Features and Columns

The Spiritual Significance of the Exploding Head

This video essay is…mind-blowing.
By  · Published on May 15th, 2020

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web.

The only thing better than having your mind blown by a video essay is having your mind blown by a video essay about blowing up minds.

Serenaded by meditative Bach, “On The Importance of Exploding Heads” blows open the closed-minded assumption that an erupting noggin is nothing but an extreme indulgence of cinematic bloodlust. Instead, the video encourages us to open our minds up to the possibility that this grisly horror staple is more than just a special effects show stopper. That such scenes are, at their core, the ultimate metaphor for the glorious release of enlightenment. A representation of revelations so powerful they can’t be contained within the limited confines of the human skull.

Centered around the infamous head pop of David Cronenberg‘s Scanners, the video strikes an amusing balance between genuinely thoughtful insight and self-aware tongue-in-cheek. The arguments presented are sincere, but the absurdity of being so philosophical about something so grisly is not lost on the video’s creators. The result is inviting and hilarious; a liberating sense of academic indulgence that knows itself. What were we saying earlier about enlightenment? Does anyone else’s head hurt?

You can watch “On the Importance of Exploding Heads” here:

Who made this?

“On the Importance of Exploding Heads” was written and edited by Benjamin Shearn, a film editor and writer. His last feature, Ladyworld, screened at BFI London, Fantastic Fest, and TIFF: Next Wave, and it was presented as part of the Frontieres Showcase at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. This specific video, narrated by Matt D’Elia, is the first entry in Sheran’s new video essay series, “Driftless Significance.”

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Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.