The lyrics to Queen’s 1989 single “The Invisible Man” are forthright. Freddie Mercury is an invisible man, QED. The music video is more ambiguous; a supernaturally powered Queen holds an unwitting family hostage. It’s like Tron meets Ghostbusters, only better.
How awesome is the music video for “The Invisible Man”? Let’s just say that if there was a machine that could quantify awesomeness, this machine would be built of dinosaur bones and powered by the inchoate yalps of happy babies. Here’s the music video - we’ll dissect its scenes and themes below.
The video opens with a bolt of lightning striking a nondescript suburban home. This symbol has two possible meanings - A.) it’s a usage of the common science fiction trope that lightning = artificial life, à la Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or B.) it designates Freddie Mercury as the monster depicted in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I’m not sure which.
The lightning bolt causes a computer disk entitled “THE INVISIBLE MAN” to telekinetically fly into an old-timey computer’s disk drive. The computer turns on, and some Maniac Mansion-style game comes on. Apropos of nothing, I miss Maniac Mansion.
The computer’s bleep-bloops disturb the family downstairs eating dinner. I have no idea why they are eating in the middle of the night. The son - who we’ll call Scrappy Jr. - goes up to investigate.
Freddie Mercury is sitting on Scrappy Jr.’s bed, dressed like one of Biff Tannen’s grandson’s friends from Back To The Future, Part II. He disappears when Scrappy Jr. enters.
Scrappy Jr. begins playing the video game, in which you must fire lasers at Queen. That sounds weird, but hey, even Journey had a scifi video game back in the day. Scrappy Jr. hits Freddie, who materializes again in Scrappy Jr.’s room. Scrappy, who apparently has seen his share of otherworldly prowlers, remains blasé.
At this point, Freddie begins serenading Scrappy Jr. (“Now I’m in your room and I’m in your bed / And I’m in your life and I’m in your head”). This understandably weirds Scrappy out, so he begins firing lasers at Freddie. A measured reaction, to say the least.
Scrappy Jr. finally pegs the incorporeal Freddie with a laser. His parents come upstairs to investigate, and Scrappy kicks them out. He’s taken a shining to his lewd, interdimensional playmate. The closet doors open and...
HOLY FUCKING SHIT QUEEN IS IN YOUR BEDROOM.
At this point, reality collapses, as a thousand Brian Mays begin firing lasers out of their guitars.
Queen prances for around for a couple minutes and then disintegrate into shadows. Scrappy Jr. dons John Deacon’s cowboy hat. He is whisked away to a pocket dimension where he must power-walk with Queen for all eternity. Real Lovecraftian stuff here, folks.
So what’s the moral of “Invisible Man”? If Queen is in your bedroom, tell an adult. Otherwise, you’ll be forced into a Phantom Zone and have to do calisthenics until your kneecaps grind into gelatin powder.