The story tells of a small town that is very much bothered by a very strange and weird man living in a visually haunted house. One day the mayor decides to go with a couple of people from ... See full summary »
A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
Michael Jackson and his date are watching a movie. They leave, and take a shortcut through the graveyard on the way home. Michael turns into a werepanther-type creature, and then later a zombie, as he gets down and funky in a tremendous dance scene to the tune of his song "Thriller." Written by
John Landis made the film because he saw it as a great opportunity to bring back the theatrical short: "I saw it as a chance to resurrect a genre that had once been a Hollywood staple. Music videos were new in 1983, and MTV was just two years old." See more »
When Michael and his girlfriend are walking by the cemetery, in the first shot (crane shot) the spotlights illuminating the set are visible. See more »
[a car slows down and stops near a forest. Its passengers, Michael and his girl, stare at each other]
Honestly, we're out of gas!
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At the beginning of the film, a disclaimer appears: "Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult. Michael Jackson." Jackson was a Jehovah's Witness at the time. See more »
The stars and the planets must've all been in just the proper alignment, the day that THRILLER was conceived. Michael Jackson's album was slaying the charts, John Landis still had a lot of good will built up from his genre pic "An American Werewolf In London", (not to mention his classic comedies ANIMAL HOUSE and THE BLUES BROTHERS) and choreographer Michael Peters was creating some of the most innovative and influential pieces for music videos of that period.
Not before or since has one single piece of film illuminated, exploited or underscored MJ's incredible talent or the more "otherworldly" aspects of his persona quite like THRILLER, the world's most successful (if not officially the first) long-form video, and the most fondly remembered. Also the most expensive at the time, but every penny and every bit of the talent behind its creation and execution is up there on the screen. And how would it not be complete without the "rap" from the original song, provided by the late, great Vincent Price, to add even more cache to the chills already there?
The glory days of one of the world's greatest performers have long since passed, but no one can ever take away the man's towering achievements, of which this is probably the most memorable. If you don't think so, now, remember: Halloween is coming. I won't be one bit surprised when, like other Halloweens before it going back decades, this appears on some Saturday Night Creature Feature special.
As it will next year, and the year after that...
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