[Updated] In 2013, Eli Roth, director of gore and anxiety-horror films like Hostel and Grindhouse, directed a characteristically sick video for Marilyn Manson that featured Lana Del Rey in a rape scene. Because the footage was "so sick," it was "locked in a vault for over a year," Roth told Larry King, but has now made its way onto YouTube.
A lot of the imagery is of sexualized women in dangerous positions, including a close-up of a bloodied woman's face struggling in water (the sensation is that someone is holding her under, trying to drown her) and two women in a fistfight while another smashes a lamp with a golf club. The drowning woman is later shown beneath the water, presumably dead. And among all those highly stylized shots is a scene which features Lana Del Rey, singer beloved by many young women around the world (and musical guest at the Kimye wedding), in a graphic scene that depicts a man brutally shoving her down and raping her. After Pitchfork reported that the scene was for a Marilyn Manson video, someone from the Manson camp reached out to specify that actually, it wasn't shot for any specific Marilyn Manson video or project. So, for funnies.
That scene, too, is stylized, shot in high-contrast black and white, Del Rey wearing a Texas Chainsaw Massacre t-shirt and a double-fingered ring that we notice when the footage goes slow-mo for an close-up on her fingernails scraping her attacker's arm. Though empty, harrowing shock is Eli Roth's signature garbage, the way it's shot is boringly, and typically eroticized. It's hard to watch because of what it depicts, but it's also the most banal and cliché bullshit that a shock-jock like Roth could conjure. Oh, you want to sexify violence against women, especially famous ones? Get the fuck in line, d-bag. You're a dime a dozen. You ain't shit. So bored by people like you.
I also have serious questions about why Lana Del Rey would subject herself to it at all, especially for someone else's video, but you know, she allegedly dated Manson, and has a... complicated relationship with the male gaze. The scene ends with a close up of her face, teary-eyed and swollen, her mascara smeared across it as her attacker is seen walking away.
If you feel the need to watch it, you can see it at Pitchfork, but it goes without saying that you should view with caution because it's fucking horrible both in depiction and as art.
Update: Marilyn Manson's publicist, Kathryn Frazier, denies Manson's involvement. "Manson did not direct this, shoot it, nor was it for a Marilyn Manson video or outtake footage made by him or to be used by him with his music," she said. "It must be a fan video splicing up old Manson video footage with someone else's Lana Del Rey footage."
Image via screenshot.