Godflesh Artwork Descriptions
Created alongside the re-launch of this site in August of 1999, my goal was to list and detail the sources of imagery found in Godflesh releases. Now, almost a quarter-of-a-century later, I've finally updated it with high-resolution images, links and corrected information.

I'd be glad to update this if I've made a mistake, so please email me and I'll try to get it on the site. Many, many thanks to Luke Lund for providing context and specifics on a number of these - a majority of which I'd never have discovered without his aid.


Used On:
Godflesh debut EP (1988)

Source:
Seconds (1966 film)

Description:
This comes from the 1996 film Seconds featuring Rock Hudson. The 1991 movie Cape Fear was a remake of the 1962 original, featuring Robert DeNiro. The intro to each movie shows a person's face from various perspectives. In this image, the character looks up. At the moment where he faced into the camera, the band (likely Ben) shot this image. You can watch the intro here.


Used On:
Godflesh debut EP (1988)

Source:
Un Chien Andalou (1929 film)

Description:
This 20-minute experimental short film was written, directed and produced by Luis Buñel alongside renowned Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. Translating to An Andalusian Dog, the scene here shows a woman getting her eyeball slashed with a razor blad. Upon closer inspection, one can see that it is actually an animal's eye, but that's made easier with the technology of the 21st century. At the time, and for decades after, the horrific scene was quite shocking and the image was used by the band for their debut EP. Often edited with this segment cut, the full, unedited version can be viewed here.


Used On:
Godflesh debut EP (1988)

Source:
Eraserhead (1977 film)

Description:
David Lynch's full-length debut was a "surrealist body horror film" to some and a confusing heap to others, your author included. The image in question here is a double exposure taken from the intro to the movie where a man is gazing out through a window. Though the Earache reissue of Godflesh removed the greyscale nuance of the artwork, the vinyl release, photos courtesy of Jez, reveal more details. The cropped image to the right shows the man's face, reflection and cracks in the window, some of which are recognizable in the EP's art work. See also the Streetcleaner inlay.


Used On:
Godflesh debut EP (1988)

Source:
Unknown

Description:
Not quite sure about this one yet. Perhaps one day we'll figure it out.


Used On:
Streetcleaner cover art (1989)

Source:
Altered States (1980 film).

Description:
This film, starring William Hurt (Drew Barrymore is in there too), is an adaptation of a novel by Paddy Chayefsky. The film was described as, "different mind states and subsequent bodily changes due to chemical and physical stimulus." In this scene, the main character is going through one of his psychedelic trips and this is what he sees. The second image was the original intended cover for Streetcleaner but the band decided it wasn't a clear enough shot for their liking. The third image above is the original, cropped slightly. Click for a larger, full-frame image.


Used On:
Streetcleaner inlay (1989)

Source:
Color Me Shameless (1967 film)

Description:
This was one of many short films directed by George Kuchar. The 30-minute black and white 16mm film shows actor Bob Cowan and actress Gina Zuckerman. In this scene, Cowan sits next to Zuckerman and puts his hand on her thigh before assaulting her. Prior to his advances, she looks to her right and this is the snapshot the band chose.

More information can be found here at the Kuchar Brothers filmography. You can view a snippet of this scene here. See also Cold World and Pure inlay 1 and Pure inlay 3.


Used On:
Streetcleaner inlay (1989)

Source:
Eraserhead (1977 film)

Description:
The band revisited David Lynch's Eraserhead on their debut LP. This scene occurs around 8 minutes into the movie where the protagonist walks past this building. See also the Godflesh reverse image.


Used On:
Loopflesh cover (1991)

Source:
Shriek Of The Mutilated (1974 film)

Description:
A college profession and several of his students embark on an adventure to discover yeti-like beast who proceeds to kill them off one-by-one. As the nemesis crawls into a window at the 71-minute mark, one student runs into a room and uncovers a dead body in a bed. This is the scene used for the cover. It's worth noting that neither band had anything to do with this artwork. It appears that it was Clawfist, the label, who created the cover. Here is an alternate snap of the same scene, with different coloring (based on the streaming service that provided the source material).

As of mid-2024, this film can be viewed at Tubi and also on Amazon Prime.


Used On:
Slavestate cover (1991)

Source:
Head (1968 film)

Description:
This film starred the 1960s rock group The Monkees and was co-written and co-produced by famed Hollywood actor Jack Nicholson. Frank Zappa appears in this movie briefly. Just after 61 minutes into the movie, there is a dance-club scene with flashing scenes, characters and lights. This girl was highlighted for a few moments and the blank look on the face capture Justin and Ben's eyes immediately. They tried to get a clean image numerous times and this static-filled image was the best attempt.

This film can be viewed here.


Used On:
Slateman cover/inlay (1991)

Source:
Godflesh Live

Description:
While a live photo of the band as a three-piece (that's Paul Neville with them) doesn't need much context, this image was from a date in London. Historically, I was under the impression that the show was from 1991 where Godflesh was opening for Nirvana. However, in October of 2023, I unearthed an email from November of 2001 from Jason Ashbridge who told me the following: "I took the photo at a show where the guys supported Revolting Cocks in London; and a damn fine show it was too....Godflesh played 5 new numbers and RevCo ...well, they were fun! Anyways, I took a whole roll of film specifically for the Slateman cover; the intention was to make the cover look like one of those early Mudhoney/Soundgarden type covers...I think it worked."


Used On:
Cold World cover (1991)

Source:
Color Me Shameless (1967 film)

Description:
See the Streetcleaner entry for more information about this film. This is from the same scene as that image and as Pure inlay 1 and Pure inlay 3.

More information can be found here at the Kuchar Brothers filmography. You can view a snippet of this scene here.


Used On:
Cold World / Pure inlays (1991 / 1992)

Source:
The Exorcist III (1990 film)

Description:
This decapitated statue was used as imagery in both the Cold World single and the Pure LP a year later. This image comes from the 1990 entry into The Exorcist film franchise by William Blatty. Based on the 1983 novel Legion, the scene here has Lieutenant Kinderman entering an elevator, unaware that to his right resides a decapitated statue of Jesus. The camera then pans in on the statue. This occurs around 23 minutes into the film.


Used On:
Pure cover (1992)

Source:
A Time Of Gods (1962 book)

Description:
In Italy, east of Rome, there is a park in a town called Bomarzo. Built in the 1500s, the park is called Sacro Bosco (Sacred Grove) and within there are numerous sculptures and statues, among them is Neptune, the god of the sea. In 1962 a photography book was published called A Time Of Gods by Roloff Beny. The left hand of this large, Neptune statue was within this book and Ben took a photograph of it. This became the cover of Pure.


Used On:
Pure inlay (1992)

Source:
Color Me Shameless (1967 film)

Description:
See the Streetcleaner link for more information about this film. This is from the same portion of the film as the Cold World cover

More information can be found here at the Kuchar Brothers filmography. You can view a snippet of this scene here. Click the second image for a full-frame snapshot.


Used On:
Pure inlay (1992)

Source:
Nightmares In The Sky (1988 book)

Description:
This image can be found in the book Nightmares In The Sky: Gargoyles And Grotesques. The photography is credited to f-stop Fitzgerald with Stephen King authoring the text. The 1988 book was published by Viking Studio Books contains 100 duotone photographs alongside 24 full-color snapshots. King describes the gothic horror over the 132 pages in a way that he does best. This image is found at Graceland Cemetary, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



Used On:
Pure inlay (1992)

Source:
Color Me Shameless (1967 film)

Description:
See the Streetcleaner entry for more information about this film. This is from the same scene as that image and as Pure inlay 1 and Cold World cover.

More information can be found here at the Kuchar Brothers filmography. You can view a snippet of this scene here. See also Cold World and Streetcleaner.


Used On:
Pure inlay (1992)

Source:
The Devils (1972 film)

Description:
This film was written and directed by Ken Russel and received an X rating/was banned in several countries. The movie recounts the fall of Urbain Grandier, a Catholic priest accused of witchcraft in 17th-century France. The scene used here is the final of the film, as the character Madeleine, newly freed, escapes the ruins of the city.


Used On:
Pure inlay (1992)

Source:
Nightmares In The Sky (1988 book)

Description:
See the other gothic art found in the inlay of Pure for full details. This stone face can be found at Inman Square in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Used On:
Merciless cover (1993)

Source:
Meshes Of The Afternoon (1943 film)

Description:
This 14-minute film from 80 years ago is creepy, even today. The silent, 16mm experimental film was written, produced and directed by Maya Deren and she stars alongside her then-husband Alexandr (Sasha) Hackenschmied. The scene from the Merciless cover shows Deren picking up a flower left by some mysterious and overly-long hand. Much of the film occurs while Deren is sleeping and the shrouded dream character would be later featured on imagery found on Selfless inlay 5

The full film can be viewed here.


Used On:
Selfless cover (1994)

Source:
Science Photo Library

Description:
"Human nerve cells growing on a microchip - exotic physics meets exotic biology"


Used On:
Selfless inlay (1994)

Source:
Mask Of Satan (1960 film)

Description:
Titled La Maschera Del Demonio (The Mask Of Satan) in its native Italian, this 1960 film by director Mario Bava was localized as Black Sunday. The tale surrounds a woman in Moldovia killed for being a witch. She is killed by placing the mask of Satan upon her face. This mask contains spikes on the inside and it is hammered onto her head. Prior to her death, she places a curse on the descendents of he who killed her.

200 later, in the early 19th century, two doctors stumble upon the witch's tomb and as one of their blood drips upon the corpse, it is resurrected, thus kick-starting this twisted tale. The image here is the mask of Satan itself, shown in the opening minutes of the film. The image was flipped, cropped and rotated, but I've provided the film snapshot just as it appears in the movie. The full film can be viewed here.


Used On:
Selfless inlay (1994)

Source:
Mask Of Satan (1960 film)

Description:
This image is from the same film as above and can be seen when one character is peering into his glass of alcohol. His hands surround the glass and what you see in this photo is the reflection of what he calls 'death'. This occurs around 24 minutes into the movie.


Used On:
Selfless inlay (1994)

Source:
Carnival Of Souls (1962 film)

Description:
This little-known but highly-revered psychological horror film follows a woman (actress Candace Hilligoss) who has survived a drag-race accident off of a dangerous bridge. Throughout the film, her character is plagued by a sense of unease and who is followed by a mysterious figure.

This scene from this imagae is from about 52 minutes into the film (which can be viewed here) when the protagonist enters a church. As she sits and plays at the large pipe organ, she looks up and views this section of a stained-glass window, which the band captured clearly for the inlay of Selfless.


Used On:
Selfless inlay (1994)

Source:
Farewell Good Brothers (1992 film)

Description:
This UFO documentary claims to detail "Real life UFO encounters." This photograph comes from the opening credits and has no true context. The film is available to watch in full on YouTube.


Used On:
Selfless inlay (1994)

Source:
Meshes Of The Afternoon (1943 film)

Description:
Continuing from the description on Merciless, here a hooded figure w ith a mirrored face places the flower from the movie's intro on a bed, then peers through a doorway at the camera/protagonist before disappearing suddenly.

The full film can be viewed here.


Used On:
Selfless reverse (1994)

Source:
Prince Of Darkness (1987 film)

Description:
One of John Carpenter's lesser-known movies, Prince Of Darkness wove a tale about During the conclusion, one of the main characters has a vivid dream of being contacted and he sees the main actress emerging through a threshold with blue lights cast behind her. Before she steps out, this image can be seen. While the album version gives off a purple hue, the wide-shot shown above reveals it is far more blue. This scene occurs about 97 minutes into the film.


Used On:
Songs Of Love And Hate cover (1996)

Source:
"Cancer Alley": New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Description:
This image is from a well-documented area along the Mississippi River in Louisiana where residents are 50x more likely to get cancer than the average American. Though the oil refineries and petrochemical plants that border the town are quite-certainly the culprit, proving such a thing in court remains difficult. Thus, residents are stuck with property they cannot sell and the area is considered ground zero for environmental racism.

The photograph is credited to Joel Sartore, showing a crucified Jesus in a cemetary overlooking the plants that possibly caused the death in the background.


Used On:
Love And Hate In Dub cover (1997)

Source:
"Cancer Alley": New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Description:
While this appears to be the same as the Songs Of Love And Hate cover, it isn't. The artist who worked on both releases emailed me in 1999 saying, "The cover for Love And Hate In Dub isn't the same place as the cover for the SOLAH album. I know they look similar but the shots were both taken by different photographers and in different places. The second shot was sourced because it looked like the first but more doomy. The cross in the first cover was digitally moved on the cover to make a better image and on the second one the sky was enhanced to make it more interesting. Originally the cover of the second album was going to be the same as the first but with an effect like tracing paper down the right hand side with the new title on but in the end Justin and I decided to come up with a different idea. Having the digipack format as the main CD format on the second CD took a lot of persuading with Earache as it was more expensive than a normal case."


Used On:
Us And Them cover (1999)

Source:
Gargoyle statue - Notre-Dame, Paris, France

Description:
The photo is credited to Sèraphin-Mèdèric Mieusement, a late 19th-century French archictecural photographer. This photo was taken in the late 1800s and is one of the many gargoyle statues standing watch at the top of France's Notre-Dame in Paris. Here is another view of this gargoyle.


Used On:
Hymns inlay & reverse (2001)

Source:
The Devils (1972 film)

Description:
A decade after using this film as inspiration on Pure's inlay, Justin returned to this Ken Russel movie. Like the last image, this is from the end of the film. Urbain Grandier is being burned as scores of onlookers laugh and chant for his death. Among these are skeleton-clad faces seen through the fire. While the inlay (image #2 above) is easier to identify, the reverse comes from the same scene, however I did not capture this quite as specifically as the rest. Ultimately, it's all from the same chaotic moments. All of this occurs at 100 minutes into the film.


Used On:
Decline And Fall cover (2014)

Source:
The Forbidden (1978 film)

Description:
Written and directed by Clive Barker, this 1978 experimental film is not to be mistaken with the 1985 short story Barker wrote which evolved into the film Candyman. Instead, this 35-minute black-and-white short movie is one of two experimental films Barker made before moving on to Hellraiser (which, like The Forbidden, also featured Doug Bradley).

While this film is not easily accessible, its ambience is creepy and its audio unnerving as the main character. Much of it was show using negative exposure and the still image from Decline And Fall shows the main character looking through a window, its grids before him. This scene occurs about six minutes into the short.


Used On:
A World Lit Only By Fire cover (2014)

Source:
Lot In Sodom (1933 film)

Description:
Taken from the 1933 short film by directors James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber. This contained some particularly avant-garde content, especially for such an old film. The storyline is all biblical, as the title would suggest, and some effects are rather impressive as well, especially when Lot's wife is turned into a pillar of salt.

This shot is from when 24 minutes into the movie where an angel, brandishing a downward-facing sword, warned the residents of Sodom to flee before God destroyed the city. The album cover is a red-tinted version of this scene as shown here. The film can be viewed in its entirety here on YouTube.


Used On:
A World Lit Only By Fire inlay (2014)

Source:
Lot In Sodom (1933 film)

Description:
See the cover for A World Lit Only By Fire for details about this film. The inlay image, also colored in red, is one of many fiery effects used throughout, likely to conjure concepts of sin and hell. This occurs at just before 9 minutes into the movie.


Used On:
Post Self cover (2017)

Source:
Angel (1957 film)

Description:
Angel was a short, 4-minute film produced by Joseph Cornell in 1957. The entire short movie is comprised of shots of an angel statue in a park in autumn or winter. The image Godflesh used was more blue in color (a contrast to A World Lit Only By Fire's red), but there's little more to describe about this piece.

The full film can be watched over on YouTube.


Used On:
Post Self cover (2017)

Source:
Angel (1957 film)

Description:
The single and cassette cover for Post Self was from the same film as the album version. In fact, it's the shot just after that prior image. Like the aforementioned scene, other than altering the colors, there's little to discuss here.


Used On:
Nero single (2023)

Source:
Corridor (1970 film)

Description:
Corridor, the 22-minute experimental film, can be watched here if you so desire. Crafted by Standish Lawder, this is a strange 16mm film of slowly going through a long hallway. Terry Riley produced the music and Lawder claims that after two years of production, it was his best film. You'll have to see for yourself. Much like Post Self, the image was edited to carry heavy blue hues.


Used On:
Purge cover (2023)

Source:
Social-media photo (2020)

Description:
This photograph was taken by Anne Rōz Villamayor and posted to her social-media account in early 2020. The woman in the photograph was Kristine Mae Guarin. As usual, Justin changed the coloring and cropped the image to make quite an imposing album cover.

[crumbling flesh home]