Ridiculously *Bad* Music Videos: “Holding Out For A Hero”

Don’t worry kids! We’re not changing too much around. Instead of throwing you something we love, how about something we love to hate? This week, we’re switching up our regular feature for a rare, brutal, snide commentary on the worst of the worst that the music video medium has to offer. -Michael Roffman, Editor in Chief

Set amongst the backdrop of deserts and mountains, the narrative for Bonnie Tyler‘s 1984 smash hit, “Holding Out For A Hero,” follows the cry of a woman, who is waiting for a “street-wise Hercules/To fight all the odds.” I imagine this music video was Michael Bay’s first introduction to film.

When the video begins, the three-way crosscut between a burning house, a group of women in white lingerie dancing with heavy shoulders in a poorly lit room, and three faceless cowboys with neon whips, command the screen, as the drum machine and synth bass pushed beat leads into an epic piano riff and an even more ambitious “oooing” and eventual “awwing” from the ladies in white.

This is where Bonnie enters.

Realizing that her house is on fire, through her highly perceptive sensory skills, Bonnie dramatically emerges from her isolated home into the sand covered foreground of the frame and begins to sing. Just check out these lyrics.

Where have all the good men gone

And where are all the gods?

Where’s the street-wise Hercules

To fight the rising odds?

Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?

Late at night I toss and turn and dream

of what I need


I need a hero

I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night

He’s gotta be strong

And he’s gotta be fast

And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

I need a hero

I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light

He’s gotta be sure

And it’s gotta be soon

And he’s gotta be larger than life

As the video advances, the juxtaposition of daylight with close-ups of Bonnie standing on a Cliffside clad in white, along with aerial views of the Grand Canyon and first person river-rafting POV’s (similar to shots from the Disney film, “Flight of the Navigator”) is contrasted almost flawlessly with the nighttime arson scene.


With the build up of emotion that transpires over the first three minutes of the just under five minute long 80s masterpiece, the song (with video) hits the breakdown.

A sped-up drumbeat and horns section begins to play, as a horse saddled pursuit takes place on the screen between a white suited man on a white horse (who is armed) and the three faceless cowboys in black holding the neon whips.

Aside from the prevalent racial undertone of this scene, the husky vocals of Bonnie are stretched to the limit with screaming ardor overtop the subliminal race chase, as the song creeps towards its end.

In this shootout finale, all the frames featured, thus far, are blended passionately together in a back and forth blur, as peace of mind is returned to Bonnie, through the first-degree murders of the silhouetted cowboy trio.

If one thinks the translated genius of “Holding Out For A Hero” onto the screen stops here, then think again.

Featured on the soundtrack for the rebellious Kevin Bacon dance-off motion picture, “Footloose,” the montage heavy song of Bonnie Tyler, continues its on-screen cameo, as it serves as a scene overture for the theatrical, head-on game of tractor chicken between the movie’s protagonist, Ren McCormack, played by Kevin Bacon, and the film’s bad boy, Chuck Cranston, played by Jim Youngs.

This lethal combination of reckless abandon on gas powered farm vehicles and the steadfast empowering of Bonnie’s vocalized patience has been known to make mind’s explode in past, so be cautious, because it is intense, to say the least. Intense!

Oh and if that’s not enough, check out this 2001 dance clip, complete with costumed gymnasts. But, for now, here’s the video…


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