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Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Video is 33 Years Old

33 years ago yesterday MTV debuted Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the 13-minute 1983 musical masterpiece directed by American Werewolf in London‘s John Landis, and featuring the effects work on the great Rick Baker. The video co-stars former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray.

In the short, a night at the movies turns into a nightmare when Michael and his date are attacked by a hoard of bloody-thirsty zombies – only “Thriller” can save them now.

An interesting tidbit off wiki explains that the infamous red jacket that Jackson wore was designed by John Landis’ wife Deborah Landis to make him appear more “virile”. Also interesting, to qualify for an Academy Award as a short subject, the film was shown in a theatrical screening along with the 1940 Disney animated feature Fantasia, in December 1983; the video however failed to earn an Academy Award nomination!

Still no word on when this will get some sort of HD or 3-D release, although Landis resolved his dispute with the Jackson estate back in 2012. 



  • Saturn

    Still the greatest music video of all time. After 33 years it still hasn’t been topped.
    Will it ever?

  • Matt

    Whatever your feelings are about Michael Jackson the man, there is no denying that he was very talented. Combine that talent with the golden voice of the great Vincent Price and awesome zombie FX by the legendary Rick Baker, and you get the work of art that was the ‘Thriller’ video! Happy B-Day!

    • Angela M Campany

      I say this all the time when i hear people bad mouth his legacy !

  • Damn. I’m old. I remember getting the VHS of the making of Thriller. That totally needs an HD revamp!

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      You’re just getting started…’re not old. > LOL<

  • disqus_uPh3WDxbQy

    I used to rent the VHS every weekend when I was a kid (back when you could rent horror movies and be 7 years old). Still my favorite music video of all time. Such good memories.

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