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23 September 2012

Thriller (1983)

I remember watching thriller on the TV in 1983. It was a landmark moment that I seem to recall involved staying up very late one night in order to see it. I thought it was great. What noone could have guessed back then was how influential the song and video would become. It's a part of world culture. Check out the video of the Philippine prison using it to exercise the inmates. That's a sight and a half!

My daughter has been learning the dance at school and given my son's recent fascination with zombies, we decided to watch it yesterday. Yes, this is the film that reminded the world about Horror! Dancing zombies... whatever next?

As is customary in chez-Uke we talked about the film afterwards... between bouts of moon-walking and trying to bite each other. I've decided to share some of my kids' comments here with you. Some of it made me laugh. J-Uke and E-Uke have both rated the video and their opinions are chalk and cheese.

Dancing Zombie

First off, a little bit of trivia on the tune. Thriller was written by Rod Temperton (from Cleethorpes!) and produced by the legendary Quincy Jones. It was originally called "Starlight" and only made it to number 10 in the UK charts. But then Michael Jackson was up against pop heavyweights like Billy Joel and the Flying Pickets. The album hit number one the following year. Vincent Price 'raps' - and that's just how cool he is!

John Landis was drafted in for the video following his success with
An American Werewolf in London (1981)

My daughter loves the video. She's learning the dance routine at school and really her only complaint with it is the intro where Jackson turns into a werewolf. She finds it a bit scary. My son J-Uke surprised me by saying that he hates it. Our conversation was priceless...

King Uke: You hate it! What was the worst bit?
J-Uke: The bit where Michael Jackson turns into a zombie.
King Uke: Really. I thought you liked zombies. Why is it that the worst bit?
J-Uke: Because that's when he started dancing.
King Uke: What was wrong with the dancing?
J-Uke: It was too sexy.
King Uke: Well didn't you like the song?
J-Uke: No.
King Uke: What song would you have preferred?
J-Uke: Night Fever
King Uke: What did you think about the zombies?
J-Uke: They were pathetic
King Uke: Really?
J-Uke: There were girl zombies and they still had their hair.

I know you're desperate to hear the ratings.

No surprises from J-Uke. On the Triple-B he awards Thriller a measly 1.

E-Uke is a lot more generous with a mighty 9

And if you want my opinion... I'm with the girl on this one...


  1. Dancing zombies...we have a show like that in Australia,it's called "Dancing With The Stars".
    They're all zombies on that show...except of course you Jessica Watson.-)
    I saw Micheal's show in the 80's in Brisbane with my wife/girlfriend and it bored the socks off me.I actually fell asleep in the middle of it.
    He is a good singer/dancer,I'll give him that,but he's never been my cup of tea as an entertainer.
    Now,Billy Joel,saw him as well in concert in the 80s or 90s and loved it...that was a thriller for me.-)

  2. Oh...I forgot...I came to tell you about this cool project...unfortunately it's closed now,and I missed the boat on this one,but it looks good.

  3. You fell asleep during Thriller! :-O