The Puerto Rican rapper rounds off spooky season as the iconic German vampire, but the video for ‘BATICANO’ comes with a political message too
Just when we thought spooky season was finally over, Bad Bunny turned round and said: not on my watch, ladies and gentlemen. The Puerto Rican rapper has just dropped the video for “BATICANO” from his new album nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana which was surprise released on October 13. The clip sees Bad Bunny take on the role of the vampire Count Orlok from the 1922 German expressionist horror Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, making a late entry for best Halloween costume of the year.
Starring alongside the musician is none other than Steve Buscemi, appearing as a doctor who revives Count Orlok at the beginning of the video. After being brought back to life by Buscemi, Bad Bunny’s vampire roams the streets of a village, recreating iconic scenes from the original movie, like the shot of Count Orlok’s shadow creeping up a flight of stairs.
The song itself seems to rail against the hypocrisies of religion and those who limit freedom of expression. In the fourth verse, the musician raps “Ningún hombre en la tierra tiene el derecho ‘e juzgar en el nombre de Cristo/Yo sé que a Él sin cojone’ le tiene cómo yo me visto/Y si mañana baja, puede ser que me pille en la disco,” which translates to, “No man on earth has the right to judge in the name of Christ/I know that He doesn’t give a fuck how I dress/And if He comes down tomorrow, He’ll catch me in the club.”
The sentiment of these lyrics is expressed throughout the music video, too. In one part, a man can be seen abusing his wife while a portrait of Jesus hangs on the wall in the background. In the following scene, a father allows his son to watch a violent television show, but when two men appear on the screen and begin to kiss, he covers the child’s eyes and turns the television off in anger. Elsewhere, at the end of the video, before sending his creation off into the world, Buscemi’s character warns the vampire that “the world out there is cruel. It’s horrible. They aren’t ready for you in this world. But you are beautiful, remember that. You are too perfect for this world.”
The musician’s decision to recreate the 1922 film for this specific song was no accident. The film is often seen as an allegory for a fear of the unknown, and its director FW Murnau was a gay man in 1920s Germany, and knew what it felt like to be othered and marginalised. It was a canny choice to use Nosferatu to round off the spooky season, but Bad Bunny’s “BATICANO” video has a deeper, political meaning running through its heart.