A-Mei's creepy new music video reportedly inspired by horror film 'Human Centipede'

3 April 2015 / 1 year 6 months ago

Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
1 April 2015

Blonde wig paired with glaring green lipstick.

Ashen-faced, half-dressed children contorting their nimble bodies.

A human iris glowing bright and yellow like an incandescent eagle's eye.

Welcome to Taiwanese pop diva A-mei's Freak Show.

The 42-year-old Mandopop star's latest studio album Amit 2 is her scariest, weirdest and most grotesque piece of work in her nearly two-decade career.

Yet, like an expertly-executed horror flick, it is also mesmerising.

Her aptly-titled new music video Freak Show sees the aboriginal singer - A-mei hails from Taitung county's Puyuma tribe - and director Bill Chia venturing boldly into macabre territory.

Some scenes are definitely not for the faint-hearted or squeamish.

Reportedly inspired by the 2009 Dutch horror movie The Human Centipede which revolved around a demented surgeon performing sadistic experiments on victims he traps in his house, A-mei's disturbing

Freak Show features her and a bunch of Maddie Ziegler lookalikes (Ziegler is the lone child dancer in Australian singer Sia's Chandelier MV) transforming into a "human spider".

In a nutshell, A-mei's head sticks out terrifyingly from a hole in the ground while the kids' limbs emerge from surrounding potholes, twirling and curling all over her, forming a giant creepy-crawly.

Eyeballs of different sizes sprout up on their arms and palms.

Another scene has a pumping chest sliced open, revealing arteries and veins.

In a press release sent via her record label Universal Music, A-mei revealed that when she first saw her hair and make-up in the video playback, she was taken aback by her own appearance.

"It's frightening!" she told the production crew on set. "Will children cry after watching this?"

Her colleagues joked: "Parents won't allow their children to watch it."

With the help of special effects, A-mei's black pupils were made to look like tiny dots, surrounded by the enlarged whites of her eye.

"This time round, we had a lot of fun playing around with my eyes," said A-mei.

"Image-wise, it's very different from my previous outing as Amit."

Amit 2, out on iTunes on April 4, marks the second time A-mei is releasing a full-length album as her alter ego Gulilai Amit (her aboriginal birth name).

Her first was Amit in 2009, which went on to bag her three coveted accolades - Best Mandarin Female Singer, Best Mandarin Album and Song Of The Year - at the 2010 Golden Melody Awards, Mandopop's highest annual honours.

Artistically, Amit 2 looks set to outdo its predecessor.

In a nod to "post-modern performance art", director Chia deliberately chose a minimalist all-white background for Freak Show.


Musicianship has always been A-mei's biggest strength, and Amit 2 sees her experimenting with the heaviest of genres - heavy metal.

Freak Show boasts tinges of symphonic metal a la Nightwish and Epica, whereas another song, War Ceremony, features A-mei mixing in aboriginal tribal chants with ferocious growls and brutal guitar riffs.

A-mei, in a separate press release, explained that War Ceremony is a "mysterious" number "delving into the old Puyuma tribal culture".

"When my creative team was discussing the concept for War Ceremony, I told them to go with their instincts," she said. "What do you think Gulilai Amit's soul is like? Go with that."

Visually, War Ceremony rivals - even betters - Freak Show.

A two-minute mythological-themed teaser ends off with A-mei turning into a majestic eagle, flapping her wings as she flies into the dark skies.

As with most top-notch entertainers, where there is praise, there will also be flak.

Since 2012, A-mei has been battling criticism about her weight gain. With the impending release of Amit 2, the media's attention has turned, once again, to her figure.

A recent write-up on Chinese news portal Sina.com commented on A-mei's choice of a foggy, black-and-white facial close-up shot for her Amit 2 promotions.

"Is A-mei so fat that she has to resort to Adobe Photoshop to create the (foggy) effect?" the Sina.com reporter wrote, angering A-mei's fans, who quickly leapt to her defence online.

"Please use your ears, not your eyes," one retorted. Another hit back: "Does her plumpness mean she is unable to sing? Be more mindful of your words."

See the gallery below for pictures related to the article as well as more images of A-Mei

This article was first published on April 1, 2015. 
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