGER:
Here's where I pretend
to be Eva Peron.
Look at me, I'm
lifting my arms.

There's nothing else
to shoot,
so zoom camera under
this arch.

Leaning on myself 'cause
there's two of me here.
But now there's only
one in this shot.
I pull my feathered hair when-
ever I see floating cloth.

SINGER (SPOKEN):
Oooh, oooh, ooooooooh, I gotta use the bathroom but the door's locked. Can you help me?

GYMANST (SPOKEN):
I'll open the door for you! HOOOOOOOAAAAAAH (phbbbbbbbt).

SINGER (SPOKEN):
Oh, thank you, sir. How can I ever repay you?

GYMANST (SPOKEN):
How about a towel?

PREPPIE (SPOKEN):
Hey, guys, check this out -- waaaaah! Wait, it's supposed to take the cloth and leave everything else on the table -- I don't know what happened, and it's not like that, it's the other way ... no, stop, you're making it worse!

FENCER (SPOKEN):
Alright, which of you preppies put gold dust in my fencing mask?

NELSON (SPOKEN):
Hah-hah.

SINGER (SPOKEN):
Hey, this isn't the ladies' room!

CHOIR BOYS:
Blind possessed choir boys ...

SINGER:
Get out of my way!
I've gotta pee!

CHOIR BOYS:
Zombie cult?

CHORUS (screaming):
Agggh! Flying altar boys!

SINGER:
Never mind, I just
went on the floor!
Now I need to
find a mop!

EMO KID:
Look at me now!

SINGER:
Emo kid wears
too much make-up.
Now, watch a bunch
of half-naked guys--

STUDENTS:
Hairless chests.

SINGER:
... as they dance around
in diapers.
And I've joined the Glee Club
of the Damned.

CHORUS:
Reference joke!

SINGER:
Look, the fog machine's on!
What kind of private school would
let in these kind of guys?
It started out as Hogwarts,
now it's _Lord of the Flies_!

CHOIR BOYS:
I hated that book.

SINGER:
I'm swaying side to side.
These dancers need to stop.
The gayest man on earth would
call this over the top!

I whip my head
to the right!

I'll never go
to church again.
I think I lost
a contact lens.

What did spazzing out
qualify as a dance?
Kneeling like I
want to throw up.
What the effing crap?
That angel just felt me up!

Here's a line of guys,
I was wearing a dress.
But now they've got me
wearing a suit.
One kid's running late,
I think he's too young
for this school.

I'm totally shaking his hand.

MWH:
Mullet with headlights?

OSG:
Over-surprised guy.

CHORUS:
Weirded out.

CHORUS:
Oooh-wooooh-ooooh.
posted by WCityMike at 9:54 PM on June 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


That was funnier than I thought it'd be.
posted by nickyskye at 9:56 PM on June 3, 2009


And here's a ton of covers of Total Eclipse of the Heart in various languages. The Finnish one is possibly the most awesome.
posted by taursir at 10:12 PM on June 3, 2009


Don't forget the version of the song by Legion of Rock Stars - a cover band that plays songs whilst wearing noise-cancelling headphones, so they can't actually hear what they're doing!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:37 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The literal version of Birdhouse in Your Soul is nearly indistinguishable from a normal TMBG song.
posted by smartyboots at 10:39 PM on June 3, 2009 [12 favorites]


speaking of jim steinman related videos, if steinman's own videos were made into literal versions, they would be about guys in black shorts prancing around with emasculated gibson explorers. consider his version of rock n' roll dreams come through that was on bad for good.
posted by the aloha at 10:42 PM on June 3, 2009


Washburn, I know what you mean about the Hurra Torpedo cover. It's the sort of thing that, by rights, should become annoying as hell after about two listens-- but for me, it really doesn't.

I have been known to play that thing over and over, like a mid-eighties middle schooler with a new Peter Cetera single.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:43 PM on June 3, 2009


the good country singer attacked the director mid-filming screaming Pre-vert, pre-vert

Maybe he was just really enthusiastic about French poetry?
posted by nasreddin at 10:59 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


So do I have to mention that the original video was so homophiliac ( they're ANGELS and NAKED) and so awash in dewy young boy inneduenda that the good country singer attacked the director mid-filming screaming Pre-vert, pre-vert?

Homophilic? More like paedophilic.
posted by rodgerd at 11:40 PM on June 3, 2009


The original song was written by Jim Steinman, by the way, who is the writer behind most of the overwraught melodramatic songs that hit the top of the charts, like Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" and Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".

Wow, that makes sense; they all suck in largely identical ways. Serious question: Did Steinman happen to write that Lita Ford/Ozzy "Close My Eyes Forever" piece of shit, too? I get that song confused with "Total Eclipse" all the time, to the extent that I watched this literal video and thought "Wait, wasn't this originally a duet with Meatloaf?"
posted by the_bone at 12:03 AM on June 4, 2009


I own the piano sheet music to this song.

There. I said it. The love that dare not speak its name done gone and spoke. And it felt goooooood.
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:27 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, that was actually pretty funny.

Mostly though, I too am glad this was linked just so there was an excuse to talk about Hurra Torpedo. God DAMN I want to see them live someday. When that day comes I do not expect to be sober.
posted by Stunt at 12:57 AM on June 4, 2009


Thank you. I laughed heartily.
posted by nicolin at 12:59 AM on June 4, 2009


Also: more Hurra Tornado hilarity.
posted by Stunt at 1:08 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fuck, I'm on my fourth beer now. (The singer is Kristopher Schau, the deep freezer man in the Hurra Torpedo video.)

Hurra Torpedo finds a little piece of heaven in the US.

(The Hurra Torpedo guys and friends were members of a small army of - more or less jokey - bands back when I was in my late teens, early twenties. We saw them live very often, and no, we were not sober.)
posted by Dumsnill at 1:27 AM on June 4, 2009


Yeah, preview is your friend.
posted by Dumsnill at 1:28 AM on June 4, 2009


Best of the web, definitely.

About lost it when Fonzarelli's Been Cloned.
posted by effugas at 2:07 AM on June 4, 2009


smartyboots: "35The literal version of Birdhouse in Your Soul is nearly indistinguishable from a normal TMBG song."

AAAH I had almost gotten that out of my HEAD it's in my HEAD get it out of my HEAD!
posted by JHarris at 2:23 AM on June 4, 2009


The worrying thing is, most of the literals would probably make it into the charts if they were released.

And I'm not telling you which ones I'd buy.
Because it would be a disturbingly large proportion of them...

posted by twine42 at 3:30 AM on June 4, 2009


I'm not too impressed by this one, but the literal version of A Ha's Take On Me is a true internet classic, like lime cat or hamsterdance classic.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:57 AM on June 4, 2009


Is it possible that the key to reading the original video is that it's not Her dream we are watching but Over-surprised guy's?

Is it His dream of the teacher he has a crush on?
posted by evil_esto at 4:16 AM on June 4, 2009


For reasons unknown, I seem never to tire of the Hurrah Torpedo Total Eclipse.

The reasons are totally known: That's the greatest cover version of anything, of all time, except maybe Devo's cover of Satisfaction. Maybe.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:27 AM on June 4, 2009


I'm just going to take this opportunity to tell the Internet (because I've already told all of my friends) that this is the song that I lost my virginity too, but I wasn't watching the video at the time so I can't confirm the details of this clip.
posted by h00py at 4:43 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's one for Head over Heels, which made the rounds a while ago but which nobody seemed to have mentioned.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:25 AM on June 4, 2009


Comparing the "Total Eclipse" and "I'd Do Anything for Love" videos shows that while Jim Stienman's songs remained over the top, music videos got slightly more coherent. This literal video thing works so much better with pre-1987 material. For the first half of the 80s, it was de rigueur to have a chimp in a Rex Sox shirt or to swing around a cello while surrounded by Holsteins.

I get the feeling that the random imagery in early MTV videos came from directors trying to mimic the cut-up lyrics of new wave bands like Devo and Talking Heads. But since Devo and Talking Heads were making their videos in-house, the directors had to work with far less eccentric acts. And when they got paired with the pure kitsch of power balladry, with four and a half minutes of screen time to kill, the results were a thing to behold. No liquid shall be spilled but in slow motion. Every frozen rose shall shatter on the floor.
posted by bendybendy at 5:25 AM on June 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Did anyone else find the jokes spoiled a bit by the subtitles? I still laughed, but it would have been nice to have the subtitles delayed.
posted by exogenous at 5:31 AM on June 4, 2009


As many others have said, that was a lot funnier than I thought it would be, and, perhaps funnier than it had any right to be. Thank you WCityMike!

I also want to mention that the Beta Band sort-of "covered" Total Eclipse with their song "The Hard One"
posted by kcds at 6:03 AM on June 4, 2009


I don't laugh at much stuff that I see on the web.
This had me going pretty good.
Good jorb.
posted by Drasher at 6:41 AM on June 4, 2009


The "Total Eclipse of the Heart" one is my favorite because it's the perfect combination of cheesy song and cheesy video. "Losing My Religion" is a better song with a beautiful, if weird, video. "Take On Me" is a great video and a fun song (and the original lyrics might as well be the literal ones). "Birdhouse in Your Soul" was great.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:52 AM on June 4, 2009


I liked this one better than the A-HA one since the original video is so much worse. I guess that it fits well with Steinman's awful song but what the hell were they thinking when they filmed this?
posted by octothorpe at 7:03 AM on June 4, 2009


Seperate Ways is my fave so far - and don't actually know the original.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:04 AM on June 4, 2009


So do I have to mention that the original video was so homophiliac

Metafilter: I've Mostly Been Lit from Behind.
posted by gimonca at 7:15 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can't claim that the thing is literal, and then call characters douchebags. There are rules.
posted by thinman at 7:17 AM on June 4, 2009


The lyrics to Total Eclipse of the Heart: Metafilter's new Treaty of Westphalia
posted by lukemeister at 7:29 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, they're not figurative douchebags, they are literal ones. You know, bags used for douching.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:30 AM on June 4, 2009


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I had never heard of Hurra Torpedo before, and they are awesome.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:34 AM on June 4, 2009


I used to live next door to a dude who would, about two or three times a month, play 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' four or five times in a row, at ear-splitting volume, while vacuuming, at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning.
posted by box at 7:36 AM on June 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was at a Spin Magazine party a few years back. Death Cab for Cutie was playing at Webster Hall or something and it was an opportunity to see DCFC in a smallish venue (they were still rather unremarkable). Spin had other smaller bands playing on the floor below. I walked into to find an odd site: three guys in jumpsuits banging on kitchen appliances.

"Holy Shit!" I thought. "This cannot be true..." and then they broke into Total Eclipse. It was a dream come true - a dream so unfathomable I hadn't ever considered it.
posted by yeti at 7:43 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I pull my feathered hair whenever I see floating cloth.
posted by defenestration at 7:51 AM on June 4, 2009


Think about it for a minute. The original is from the early 80s yet it contains something that to this day remains totally awesome: Ninjas.
posted by tommasz at 7:54 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's alive!

The French language version was released in December 2003 and spent ten weeks at #1 in France.
posted by lukemeister at 7:58 AM on June 4, 2009


Metafilter: it started out as Hogwarts now it's Lord of the Flies.
posted by wittgenstein at 9:10 AM on June 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Washburn, I know what you mean about the Hurra Torpedo cover...

Glad others share my admiration for the Hurra Torpedo Total Eclipse. I have to confess though, that I don't know too much about HT's other musical efforts, since my follow-up has consisted only of looking at a few of their videos on YouTube. It's odd though, that none of their other covers seems quite so perfect--it's as if is Total Eclipse was *designed* to be played on kitchen appliances. As if Hurra Torpedo was able to discover the authentic voice of the kitchen oven.
posted by washburn at 12:08 PM on June 4, 2009


Oh, Washburn.

Washburn, Washburn, Washburn.

Hurra Torpedo covers Toxic. They do a version of Horse with No Name. Best of all, they cover "All The Things She Said (Running Through My Head)" with a degree of radiance and mastery that, were I a few sheets to the wind, I might liken to Coltrane's interpretation of My Favorite Things. They even have a few originals. (At least, they seem to be originals.)

You can download their full album from Emusic (Or from other places presumably-- but I'm cheap and fond of Emusic and I mention it because know that many other Mefites feel similarly.) I'll confess that it took a little while for me to warm to some of their other songs, but I'm now 100% in-the-tank for their entire output.

And Dumsnill, thanks for the link to the Cumshot video. I knew that the Hurra Torpedo guys were in a flotilla of other bands, but I'd never gotten around to tracking any of them down. That track is golden. Power ballad vocals + parrot metal = sonic joy.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:26 PM on June 4, 2009


thanks for the link to the Cumshot video

Words I never thought I would say on the internet, FWIW.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:34 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, 80's music videos. So much to mock, so little time.

Thanks for all of these - they've made a bitch of a day with deadlines that much easier.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:35 PM on June 4, 2009


Thanks for posting this! I always wondered what the hell was going on in this video, and now, thanks to the literal translation.....

No, I still don't understand.
posted by dogmom at 2:10 PM on June 4, 2009


I doubt many are still checking this thread, but look at Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" video. Equally as over-the-top melodramatic. A cowboy with a neon whip, for God's sake.
posted by WCityMike at 3:40 PM on June 7, 2009


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