Sound And Vision: Albert Pyun
In the article series Sound and Vision we take a look at music videos from notable directors. This week we look at Ice-T's Always Wanted to Be A Ho, directed by Albert Pyun, seen here posing on the left of our Swarez.
Albert Pyun, who passed away last week, might have often been derided as a director of schlock and trash movies, but for connoisseurs of the genre the man was something of a household name. It pleased me, personally, to see that most of the many articles that followed his death were thoughtful and respectful, while not necessarily glowing about the movies themselves. But by all accounts Albert Pyun was a very nice man, a hard working director, and in my opinion, was one of the best working in the genre of 'bargain bin entertainment'.
It is not often that people working in trash cinema make themselves a household name during their life. People like Doris Wishman, Andy Milligan and the likes, only often got rightfully praised for paving the path quite late in life, or long after their death. Trash cinema deserves a better reputation among cinephiles, and to be discussed in as much detail as we do with classics.
I think there is one area of media that is even more derided, and taken less seriously, than trash cinema: music videos. One of the problems with this weekly series is that information is often hard to come by, and it is in many cases even hard to fact check who directed something. Most music videos from the eighties and the nineties have no, or barely any credits online at all, let alone more information about the process behind them. They are truly the bastard child of the cinematic landscape.
Case in point, Albert Pyun's video for Ice-T's Always Wanted to Be a Ho, which Ice-T co-directed. Which we know, because the poor quality video on youtube says so, and has a www.albertpyunmovies.com- watermark, which is, in fact, now a dead link. Barely any other information can be found online, except for the fact that Ice-T was for some time showing up in many Albert Pyun-movies, like Mean Guns, Crazy Six, The Wrecking Crew, Urban Menace, Corrupt and Ticker. Was this Albert Pyun returning the favor to his mid-career muse?
The music video itself is fairly unassuming, with Ice-T rapping some questionable lines to the camera. But there is an interesting naturalistic quality to the settings, like a barbershop and a small concert venue. It's somewhat removed from the usual glitter and glamor of hip-hop videos from the era. Ice-T apparently will show up in a documentary about Albert Pyun, called Albert's Pyuniverse. Here's hoping they will address the video in question, cause it would be very disheartening to see it getting lost in the sands of time, like most music video- and trash cinema-history.