Watch: Modest Mouse – “King Rat” (Directed by Heath Ledger)

What if, instead of humans hunting whales, it was the other way around? What if whales sailed the seas, hunting for swimming humans so that they could chop them up and use their parts to make ginger bread men?

Of course, this sounds incredibly far-fetched and obviously is… but it does make for a brilliant social commentary and one hell of a music video.

And we can thank the late Heath Ledger for it all.

If you remember, all the way back to February of 2008, word surfaced of Heath Ledger’s involvement in a new Modest Mouse video. “Heath and I have a mutual friend and when we were in Australia, my fiancé and some of us in the band went out on a boat with him and his family and friends and talked about the idea,” explained Modest Mouse frontman Issac Brock in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“He’s got a video production company and was interested in working on something,” Brock went on to say. “We were talking back and forth for a while. The idea seemed sort of dropped, but then he just sent me an email saying that he wanted to do it. And I love me some Terry Gilliam. I hope it works out and I don’t sound like a f*cking liar at the end of this.”

Well, some 18 months after these comments were made and 19 months after Ledger’s untimely death, the video has released… and Brock looks anything but a liar.

According to the press release, the video is a “visual plea against the legal commercial whale hunts taking place off the coast of Australia.” Ledger served as the director, while Daniel Auber and Norris Houk held down animation duties. Unfortunately the director never got to see the finished product before his death. “In the interest of fully realizing Heath’s final work as a visual artist, THE MASSES (a film and music company which Heath was a partner in) finished the video in his honor, with the support and advocacy of Isaac Brock,” the statement goes on to read.

Proceeds from the video’s iTunes sales will benefit non-profit Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, check it out for yourself below…


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