The video is one of the most memorable of its era. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, who had previously worked on the Radiohead video for "Street Spirit (Fade out)
," it shows Thom Yorke in the back seat of a 1976 Chrysler New Yorker, which is driven down a dark road by a driver we never see. When a disheveled man appears in the headlights running from the vehicle, it seems whoever is in the car is after him. But then this man lights a book of matches and ignites a trail of gasoline that leads to the vehicle, setting it on fire.
The video seems suited for the song, as karma strikes the driver, but Glazer didn't write it with Radiohead in mind. He came up with the idea for Marilyn Manson, who was looking for a video for his song "Long Hard Road Out of Hell" and had Glazer watch the David Lynch film Lost Highway
for inspiration. In the opening credits of the film, a car is driving down a dark, deserted road, shot from the perspective of the vehicle looking down on the road. This image formed the basis of Glazer's story, but Manson rejected it. Radiohead was much more receptive, and took the idea.
The video was championed by Matt Pinfield, host of the MTV show 120 Minutes
, where it got lots of exposure in America.