[Mourning Jams] Day 14: “Son Of A Gun”

October 2019 is a celebration of horror and musicThis October, Daily Grindhouse is celebrating the collision between music and horror with a series of posts under the banner of Rocktoberfest 2019. There will be daily features, recurring bits, and some special posts around the subject.

Mourning Jams is your daily kick off every morning with a different music video that has some horror elements to it. Crossing genres, decades, and more, it’s a good way to get in the spooky mood this Halloween month.

The 2001 music video for Janet Jackson’s song “Son Of A Gun” (technically, it’s “Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)” but no one seems to really refer to it that way) is a nice dip into horror-tinged revenge. Jackson—with aid from Missy Elliott, some spectral zombie-like waifs, CGI spiders, a baseball bat, the disembodied voice of a Carly Simon sample, telekinesis, and at least one hog—seeks to mete out some justice on a man (Jerell Scott) who has done her wrong…somehow. The video, directed by Francis Lawrence (CONSTANTINE, I AM LEGEND, THE HUNGER GAMES 2-4, RED SPARROW), never really states what this pig has done to Miss Jackson (I’m nasty), but there’s never any doubt that he had this coming.

Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.

The music video for “Son Of A Gun” is actually for a reworked/remixed version of the song. While it’s still built around the Simon sample of “You’re So Vain,” in the original way the song was produced—Carly Simon raps. This was not met with a lot of praise or enthusiasm. This take, the Flyte Tyme Radio Edit, ended up being the version of “Son Of A Gun” played most often and the video ended being listed as the seventh best of 2001 by Slant Magazine. All members of the Jacksons have had an affinity for embracing horror in their music videos (from “Thriller” to…well, stay tuned) so it’s only right that Janet gets to come out swinging with this creepy bit of well-deserved revenge. She has been wronged, and her fury will be sated…and also she’ll draw a bit on his face. VENGEANCE!!!!

Tune in tomorrow and every morning in October for a new music video to help start the day on the frightening foot as Halloween swiftly approaches.

Rob Dean
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