Among the many directors in Hollywood, very few have the same signature and artistic style as Tim Burton. For anyone who’s seen his many classics across many decades, such as “Edward Scissorhands,” “Big Fish” and arguably his magnum opus, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” you’d instantly recognize the very style he’s come to be known by. One where the trees have many more branches, they bend unnaturally and one with a unique and comically dark and occasionally scary tone, almost Edgar Allen Poe with a good sense of humor. “Beetlejuice” is possibly the epitome of movie that cements Burton’s signature weirdly and darkly funny aspect of filmmaking, set design and eccentric directing.   


As accomplished of a filmmaker that Burton is, few would know that he’s an equally as gifted music video producer. Not many artists can perfectly blend excellent music with excellent video. Yet, in his debut in terms of music video directing, Burton combines the two wonderfully and magically in this video.


One such video is “Bones” by The Killers. The Las Vegas band and Burton collaborated on a video for their sophomore album entitled “Sam’s Town” that was “edited together along with CGI backgrounds and characters, including a (fitting) Burton staple: skeletons.” Filmed by Burton mostly in a drive-in theater modeled after The West Wind Las Vegas Drive-In Theatre in North Las Vegas, the video certainly has a fair amount of skeletons, with them doing everything from swimming to running into one another’s arms and their bones shattering on top of each other.


(Fan Pop)

The video itself carries a retro, 1950’s drive-in theater vibe to it all, almost a constant in most of Burton’s work. Along with another ongoing theme of inserting cinematic classics from the 1960’s, such as Jason and the Argonauts, Lolita, Creature from The Black Lagoon and many scenes from animation legend Ray Harryhausen. Also, this video pokes fun at other movies relevant during the time period, such as From Here to Eternity, by recreating the famous scenes of the film with skeleton characters instead.


Telling the story of a couple at a drive-in theater then the beach, the couple routinely take their own skin off, showing their true skeleton form as they do. This use of imagery involving skeletons to portray the plot of the music video both matches up with Burton’s common themes of afterlife phenomenons as well as the overall theme of the song, which is that “it’s only natural” when it comes to love and attraction. At one point throughout the video, frontman Brandon Flowers’ hand even becomes a skeleton hand. At the end of the video, the video reveals that the band in it’s entirety are now skeletons and dissolve into the ground at the final note of the song.


With this video often almost being overlooked in terms of Burton’s work, it’s not one of his more popular known works. However, when doing further research on Tim Burton and the masterpieces he’s directed, his many fans will surely discover this gem of a video.


Are you a fan of The Killers and/or Tim Burton? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff and we’ll talk.