Video Review: Laura Branigan “Self Control”

A masked man lives inside a flower. A disfigured doll sits next to the vase. Laura Branigan wakes up on her couch and opens the curtain. She bites her finger as she looks at the bridge. Lit in teal, she sits her at her vanity and adds blush to her face with a wave of her hand. A dancer appears beside her on the couch and feels her body.

She puts on her thigh high boots and takes a cab into the city. Two mannequins appear on the screen behind her. The masked man stops and she gasps as he drives away.

Inside a club, a group of people gamble at a long table. She dances with the men and women. However, she pauses once she meets the eye of the masked man. He leads her down to hallway. She holds onto the door and falls into an abyss.

Filtered through a sepia filter, she walks down the basement stairs. She watches as people sway into one another on aluminum foil. The masked man in the center turns to look at her. He opens his flaming red hand to her. She takes it. He opens his jacket, letting her out. Several masked figures stare at her. Scrawny arms reach for her in a narrow, lime hallway.

In her bedroom, she sees several masked shirtless men. The masked man tips his hat to her. The shirtless men grab and pull her. The masked man takes off his jacket and places her on her bed. She touches his neck as he kisses her. The mannequins watch them. He walks towards the curtain and disappears into the early morning sun. She sits on the floor, wearing her bathrobe. Shoulders slumped, she gets up and turns off the lamp. She lies under the covers and the masked man gazes her from his side of the bed.

Rating: 3.5/5

A young woman shies away from Laura Branigan’s glare. A dog growls at her as the owner passes by her on the street. She continues to stare ahead, her face blank as she walks home from work. The humans’ stench chokes her and causes her skin to wrinkle. She heads to the mirror and replenishes her skin with makeup. Her exquisite beauty fed off human compassion. Without it, she’d wither into ash.

A masked man had enticed her and promised her a better life of glamour. He whispered in her ear that men would follow her and fall for her in an instant. However, she would have to trade her humanity for eternal adoration.She made love him and exchanged her soul with him.

An act of kindness towards her was a guarantee of ill fortune. She cackled once she returned home, knowing the favor would be punished with a gut wrenching blow. She moved far away from any animal. A bite could curse her with ghastly features. Nonetheless, it’s in the clubs where she’s find her victims and imbibes on the desperation of those wanting love.

 Director: William Friedkin Year: 1984

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit & 45 Magazine.