StephenT (stormwreath) wrote,

(Vid) Boy from the Mouth of Hell

This may just possibly be one of the Signs of the Apocalypse, but I've finished another vid! (When I say 'finished', I'm referring to the two others I started, got stuck on, and abandoned, at least for now...) And this one's Spikocentric... 

I was listening to 'Boys from the County Hell' by The Pogues, which is all about a man who goes out to get drunk, gets into fights and beats people up for a living... but for all his tough-guy attitude, he still lives with his dear old Mother. And I thought "That's Spike!" This video was the result. 

Title: Boy from the Mouth of Hell
Vidder: stormwreath 
Category: Character study
Character(s): Spike (plus Angel/us, Drusilla, Buffy)
Episode(s): BtVS seasons 2,3,5-7; Angel seasons 2,5
Song Title/Artist: 'Boys from the County Hell' by The Pogues
Rating: R (Warning: song lyrics contain strong language)
Format/Size: WMV / 29MB
Length: 2:51

Download link (right-click and save): 
Windows Media Player (WMV) version

Lyrics and director's commentary below the cut - avoid if you dislike spoilers. :-)


Boys from The County Hell

I decided to structure the vid around Spike's life, with his ongoing rivalry with Angel as a key point in the verses. The chorus of the song, meanwhile, includes the line "And Mother wake me early in the morning", so I used that to illustrate the main turning points and decisive moments, most of which by contrast involved women. At first, I thought about showing a different women every time (his actual mother, Drusilla, Buffy, Fred, etc) but in the end decided it worked better with mostly Drusilla as his 'mother', until Spike rejects her guidance and turns to Buffy instead.

The opening scene is the power walk scene from 'Fool For Love' (and not the similar one from 'Darla') with a dark blue duotone filter, to match the end of the vid. Incidentally, the 'Angel' font was taken from nikkimisplaced's site.


 On the first day of March it was raining.
It was raining worse than anything that I have ever seen.
I drank ten pints of beer and I cursed all the people there,
And I wished that all this rain would stop falling down on me.

This verse is about the abuse William suffered at the Underwoods' party, that just kept raining down on him, and how he ran away cursing all the people there. Only to get cursed himself... (dun dun DERR).

And it's lend me ten pounds, I'll buy you a drink,
And Mother wake me early in the morning.

The chorus shows the first key turning point in his life, as Drusilla turns him.

At the time I was working for a landlord,
And he was the meanest bastard that you have ever seen.
And to lose a single penny would grieve him awful sore,
And he was a miserable bollocks and a bitch's bastard's whore.

The 'meanest bastard that you have ever seen' has to be Angelus, here shown bullying and tormenting William even after he's become a vampire. In particular, I included the clip from 'Destiny' where William walks in on Angelus and Dru having sex. You can just imagine him calling Angelus a bitch's bastard's whore at that point, can't you? :-)

And it's lend me ten pounds, I'll buy you a drink,
And Mother wake me early in the morning.

...but here Dru accepts his offer of eternal love, and they become lovers.

I recall that we took care of him one Sunday.
We got him out the back and we broke his fucking balls;
And maybe that was dreaming and maybe that was real,
But all I know is I left that place without a penny or fuck all.

The newly self-confident Spike now gets his own back on Angel (with the help of a certain blonde vampire slayer) and leaves town with the girl. Incidentally, including the shot of the fake Cup of Eternal Torment from 'Destiny' was an oblique shout-out to the lyric "and maybe that was dreaming and maybe that was real."

And it's lend me ten pounds, I'll buy you a drink,
And Mother wake me early in the morning.

But tragedy strikes! Spike sees Dru in vampface feeding on a victim, and is horrified by the sight! How can he keep his relationship with her now?  (Yeah, I know, it was a lot more complicated than that on the show...)

But now I've the most charming of verandahs.
I sit and watch the junkies, the drunks, the pimps, the whores.
Five green bottles sitting on the floor;
I wish to Christ, I wish to Christ that I had fifteen more.

Distressed by having to face the truth about Drusilla, Spike sits alone at the Bronze brooding a lot, and starts drinking heavily. (I cut the scene from the Bronze just before we got to see Aimee Mann on stage, since it didn't seem fair (and was possibly libellous) to show her just as Shane McGowan is singing "the pimps, the whores".)  :-)

And it's lend me ten pounds, I'll buy you a drink,
And Mother wake me early in the morning.

Spike meets Dru about to feed on another helpless victim - that same little blonde girl from earlier, in fact - and steps in to save her instead! Dru is naturally betrayed and heartbroken by such treachery. (Seriously, you can almost feel sorry for her: first Angelus leaves, then Darla stakes herself, then Spike gets a soul. Now only Miss Edith is left to love her...)

[Instrumental break]

I used this for a montage of scenes summing up seasons 5, 6 and 7 of 'Buffy'. Spike chases after the girl he saved from Drusilla (yeah, yeah, I know...); at first she rejects him, which annoys him; but he tries again and finally manages to get close to her.

And it's lend me ten pounds, I'll buy you a drink,
And Mother wake me early in the morning.

And Buffy rewards Spike with the Champion's amulet. I'm rather pleased with the effect of combining the two scenes from the end of seasons 6 and 7; I think they work well together.

The boys and me are drunk and looking for you;
We'll eat your frigging entrails and we won't give a damn.
My daddy was a Blueshirt and my mother a madam,
My brother earned his medals at My Lai in Vietnam.

Newly souled Spike meets up with Angel again. At first they argue a lot, but eventually their guilt over their shared crimes draws them together. For reference, Blueshirts were the Irish equivalent of Blackshirts - a 30s Fascist movement. My Lai was a notorious massacre carried out by US troops during the Vietnam War - here, cutting together shots of Angel in the Boxer Rebellion and a cowering family of missionaries makes him look quite sinister, if you don't know that he's actually about to [try and] save them...

And it's lend me ten pounds and I'll buy you a drink,
And Mother wake me early in the morning.

Here I wanted to show Fred's death as the catalyst that finally forces Spike and Angel to cooperate fully, and also the point where Spike realises he wants to be a champion for his own sake, not just to please or impress others. I hope that comes across; in a way, I feel this is the one point of the vid where you really need to know the context from the show to get the message.

On the first day of March it was raining,
It was raining worse than anything that I have ever seen.
Stay on the other side of the road 'cause you can never tell;
We've a thirst like a gang of devils, we're the boys from the county hell.

The final verse talks about it raining heavily - reprising the first verse - so of course I have to show the final scene from Angel. Spike and Angel fighting side by side at last. The freeze-frame and zoom effect is something I discovered when doing another vid which is not yet finished; I think it works well here, especially combined with the fade to blue. Incidentally, the brief clip of Angel going into vampface is from his fight with Hamilton in that episode, and is a shout out to "we've a thirst like a gang of devils" - since, of course, it was his vampiric ability to drink Hamilton's blood that let him win that fight. Maybe that's another reference that only works if you know the show really, really well...

And that's it.

Tags: buffy, vid
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