Music Video of the Day: Thriller by Michael Jackson (1983, dir. John Landis)


“Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this post in no way endorses a belief that this statement was anymore necessary than the one at the beginning of this music video.”

The reason it was there is because Michael Jackson was a Jehovah’s Witness at the time. That’s just one of the many many many things you can find out about this music video on Wikipedia alone.

I guess I can add one thing to this that you have dig around a bit to put together. I’m sure there have been some made since Thriller, but just in case you didn’t know, or remember how huge this music video was, it was popular enough to get its’ own porno spoof. It is called Driller: A Sexual Thriller (1984).

Driller (1984, dir. Joyce James)

Driller (1984, dir. Joyce James)

They even spoofed Jackson’s opening statement.

Driller (1984, dir. Joyce James)

Driller (1984, dir. Joyce James)

Because when I see this,…

vlcsnap-2016-10-30-16h00m34s130

I totally want to see it have sex.

Driller (1984, dir. Joyce James)

Driller (1984, dir. Joyce James)

The mask in Thriller is much better.

What I love best about this is that John Landis kind of predicted this would happen a couple of years prior when he made An American Werewolf In London (1981). Landis likes to stick references into his movies to a fictional film called See You Next Wednesday. Thriller is no exception. As Jackson gets up to leave the theater, you can hear someone onscreen say “See You Next Wednesday.” Of course An American Werewolf In London also had that bit, but it was a porno in that movie.

An American Werewolf In London (1981, dir. John Landis)

An American Werewolf In London (1981, dir. John Landis)

There’s even the scene where David is sitting in a porno theater watching the fictional “See You Next Wednesday” movie while talking to Griffin Dunne’s character who is looking like the undead in Thriller at that point.

An American Werewolf In London (1981, dir. John Landis)

An American Werewolf In London (1981, dir. John Landis)

The only other thing I noticed is that if you drop the ‘s’ in “Peters”, then you have a director that got his start making horror movies.

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Sadly, just like Down Under by Men At Work and It’s Tricky by RUN-DMC, this music video ended up in litigation. Both John Landis and Ola Ray sued Michael Jackson over royalties. I’m glad none of that kept the music video off of YouTube as it seems to with so many others.

Happy Halloween!

Horror Song of the Day: Thriller (by Michael Jackson)


Thriller

What better way to end another month of horror here at Through the Shattered Lens than with a showing a the greatest music video ever made (not even a contest or a question). No matter what one’s personal opinion of Michael Jackson as a person there’s no denying the genius talent the man had and this video just speaks to the horror fan even if one was not into his music.

It has a werewolf (though here it’s a werecat), 50’s horror trope of the girl in distress, zombies, John Landis directing, Vincent Price with one of the best spoken word performance in a music video…and did I say zombies courtesy of make-up FX guru Rick Baker.

A music video that was more a short film plus horror musical, Thriller would become a cultural phenomenon that spread across the globe. It didn’t matter whether one lived in the US or the furthest corner of Mongolia. Everyone saw and enjoyed this music video. Even it’s detractors could only nitpick flaws from the final product.

Oh yeah, it has ZOMBIES!

Hope everyone had a great, happy and safe Halloween!

Thriller

It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurkin’ in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze, as horror looks you right between the eyes
You’re paralyzed

‘Cause it’s a thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a, killer, thriller tonight, yeah

You hear the door slam, and realize there’s nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand, and wonder if you’ll ever see the sun
You close your eyes, and hope that this is just imagination
Girl, but all the while, you hear a creature creepin’ up behind
You’re outta time

‘Cause it’s a thriller, thriller night
There ain’t no second chance against the thing with the forty eyes, girl
(Thriller, thriller night)
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

Night creatures call and the dead start to walk in their masquerade
There’s no escaping the jaws of the alien this time
(They’re open wide)
This is the end of your life

They’re out to get you, there’s demons closing in on every side (boom!)
They will possess you, unless you change that number on your dial
Now is the time, for you and I to cuddle close together, yeah
All through the night, I’ll save you from the terror on the screen
I’ll make you see

That it’s a thriller, thriller night
‘Cause I can thrill you more than any ghoul would ever dare try
(Thriller, thriller night)
So let me hold you tight and share a killer, diller, chiller thriller here tonight

‘Cause it’s a thriller, thriller night
Girl, I can thrill you more than any ghoul would ever dare try
(Thriller, thriller night)
So let me hold you tight and share a (Killer, thriller)

I’m gonna thrill you tonight

(Vincent Price voiceover)

“Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize your neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell”

I’m gonna thrill you tonight
(Thriller, thriller)
I’m gonna thrill you tonight
(Middle of the night, thriller)
I’m gonna thrill you tonight
Ooh, babe, I’m gonna thrill you tonight
Middle of the night, babe

(Vincent Price voiceover)

“The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty-thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller”

Lisa And The Academy Agree To Disagree


The Oscar nominations were announced today and, for the most part, it’s pretty much what you would expect.  Below is the list of nominees.  If a nominee listed in bold print, that means they also appeared on my own personal list of nominations.

Best motion picture of the year

Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

(The Academy and I agree on five of the ten nominees.  That’s actually more than I was expecting.)

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
James Franco (127 Hours)

(The only real surprise here is Bardem.  I haven’t seen Biutiful but I’ve heard amazing things about it.)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Christian Bale (The Fighter)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

(Yay for John Hawkes!  Some people are surprised that Andrew Garfield wasn’t nominated for The Social Network.  I’m disappointed he wasn’t nominated for Never Let Me Go.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

(I’m happy to see Lawrence and Portman recognized but I still so wish that the Academy had recongized Noomi Rapace and Katie Jarvis as well.  I knew it wouldn’t happen but still…)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

(Weaver — Yay!) 

Achievement in directing

Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O Russell (The Fighter)
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

(The snubbing of Christopher Nolan for Inception is probably the closest thing to an outrage that the Oscars will produce this year.)

Adapted screenplay

127 Hours – Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt (screenplay); John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich (story)
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone – Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Original screenplay

Another Year – Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay); Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (story)
Inception – Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech – David Seidler

Best animated feature film of the year

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

 (I haven’t seen The Illusionist yet but I’m looking forward to it because the previews look great, it’s based on a script by Jacques Tati, and I love all things French.  Still, I kinda wish that Despicable Me had been nominated just so Arleigh could see the minions at the Academy Awards.)

Best foreign language film of the year

Biutiful (Mexico)
Dogtooth (Greece)
In a Better World (Denmark)
Incendies (Canada)
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) (Algeria)

Art direction

Alice in Wonderland – Robert Stromberg (production design), Karen O’Hara (set decoration)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Stuart Craig (production design), Stephenie McMillan (set decoration)
Inception – Guy Hendrix Dyas (production design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (set decoration)
The King’s Speech – Eve Stewart (production design), Judy Farr (set decoration)
True Grit – Jess Gonchor (production design), Nancy Haigh (set decoration) 

Achievement in cinematography

Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
Wally Pfister (Inception)
Danny Cohen (The King’s Speech)
Jeff Cronenweth (The Social Network)
Roger Deakins (True Grit) 

Achievement in costume design

Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland)
Antonella Cannarozzi (I Am Love)
Jenny Beavan (The King’s Speech)
Sandy Powell (The Tempest)
Mary Zophres (True Grit)

(That’s right, I ended up going 0 for 5 as far as Costume Design is concerned.  Which I guess goes to prove that I have better taste than the Academy.)

Best documentary feature

Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz)
Gasland (Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic)
Inside Job (Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs)
Restrepo (Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger)
Waste Land (Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley)

 (If Banksy wins, I’ll be happy.  I have a feeling the award will go to Inside Job, however.  As a documentary, Inside Job reminded me a lot of Capt. Hindsight from the South Park Coon Vs. Coon And Friends trilogy.  Also, I’m a little bit surprised that Waiting for Superman wasn’t nominated.  I’m even more surprised that I actually saw enough feature documentaries last year to even have an opinion.  Also, interesting to note that Restrepo — a very nonpolitical look at military in the mid-east — was nominated while The Tillman Story, a much more heavy-handed and stridently political documentary was not.)

Best documentary short subject

Killing in the Name (Nominees to be determined)
Poster Girl (Nominees to be determined)
Strangers No More (Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon)
Sun Come Up (Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger)
The Warriors of Qiugang (Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon)

(It’s always interesting that nobody knows what these movies are about yet their producers always end up giving the longest speeches at the Oscars.  I’m hoping that Poster Girl wins because the actual producers have yet to be determined.  I imagine that means there might be some sort of legal action going on which means that, if it wins on Oscar night, there might be a big fight at the podium.  Plus, I like the title.  It makes me want to walk up to people I barely know, lean forward, and go, “Can I be your poster girl?”)

Achievement in film editing

Andrew Weisblum (Black Swan)
Pamela Martin (The Fighter)
Tariq Anwar (The King’s Speech)
Jon Harris (127 Hours)
Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter (The Social Network) 

Achievement in makeup

Adrien Morot (Barney’s Version)
Edouard F Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng (The Way Back)
Rick Baker and Dave Elsey (The Wolfman)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original score)

John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon)
Hans Zimmer (Inception)
Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech)
AR Rahman (127 Hours)
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original song)

Coming Home (from Country Strong, music and lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey)
I See the Light (from Tangled, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater)
If I Rise (from 127 Hours, music by AR Rahman, lyrics by Dido and Rollo Armstrong)
We Belong Together (from Toy Story 3, music and lyrics by Randy Newman)

(I’ll just say it now — 4 nominations and I didn’t agree with a single one of them.  Seriously, they could have nominated up to 5 songs but instead of giving at least one nomination to Burlesque, they just nominated 4 songs.  What a load of crap.)

Best animated short film

Day & Night (Teddy Newton)
The Gruffalo (Jakob Schuh and Max Lang)
Let’s Pollute (Geefwee Boedoe)
The Lost Thing (Nick Batzias, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann)
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) (Bastien Dubois)

(I’ve actually seen Day & Night since it was shown before Toy Story 3.  I thought it went on a little bit too long, to be honest.)

Best live action short film

The Confession (Tanel Toom)
The Crush (Michael Creagh)
God of Love (Luke Matheny)
Na Wewe (Ivan Goldschmidt)
Wish 143 (Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite) 

Achievement in sound editing

Inception (Richard King)
Toy Story 3 (Tom Myers and Michael Silvers)
Tron: Legacy (Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague)
True Grit (Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey)
Unstoppable (Mark P Stoeckinger)

Achievement in sound mixing

Inception (Lora Hirschberg, Gary A Rizzo and Ed Novick)
The King’s Speech (Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley)
Salt (Jeffrey J Haboush, Greg P Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin)
The Social Network (Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten)
True Grit (Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F Kurland)

 (I would have probably had more matches in the sound category if I actually knew the difference between sound editing and sound mixing.)

Achievement in visual effects

Alice in Wonderland (Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi)
Hereafter (Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell)
Inception (Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb)
Iron Man 2 (Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick)

So there you go.  I went 50/50 on the Best Picture nominations and — well, it all pretty much went downhill from there, didn’t it?  Oh well.