Thriller

  • Directors: John Landis
  • Producers: George Folsey Jr
  • Writers: John Landis, Michael Jackson
  • Genres: Horror, Romance, Short, Thriller, Music
  • Actors: Michael Jackson, Ola Ray, Vincent Price

It is the late 1950s. A teenaged Michael and his unnamed date (Ola Ray) run out of gas in a dark, wooded area. They walk off into the forest, and Michael asks her if she would like to go steady. She accepts and he gives her a ring. He warns her, however, that he is “different”. A full moon appears, and Michael begins convulsing in agony â€“ transforming into a horrifying werewolf. His date shrieks and runs away, but the werewolf catches up, knocking her down and begins lunging at her with his claws.

The scene cuts away to a modern-day movie theater (exteriors filmed at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles[9]), where Michael and his date â€“ along with a repulsed audience â€“ are actually watching this scene unfold in a movie called “Thriller” starring Vincent Price. Michael’s date is scared, but he is clearly enjoying the horror flick (part of the dialogue of the unseen film contains Landis’ signature line “See you next Wednesday” before the audience screams again). Frightened, his date leaves the theatre. Michael hands his popcorn to the stranger next to him, and catches up to her, smiling and saying “It’s only a movie!” Some debate follows over whether or not she was scared by the scene; she denies it, but Michael disagrees.

After the credits, when they concurrently show the zombies dancing again, the disclaimer humorously states, “Any similarity to actual events or persons living, dead (or undead) is purely coincidental.” Landis’ An American Werewolf in London likewise offered this disclaimer. After the warning the zombies dance back to the grave then another zombie comes into view and gives a horrifying grimace to the camera that freeze frames before blood runs down the screen and the screen turns to black.

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