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The Backstreet Boys are embarking on the North American leg of their latest world tour and I am distraught that I won’t be in attendance. However, the lack of tickets did send me on a trip down memory lane and you know what. Our BSB have always been supporters of the sci-fi and fantasy and, yes, even horror of the genre world.
“As Long As You Love Me” (1997)
It starts out realistically — er, well, “realistically” — enough, with the boys auditioning? For? Something? In front of a group of beautiful women. Not too long after the one minute mark, in the midst of the first chorus, one of the women pulls out a remote. It’s not immediately clear what the point of the remote is … until you realize she’s using it to change one Boy to another Boy (though never 2 a Man). Then, just as the bridge hits, AJ uses the remote to turn all these appropriately dressed casting women into … the Spice Girls? It is unclear.
Let’s be real, even if the weird remote control thing didn’t happen, Brian’s eyes are blue enough in this video that I think he might be from the 1984 movie Dune.
Fun fact: this could also be included in the SYFY FANGRRLS romance recs as Brian met his wife on the set of this video! Layers!
Look, we know this is a mini horror movie. The Boys get stuck in a weird, Tim Burtonesque haunted mansion and then turn into the very monsters they fear. That’s depth. I don’t mean to keep picking on Brian but he gets bitten by Bunnicula and then turns into a werewolf.
On rewatch, I can’t believe I didn’t think Howie was the hot one. Look at that vamp-realness. I was such a young fool. AJ turns into the Phantom of the Opera because sure. Kevin’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or maybe Two-Face from Batman. And Nick’s... a mummy. Yawn.
It does take a strange kind of magic to influence an entire generation of millennial BSB fans into keeping the choreography of this video in their very blood for over two decades. If you see me at Comic-Con ask to see it. I’ll do the whole damn thing. Bless you, Fatima Robinson.
“Larger Than Life” (1999)
It’s not my favorite song off the album, but you can’t deny that the “Larger Than Life” music video has a certain absurdist je ne sais quoi to it. No seriously, I don’t know what’s going on in this video.
It starts and we see a huge yellow star destroyer — excuse me, I mean, Backstreet Boys spaceship — and we hear lo-fi clips of past BSB songs and highlights. We’re to understand that they have been cryogenically frozen and are finally being reanimated in the year 3000. (Real talk: I’d watch this video 10 times in a row before watching that Chris Pratt / Jennifer Lawrence movie Passengers.)
For the most part, everybody’s roles are clear — Brian’s hoverboarding in space and playing paddleball, Nick’s dancing with a bunch of yellow robots, Kevin’s the gunner, AJ is a purple cross between Doc Oc and Iron Man, but Howie is … moving air?
The song’s ostensibly about how much they love their fans, and clearly it is enough to take on Space itself.
Can’t wait to see what new genre short films the Boys bring us in the future. But like, the close future. Not the year 3000 future.