Have you ever listened to The Shangri-La’s iconic girl group tune, “Leader of the Pack”, and wish it were told from the dude’s perspective? Well, apparently Dee Snider did, and thank goodness for that.
Just one year after the mass success of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, vocalist Snider and the other boys of Twisted Sister wanted to give the epitome of ’60s girl pop a more butch attitude. Released in 1985, the accompanying video is a wonder of technology for the time (probably), but that’s all just flash in the pan. What we really care about here is the acting, which is top notch. The clip opens on the group on choppers, and Snider with his back to the viewer as flames come up from the ground, nearly starting his ass on fire. Then, they do a guys’ version of the spoken word intro. “Hey, is he really goin’ out with her?” croons a biker tough guy in a genuine New York City accent.
The lame Mad Max ripoff set isn’t enough though, so, as the song kicks into the real narrative and Snider starts singing his heart out, we shift to the candy store where he met “her.” For no reason at all, the store’s owner is Bobcat Goldthwait. Goldthwait, decked out in a bad suit and wig, mugs at the camera, singing along with the other band members. There’s a lot of “bro-vado” involved as the guys pump their fists and talk about how “she fell for the leader of the pack.” They truly look happy for him.
Then, using (GASP) green screen technology, the camera zooms out to show that the post-apocalyptic bikers are just pictures hanging on a string across the store. The only other picture visible is of Leonard Nimoy as Spock, because Star Trek and Twisted Sister are buds.The Pack Leader sings about how the girl’s folks don’t like him as notes like “Those Twisted Sisters Are Disgusting” float in like community TV graphics and land on the refrigerator. Her mom leaves her messages, her dad leaves her messages, but the last message shows how serious they are: The + in “Mom + Dad” is underlined! Twice!
Then the band become living posters, creepily dancing (again, with flames almost charring their junk) as she tries to write a letter. There’s a particularly touching moment when they all have their backs turned, talking about how sad things are, and pissing off a cliff. But here’s the big twist: In this version, the Leader doesn’t crash and burn … She does! Sort of. He warns her not to drive too recklessly, but she gets distracted and the top half of her car is sheared off. Then, the car tumbles over the cliff (hopefully not the same one the Twisted Sisters just peed over, because that would be awful).
Thankfully, she’s able to climb out of the upside down car, without any cuts or bruises. What happens next, though, you’ll just have to see for yourself. Let’s just say there’s an explosion, more crotch flames, and Bobcat Goldthwait chuckling like a maniac.