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!