She’s Got Fangs, and Knows How to Use Them

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A vampire stars in this 1994 music video by blues-rockers, ZZ Top—but you’ll know her better as a witch.

Fairuza Balk, best-known for her break-out role as Nancy Downs, the malevolent witch in The Craft (1996), plays a vampire—dubbed “Vampire Girl” on IMDb—in ZZ Top’s music video, “Breakaway”, from their 1994 album, Antenna.

Fairuza Bulk as Vampire and Witch
Left: Fairuza Bulk as the vampire in ZZ Top’s “Breakaway” (1994). (RCA/YouTube). Right: Bulk as Nancy Downs in The Craft (1996). (Columbia Pictures/Fallen Androgyny)

The music video was a signpost toward the “the girl who plays the crazies and weirdoes” roles she’s become famous for: the bit where she “attacks” the guy she’s dating (Sean Murray)—who IMDb names “Passenger in Jeep”—against a chainlink fence is either raunchy or rapey, depending on which way you look at it.

She’s such a stand-out, it’s easy to overlook the other vampiric references in the clip; apart from the dodgy bat effects, that is. For instance, look how ZZ Top are decked out. Let’s compare them with a familiar vampire portrayal:

ZZ Top vs. Dracula
Left: Publicity shot from ZZ Top’s music video, “Breakaway” (1994), featured on the German CD5 / 5″ single’s cover. (RCA/ Right: Gary Oldman as Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). (Columbia Pictures/

It’s clear the clip’s director, Marty Callner, had Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) fresh in his memory. When Vincent Schiavelli appears as some kinda vampire spook (her master? I dunno), his shadow acts independently of himself—yep, just like Gary Oldman’s vampire count.

As it happens, there’s another vampire movie connection in ZZ Top’s oeuvre—they recorded “She’s Just Killing Me” for the From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) soundtrack.

Speaking of Francis Ford Coppola’s film, its beautiful title song features in “The Other 5 Most Popular Vampire Songs on YouTube.” Check that out. We’ve also got another before-they-were-famous music video: see if you can guess the answer to “Who’s That Vampire?