Watch Mr. Bungle’s nuclear war-inspired “Sudden Death” video, dir. Derek Cianfrance
Mr. Bungle have released a new video for "Sudden Death" off their new album The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo, the studio-recorded version of the songs from their 1986 demo (and a couple covers), with help from Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Dave Lombardo (Slayer). The video was made with acclaimed director Derek Cianfrance (who previously worked with Mike Patton on The Place Beyond the Pines), and it's a grainy, nuclear war-inspired film that looks like it could've been made the same year Bungle originally wrote these songs. Cianfrance says:
If you lived in Lakewood, Colorado, during the early 1990s, there’s a slim chance you would have seen and heard a 16 -year-old boy driving slowly around town in a white, 1974 Mustang II, with his windows rolled down, disrupting the neighborhood by blaring the music of Mr. Bungle. That 16-year-old kid was me, and that music that I listened to, over and over and over again, set the bar for my life as an artist. So, 30 years later, when I got a call from Mike Patton asking me to direct a music video for one of the songs on their new album, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, I questioned whether my life was really a dream... I informed Mike that I had never directed a music video before, but he wasn’t dissuaded. I listened to the album and asked if I could work with the song “Sudden Death.” It reminded me of the feelings of angst I carried throughout my youth while growing up in the shadow of a looming, forbidding thermonuclear war. I decided I could make a short film (well, not so short - the song is almost 8 min!) about these fears that haunted me. I was also interested in meditating on the theme of desensitization in modern society, where citizens are gradually and systemically numbed to the possibility of cataclysmic consequences. Since the song was written in the mid-‘80s, I determined that the video should feel like it was made during that time and imagined it as some sort of rediscovered relic. Shooting during a global pandemic proved a fitting backdrop to the malaise of the song. It also presented a unique challenge as I was too nervous to work with actors - so I had to come up with another solution. making this video with a small team of trusted collaborators, and working with my life-long heroes, was nothing short of a total dream come true.
"When we first worked together, he told me he was a fan, and I didn’t believe him," Mike Patton added. "Years later, he told me he gravitated to the most difficult tunes on Bungle records (“Dead Goon,” “Merry Go Bye Bye,” “Goodbye Sober Day”) so him choosing “Sudden Death” for this iteration of Bungle actually made perfect sense. The least commercial and longest song? That’s where his ears and eyes go."