Trent Reznor presents his dark vision of the EP 'Broken' by telling the story of a man kidnapped and forced to watch Nine Inch Nails videos, disturbing in their own right, while being ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Actor (voice)
Bob Flanagan


Trent Reznor presents his dark vision of the EP 'Broken' by telling the story of a man kidnapped and forced to watch Nine Inch Nails videos, disturbing in their own right, while being tortured. Written by Alan Eisinger <>

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Short | Music

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Release Date:

1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Broken Movie  »

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Did You Know?


Richard Patrick (brother of T-1000, Robert Patrick) appears as the police officer in the "Gave Up" segment. Also Robert Patrick can be seen wearing several Nine Inch Nails shirts in the Terminator 2 dvd bonus features. See more »


Edited into Closure (1997) See more »


Produced by Flood and Trent Reznor
Written by Trent Reznor
Performed by Nine Inch Nails
See more »

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User Reviews

Art or pornography?
30 September 2004 | by (Annapolis, MD) – See all my reviews

From the minds of two industrial music pioneers (musician Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and director Peter Christopherson of Coil and Throbbing Gristle) comes a perfect example of the blurring line between art and pornography. A film-short that is both celebrated and reviled for its style and content, "Broken" is one of the most shocking pieces of film ever to be unreleased. Mistaken as a snuff film by some (Reznor is no stranger to this...footage from the "Down In It" video caused some controversy some time before this film), "Broken" is a visual companion to what was arguably Reznor's most tortured and angst-ridden album. It tells the story of a man who randomly kidnaps another man for the purpose of torture and murder. He pulls the victim's teeth out, forces him to drink lighter fluid, slashes him, disembowels him, sodomizes him, all the while forcing this poor soul to watch Nine Inch Nails videos. The thing that gives this film away as a work of fiction is the style. The scenes of the killer being executed, the police finding his hideout and sifting through the remains of his past victims, and the NIN videos themselves...all done very professionally in contrast to the grainy, distorted video of the torture scenes. Not only that, but Reznor's and Christopherson's penchant for low-frequency industrial noise and sound manipulation is very present (just listen to the low-static hum that intros the whole film...very Coil, very NIN). When taking these qualities into consideration, it's easy to tell that the film is elaborate fiction. However, the film does capture a gritty realism that provides much in the way of shock value. We never see too much of the torture, just enough to know what's being done, and what we don't know is implied...subliminal horror at its best. Also, this does well to hide what are probably some very high-quality special effects, given a sense of truth by the poor video. The NIN videos are fairly violent as well. From the vinyl bodybag being drowned by fluid from the sewage pipes to the band clip of "Wish" (which oddly mirrors The Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane" video) to the mechanical torture slave of "Happiness in Slavery" (played by the dear-departed Bob Flanagan), they are a perfect mirror to the angry industrial thrash of the album. All in all, the film plays on the ultimate possibilities for an album of this level of rage. People who enjoy this film for the technical qualities are most likely able to detach themselves from the disturbing content, while people who do enjoy it for the content are simply perverts. Never was a case of art vs. pornography so clear than with NIN's "Broken." Whether it is beautiful or disgusting or both, kudos to Trent Reznor and Peter Christopherson and all at the NIN camp for making such a twisted and uniquely putrid visual work.

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