!! CONTENT WARNING !!
The Music Video and its images that have been reviewed on this post contains scenes of a violent and harrowing nature, and as such must be viewed with discretion. Images include depictions of physical violence, death, blood and su*c*de, so viewer discretion is once again advised.
When you are trapped with no hope of escape, what measures will you take to finally be free...
To reiterate, this music video contains upsetting and potentially triggering imagery, and is not for the faint of heart. With its dark story line and horror-film feel, NECRONOMIDOL have gone one step further in their quest to deliver spooky, unnerving content in the form of santa sangre.
With complete honesty and transparency I will say that I did have a struggle regarding whether or not I should review this. Granted, this would not be the first time that I have reviewed a heavy, upsetting music video - I reviewed DEEP GIRL'S I kill, after all - but even santa sangre took me by surprise and made me question whether I should even watch it again, let alone review it. With that said, I wasn't given a heads up when I first viewed it: There was no trigger warning on this music video, after all. At the beginning or in its description, there is absolutely nothing to indicate that this music video and its contents are horrific and trigger-heavy.
And that was partly why I was hesitant to review this, because whilst I think it is a well done video, it is very discomforting and will upset quite a few people who do not like the subjects depicted in santa sangre. Of course I consider it a good music video, one that will certainly please fans of horror and gore, but I would never head into this kind of review without the appropriate warnings in place, and I would never wish for someone to stumble upon this and have the absolute shock I had when I first watched it. So, whilst I do think that it is an appropriate video to review for the Halloween season, it certainly needs the appropriate warnings before people read on or watch it.
So, to reiterate all over again: This music video and the following review must must must be viewed with discretion. Due to containing scenes and imagery of a violent, upsetting nature, readers and viewers must take caution. Do not read this review or watch the aforementioned review if you are sensitive to physical violence, images of blood, depictions of death, etc.
If you feel that you are ready to read on, then let's move forward my dear readers. But beware of what you might uncover, because you may find yourself falling into the depths of despair once this is all over...
I wasn't born in the 80s, but this feels like such a throwback. It actually reminds me of the Barbie and the Rockers VHS I owned.
Remember when one of these would pop up before the start of a film, and you would try to fast forward it ut accidentally skip some of the start of your video and internally scream because you didn't hit the Play button fast enough?
Yeah, me too. What a time to feel old, you guys.
I can hear the static from this scene (even though there is no static to be heard).
Why does this chainlink fence give me de ja vu a la Princess no Teigi...?
Ah. That's why.
Roa: "In the name of the moon, I shall punish you!"
I had to!
God damn it, this VHS is bugging out on me! -smacks VHS-
I'm actually having an aggressive flashback to the late 90's and all the VHS tapes my family owned that included recorded versions of movies we had seen on TV.
Ah, now I really feel old.
Ew. I hope that floor has been cleaned since the last lot of random girls were thrown in there.
When I first watched this PV, I mistook the sink for a urinal. So I was kinda grossed out, but nah, its just a deep-ass sink.
That said, please close the door to the lavatory. I don't want to look at that!
Ah, our Sleeping Beauty has awakened! Now get your clean, beautiful hair off of that dirty tile, Himari!
Well, that sign drawn in what clearly looks like strawberry jam does not look ominous in the least, does it?
Even when she is stood in the middle of a dingy public toilet, Himari still manages to shine. What a Queen!
Roa is so pretty, but I'm surprised that her neck doesn't hurt after falling asleep in such an uncomfortable position.
Nana looks like a baby! So damn cute.
And Shiki is just so beautiful. Look at that bone structure! Gorgeous.
Well, this is interesting. It looks like the members wake up in the reverse order of when they die.
So, the last to awaken and the first to die is Shiki, the third to awaken and the second to die is Nana, and so on so forth.
Shiki: "Excuse me? What did you just say? I DIE?"
Erm... ignore me. I'm just rambling, I swear >.>
Ah, one of many leg shots in this PV, and one of a few unnecessary leg touches from Himari.
Nana: "Mr. Rabbit, is this Wonderland?"
Himari: "No, Alice, it isn't. This is one of Akiba's many public restrooms, open to all who may need a piddle."
So, was it all part of Ricky's divine plan to make these three look like they could be part of the Catholic School's All Girls Choir? Because they look like choir girls, is all I'm saying.
See? Choir girls. Except they are singing in a lavatory, because the churches are closed due to an ongoing pandemic, or something.
Roa: "... Are you sure that's strawberry jam on the wall?"
Shiki: "Well, it's sticky like strawberry jam, but..."
Okay, pause! Didn't your parents ever teach you to not touch the floors or walls of a public toilet?
This entire scene really sets the tone for this PV and its horrific atmosphere, but it is Nana's incredible acting that really amps up the idea of panic and being trapped over everything else.
I mean, look at her! She looks tucking terrified!
Nana: "I... *hic* want to go home!!!"
Himari: "Uh huh, er... yeah. There there?"
It really feels like Nana is in a helpless situation, whilst everyone else kind of hams it up or under-acts, depending on the scene.
That said, I do love Shiki's wide eyed looks of horror. She hams it up, but she hams it up in a good way.
God, Nana giving it her all really makes me love her in this. She really went for it in the acting department, and I honestly believe that she's scared and wants to get the fuck outta there.
Shiki: "I don't think this is strawberry jam..."
That look is amazing, thank you, Shiki.
Shiki: "Oh my God, SHUT UP!"
God damn, Shiki is easy to annoy. I better keep my mouth shut.
Roa: "What in tha FUCK are ya doin, Shiki? Ya nearly killed Nana!"
Shiki: "That was the fucking idea, Sherlock!"
Roa acting like a Boss-Ass Bitch is everything and I love her for it.
Nana: "Himari, it huuuurts!"
Himari: "It-it's only a little cut, Nana. You can barely even see it..."
Again, Nana's acting in this is everything and it makes me adore her.
Oh damn, Shiki smashed Nana's face into the mirror so hard she broke the mirror, the fuuuuuck.
Shiki be STRONK!
The Nana love is real here, and I just want to hug and comfort her and maybe even clean up that shit paint job they call blood.
Erm, Shiki? You're kind of hurting your hand with that shard of glass there. Please put it down.
OW!!!! I can feel the pain in my own hand D8
Shiki: "YOU TOLD ME IT WAS STRAWBERRY JAM, DAMNIT"
And here I thought my tantrums were bad. NOPE!
Don't lie to Shiki when she is locked in a bathroom. She might just ruin your tights and bloody up your legs, a bit.
Nana trying to be a brave badass, but it doesn't work out.
I'm still proud of you, sweetie. Now go save her, Roa!
I like how this entire scene flawlessly transition from Nana's impending doom to them singing, because why not?
It's like a horror musical.
It's amazing how unhinged Shiki looks throughout these scenes. I have to applaud her acting in this, because hamming it up really works here.
I do think Roa could care less, however xD
Now that I think about it, Shiki looks like she has had a little too much coffee, or played one too many games during the night.
So basically me, minus the coffee part.
Shiki: "Damn, Roa, where do you get your nails done? I want some like that!"
Himari ignoring personal boundaries once again, because time has somehow stopped like this MV is an episode Bernard's Watch or something.
Himari: "Yum yum, strawberry jam!"
I wouldn't put my hair in that or roll around it if I were you, Himari my Queen.
Given she has enough time to get the damn glass out of Shiki's hand and save Nana's life... I am gonna say that Himari is wasting her time by being dramatic against that wall.
Get your priorities in check Himari, God Damnit.
Well, because Himari wasted her sweet time by rolling around in not-Strawberry Jam on the wall, Roa went into badass mode and saved our baby Nana's life because Roa is AMAZING!!!
Shiki: "Let me the fuck out you little shits, I have a right to the strawberry jam!!!"
Can I interpret the door as the heartbeat and when it stops being hit, is when we know that Shiki is a little bit... well, dead?
Himari: "Thank god she stopped banging on that door, I was getting a headache."
Ah, bugger, Shiki spilled the strawberry jam in the cubicle!
Urgh, that's going to be a bitch to clean up once this is all over and done with.
Himari: "Don't worry, Roa. It will all be okay..."
This is actually a cute scene, I like how Roa seems dependent on Himari because of what is about to happen.
I wouldn't open that, if I were you o 3o
Good grief, I told you not to open it! Now look what hell you have unleashed upon the world!
Ah, a blood down the drain shot. Classic horror!
I see Hanako-San has redecorated. The red theme really works here.
Roa: "I think I'm gonna barf..."
Excuse you, Hanako-San worked hard on this new look! Appreciate her hard work, Roa!
Roa: -retches loudly-
Nana has a surprisingly reserved reaction. I thought she would scream for sure, but the heavy breathing and trying to find composure is just as effective here.
Oh, crap, NOT NANA!
In the least weird way possible... Nana looks hella adorable here.
NANA, NOOOOOOO! ;;
Himari: "God damnit, we only just got these new members!"
Himari is me right now because Nana is honestly my favourite part of this entire music video.
Why did she have to die, Himari? Why!?
Himari: "We can'tgo into another hiatus, we can't!"
That shirt is going to be a bitch to clean.
Mate, somebody needs to clean that sink properly, before health and safety catch wind of it.
That wall has been through a lot in this music video, hasn't it?
Himari: "Hey, Roa. Want some more strawberry jam...?"
This bathroom is becoming a bigger hazard the longer you spend in it. Not only is it filthy but there are glass shards everywhere.
This is also a nice moment between Himari and Roa, you can really feel them succumbing to whatever curse the bathroom has on it and their sadness over it, especially from Himari.
At first I thought Himari was giving Roa a chance to kill her first, but then I saw the shard in Himari's hand.
The only way those tiles will be sparkling clean again is if you use Cillet BANG! (And the dirt is gone).
Oh wait, that's strawberry juice, not strawberry jam! My bad!
I keep wanting to call this song santa sangria, but it's santa sangre. Maybe I just really need some sangria in my life right now? Lord knows, we could all use some alcohol in the Hell that has been 2020.
Anyways, apologies for all of the humour I added into this. I kinda need it whenever I watch something this gruesome, and it helps with keeping me from wanting to cry because, despite how much I like the idea of horror and all it entails, it freaks me the fuck out because I am a scaredy cat.
Regarding the music video itself, that was a trip. Bloody, violent and a little over the top, it has to be one of the heavier NECRONOMIDOL music videos I have experienced, and I do enjoy what it delivers, but santa sangre is certainly not my favourite by any means. I do in fact have a few reservations about the PV, but that is mostly to do with the light fanservice thrown in there courtesy of Himari, as well as the over-use of scenes that needed a heavy trigger warning in place for those who wouldn't want to be subject to this kind of MV.
Getting into that quickly, I do think that it was fairly neglectful to ignore a trigger warning at the start of the video or in the description, because whilst horror fans and fans like myself may not have an issue with watching something like this, there are many who would be triggered by something in santa sangre. Whether it is the blood or the actions made by the members, this PV is too heavy and dark to simply ignore the use of a trigger warning. Hell, when I first watched it I was rather shocked that it went so far and would not have shared this with others without warning them that it could potentially trigger a viewer.
Yes, it's fictional and yes, it is for entertainment purposes, but this music video could be damaging to someone's mental health, and its lack of a trigger warning is one of the most upsetting things about it. Now, back to the review.
Still, the PV itself is as effective as you would expect from a horror music video. Supposedly based on a forgotten 80's anime, the video follows the story of four girls locked in a bathroom who, with no way out, succumb to their despair and find an alternative way to escape: Death. As each members desperation grows, the video becomes more harrowing to watch and the stark, dim bathroom is eventually painted red with their blood, probably signifying the end of the individual members innocence before their lives come to an end.
Despite where it has been set, there is never a dull moment in the video. A little dingy and uninviting thanks to it being a restroom cloaked in a blue hue, the bland room quickly transforms into something out of a Saw movie the more that blood is shed. The blood stands out incredibly well too, thanks to this use of an off-white setting as well as the starch white school shirts and light grey skirts that each NECROMA member wears.
It's dark and gruesome, and at times it can be upsetting to watch, but there is no denying that santa sangre's music video is effective. With such a simple setting we watch as each member unravels upon finding themselves in this predicament, with Shiki being the first to truly lose sight of herself. Interestingly enough, the order that the members wake up is instrumental in when they die in the music video. In reverse order of when they awaken, each member takes their life with Shiki starting off the cycle, despite being the last to wake up.
From the first death, the video becomes even more bloody and discomforting, and whilst I don't mind that NECROMA didn't shy away from the gore and violence, it does upset me at points. I think that speaks volumes for the video though; if it wasn't upsetting, then it means it was a poorly made video, and santa sangre is anything but poorly made or terribly executed. It's well done, and I want it to be known that I appreciate it for how well-edited and directed it is.
Again, I do think it went too far at points, with Nana's death scene being the one scene that really took santa sangre over the line. The most innocent character who was also depicted as the weakest is the only character to have an on-screen death, and I was not anticipating it. Heck, even after multiple views of this video it still gets to me, and I don't know how this video is still up on YouTube, despite its graphic nature.
Speaking of Nana, I want to say that she is probably the best actress here. Where Shiki hammed it up and overacted, Roa under-acted and Himari was in-between overacting and under-acting, Nana seemed to be the perfect balance and portrayed the appropriate emotions, and honestly made me feel scared for her at times. Her fear and desperation felt real throughout this entire video, and of all the members she is the one who has impressed me the most. Nana has some incredible acting skills, and I am glad that I could witness them here.
Overall it is a good music video, one that is perfect for the season of Horror and all things spooky. The happy, upbeat sound of 80's synth and lilted vocals is fairly jarring when put against the dingy, bloody imagery that unfolds, but I think that's one of the videos main appeals; it's unsettling to hear such a fun, cute song as we watch the members die one by one, and in the oddest way possible, it works and only strengthens the video and its plot. Of course, viewer discretion is advised with this one thanks to its shocking imagery and bloody premise, but if you are happy to watch NECRONOMIDOL's santa sangre despite what it entails, it is sure to surprise and intrigue you, especially in regards to the plot and its supposed origins.
With its shocking and bloody premise, NECRONOMIDOL's santa sangre is sure to give you a few nightmares or maybe even scare you away from public restrooms for a while. Hopefully you won't find yourself in a similar situation, but if you did happen to wake up in a public restroom one horrible day, how would you go about trying to escape? Food for though, dearest readers.
Also, here are some additional links to information regarding the anime that this music video is apparently based on:
Lost Media Archive Wikia
Lost Media Archive Wikia
Hopefully santa sangre didn't shock you too much, and if you did watch it to the end I would like to hear your thoughts on whether you enjoyed it, or if you thought it went too far. Whatever your thoughts, please don't be afraid to share them.
With that I will end my review here. I hope I didn't scare you my darling readers, and I hope that you still enjoy your lead-up to Halloween how you see fit. Until the next post though please take care of yourselves, stay safe, be considerate of those around you, look after your mental and physical wellbeing, do something that you love and of course: LOVE THY IDOL!
Sleep well and don't let the ghosts get you...