Karen Hunter “Angelfish”

1998-karen-hunter-angelfishBack in the ’90s Karen Hunter was a bald-headed songstress, and she makes good use of her follicular style in this video. Karen plays both herself – strolling along a coastal road, guitar in hand – and Angel, a be-wigged but troubled erotic dancer.

Angel works at a club which is home to anyone and everyone – gay, straight, male, female, like something out of a Maree Sheehan video. (I almost expect to find Maree Sheehan lurking around a corner, enjoying a platter of fruit.)

A drag queen drawls, “Ok, boys. Here she is – the girl you’ve all been waiting for. Say hello to Angel.” It’s when one customer tried to say hello with his hands that Angel gets bothered and runs away, fed up with gropey customers.

Roughed up by her pimp/manager on K Road, she finds comfort in a fish-shaped earring, and then has an encounter with a couple of drag queen mermaids. Enchanted by the fountain at Albert Park, Angel pulls off her wig (“It’s a wiiiiiig!”) and dives in. She washes up on a remote beach with Karen happily comforting her, safe in her new home, where she becomes a mermaid sandcastle.

It’s hard not to think of the tragic case of Jane Furlong – the young Auckland prostitute who went missing on K Road in the ’90s, and whose body was only recently found on a beach. But on the other hand, the story of Angel doesn’t have a tragic ending, and could just as easily apply to anyone who’s wanted to run away from their shit job and become a mermaid.

Best bit: the mermaid drag queens, who will make everything ok.

Next… well, that’s just super.

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