It’s 3 p.m.! Let The A.V. Club briefly make use of the waning hours of your productivity with some pop culture ephemera pulled from the depths of YouTube.
The question of whether or not Glenn Danzig is truly evil doesn’t matter. Danzig, better than perhaps any other modern celebrity, knows how to wear the trappings of evil as if they were shiny, vestigial ornaments of some old, Lovecraftian horror. His music, his themes, his hair, his rage—there’s a performative aspect to it that serves, first and foremost, to troll society’s pearl-clutchers. Of course, none of it works if we don’t believe that Danzig believes, and the above video confirms that, yes, he does.
But it’s also the perfect intersection of Danzig’s straight-faced badassery and his theatrical presentation. Originally filmed as part of a 1990 VHS collection of music videos, the clip finds Danzig crouched, shirtless, in front of a bookshelf as light flutters over him as if there were a swimming pool just out of frame. “Ooh,” he begins. “Welcome to my book collection.” Casually, he describes it as containing “various books on death, the anthropology of evil.”
He then shares a few of his favorites, including The Werewolf by Montague Summers (“lots of great werewolf stories in here … all documented, all true”) and The Occult Roots of Nazism(“every schoolchild should have this book,” he intones malevolently). He’s especially tickled by The Lost Books of the Bible; after recounting a section where a young Jesus kills a child who bumps into him, his face breaks into a giddy smile. “Pretty funny,” he says.
This wasn’t just for show, either. In 1994, an excellent Rolling Stone profile
of the singer references his library, which apparently resides not by a pool, but rather a collection of children’s toys and unopened boxes of Count Chocula.
Read for yourself:
The shades are all drawn as the tattooed Danzig, who’s wearing a T-shirt that says UNDERTAKER, pulls up a chair to talk. One of his cats – black, of course – settles in nearby. The decor inside Chez Danzig is Addams Family meets Pop Culture 101: stuffed wolves, bookshelves full of titles like The Anthropology of Evil and Ceremonial Magic alongside Beauty and the Beast figurines and an unopened box of Count Chocula cereal. As he answers questions, he reaches for a pair of wooden sticks. Asked what these sticks are used for, Danzig – a martial artist who trains with one of Bruce Lee’s core students – matter-of-factly replies, “Killing people.”