Often referred to as the greatest music video ever, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture, and was named “a watershed moment for the [music] industry” for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music. Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the “most successful music video”, selling over 9 million units. In 2009, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, the first music video to ever receive this honor.
Co-starring with Jackson was former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video was choreographed by Michael Peters (who had worked with the singer on his prior hit “Beat It”), with Michael Jackson. The video also contains incidental music by film music composer Elmer Bernstein, who had previously also worked with Landis on An American Werewolf in London. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. Rick Baker assisted in prosthetics and makeup for the production. The red jacket that Jackson wore was designed by John Landis’ wife Deborah Landis to make him appear more “virile.” –wikipedia
With as much monkeying-around as his movies frequently display, it should come as no surprise to John Landis fans that one of his earliest inspirations as a filmmaker was the original 1933 version of King Kong. The man behind such carefree comedies as Animal House, Landis has also helped to blur the lines between comedy and horror with such efforts as An American Werewolf in London and Innocent Blood, in addition to crafting such fine-tined social satire as Trading Places.
Born in Chicago in August of 1950, Landis originally worked in the mailroom at Fox and later as a stuntman before making a name for himself as a director. Landis was in his early twenties when he decided it was time to make a feature, and after a brief flirtation with the idea of crafting an underground porn film, the aspiring director raised the funding needed for his directorial debut from family and friends. The result of his tireless efforts was the relentlessly juvenile but infectiously silly Schlock… read more
I'm not a Michael Jackson fan, he's not bad he's just not my cup of tea. However, I really dug Thriller, and that surprised me. The song itself is pretty good, easily the best non-Jackson Five material I've heard from Michael, but it's really the effects and the way that the short pays a loving homage to classic horror that connected with me.
Don't get me wrong, I like the song, but the video isn't something I'm a fan of... aside from the main dance.