FRONT Magazine



The other day we sat down with the the king of love metal, HIM’s Ville Valo to talk about what films make him cry proper man tears. This might have been because HIM’s new album is called Tears On Tape, or it might have been an enormously happy coincidence. We just don’t know. But here’s what made his eyes shed Finnish tears…

“The first one would be City Lights, the Charlie Chaplin film, where he meets a blind girl selling flowers and the girl doesn’t realise he’s a beggar living on the street. It’s a wonderful love story. When I was a kid I had this old projector so we had these old-school film nights and this touched my heart. I was like four years old. It’s not necessarily the film that makes me cry, it’s the fact it’s nostalgic and brings back the memories, the smell of popcorn and those film nights.”

“You’ve got to include Bambi and the ‘shooting incident’. It was Disney’s way of making all the kids in the world cry. It makes me cry now to know that I used to cry at such a shitty film, but that’s what happens when you get older. The reasons for the tears change. Due to the sadistic nature of yours truly they’re now tears of excitement.”

“If we’re talking full-blown emotional during a film then it’s been a while. There’s a lot of films that make me feel unease because that’s how I spent my teens – it was all about splatter. It’s hard to have an emotional reaction to Zombie Holocaust. You can shed a few tears about the lack of money that was spent on the gory bits and bobs. It looked good on VHS but on DVD it’s so bad it makes me cry.”

“At one point when I was writing lyrics – I can’t remember for which album – I was purposely sleeping very little so I was in a very sensitive state of mind. I’d then start watching The English Patient, and when you find yourself crying at The English Patient you know you’re fucked and should call a doctor. You’ve got to find the right balance. If it’s a tear-jerker then it’s a good time to write lyrics, you need to find an emotional space for that kind of stuff. But these days I’m jaded so I have to peel onions to get the tears going.”

“I really enjoyed the film Drive, it didn’t make me cry but I felt an emotional connection. It was such a cool mix of European and American aesthetics. And they had that ‘man with no name’ attitude, you know? It was like Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood – there were a lot of genres that I grew up with. The love story within it was pretty as well, but within all this emotion there was always someone getting their head kicked in.”

“I cry at 99% of comedy because it’s so shit, with the only exceptions being Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The Mighty Boosh. Everything American made. Check out the top ten of American flicks and they’d all make me cry, but I don’t watch them because they’re not worth the tears. I’m so disappointed.”

“I just saw the Batman: The Dark Knight Rises and it nearly brought tears to my eyes because it was such a waste of money. They could have given that money to the poor instead of making such a poor fucking film. If you have the opportunity of shooting with hundreds of millions of dollars then you could save Africa with it. Fuck the Dark Knight.”

“All the Twilight series are shit. I’m weeping now. It’s so bad it hurts. Those films definitely drive a stake through my heart. They ruin all the excitement that Bram Stoker was once able to pen down. It’s ridiculous, they glitter in the fucking sunlight. They look like they’ve just walked out of a gay disco.”

A Brief History Of Disbelief with Jonathan Miller, a three-episode documentary, contained a lot of tears and some interesting stuff. It’s the whole history of atheism and religion. It’s interesting to see so many people blindly believing in something that doesn’t exist doing horrendous things because of it.”

“I did the voice of the hippo in the Finnish version of Madagascar and that was quite the experience. Once I saw the film I was definitely laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes. It felt so surreal. Rather than doing psychedelics you should speak as a hippo in a kids movie filled with double-entendres.”

“I’m going to weep when the remake of Evil Dead comes out. I think it’s sick, I hate the remakes. It’s like remastering albums, there’s a reason why an album sounds the way it does. Evil Dead is about four teenagers going into a fucking cabin and getting messed up, so how hard is it to write an original script that would be kind of similar? What is there to remake? The tree scene is the most original thing in the movie.”

“Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace made me weep. I think he made generations weep. He killed many brain cells. It was the sort of thing where you have to go into a pub and stay there for two nights in a row just to be able to forget, but he keeps coming back.”

“Fuck Titanic. It makes me repulsed. It makes me nauseous. I think I saw it with my girlfriend at the time at the cinema, and I’m good at faking it – both in and out of bed – so I was probably trying to console her and get into her pants, which can’t happen when Celine Dion is there. No wonder she’s divorced.”

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