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Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I guess it all started with Michael Jackson's Thriller music video in 1982.  Back then, MTV still played videos and played them for a long time even after said song wasn't popular anymore...but this was Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, they played it forever.  I saw it once on TV in the form of "The Making of Thriller," and I was intrigued.  I liked music.  I liked Michael Jackson.  What's the worst that could happen?  That intrigue soon turned to terror as I didn't make it through the whole beginning sequence, but I did see it through bits and pieces as time went on.

I was only a little over one and a half or 2 years old, but I knew enough to realize that the music itself and, not to mention Vincent Price's voice was scary as hell, and the video...forget about it!  The scariest part for me was the beginning with the werewolf.  I remember, even now at 31, the part where he runs into a lighted part of the woods, stops and howls was one of the scariest/coolest moments.  I don't know why, but it was.  I think it was just the way it was set up, but at that young of an age, what the hell did I know about shot composition??? (Apparently, a lot.)

My parents were sadists.  More so my dad, mom got in on the "fun" too sometimes.  Apparently, it was just a fucking hoot for them.  Not for me at the time, however.

There was a department store that some of you may know called, Hills and we frequented this place quite a bit.  The way it was set up was that the electronics dept was right at the front of the store.

I'd be carried in and my dad would hear the music playing before I would and set course for the Electronics Department Torture Chamber whilst my mom would go shopping.  There were no huge TV's that I can remember because, all the big TV's were all built into wooden consoles, and I don't think Hills carried them, but that isn't the important part.  Here's the important part:  there were shelves and shelves of smaller TV's from 13 in. down to little portable black and whites, and all of them would be playing fucking Thriller. My dad would slowly walk me down the row and...a tantrum?  No.  A fit?  No, No.  A FUCKING MELTDOWN ABOUT COVERS IT!

Have you any idea what it's like being surrounded by the thing you hear most?  I remember feeling like I was trapped in a cylinder (I didn't know what the hell a triangle was let alone a cylinder), but I felt like I was enclosed by these screens that were probably going to devour me.  Eventually I'd be taken away from the monsters and go out to the main part of the store and all would be forgotten.

Fast forward a few years to when I am 7.  (I remember because, we were living in our last apartment and we had a silver TV with knobs and dials)

MTV announced they were doing a Thriller special, which meant they were showing The Making of in it's entirety.  I thought to myself, I'm watching this!  It's been long enough!  No more will I live in fear!


I'm sitting dead center in front of the TV.  The title comes up and I'm cool; that's not the scary part. Jacko asks the chick to be his girl; no issue there.  He's not like other guys; oh shit, here it comes.  The yellow eyes (so help me god he had yellow eyes) and teeth.  I feel a little bead of cold sweat run down my forehead.  Never experienced that before.  I watched, unblinking, as he transformed into the rick Baker werewolf.  I still didn't blink, but inside I'm trying to talk myself into looking away.

As the video went on, the fear transformed into fun as I was really enjoying it.  The credits roll and I'd made it!  I was ok.  To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi: "You've taken your first steps into a larger world."

Now needless to say that while I conquered this fear, there were still other things that scared the shit out of me, but that is another blog entry...

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the blog! This was a fun piece! I have memories of watching the WORLD PREMIERE of Thriller on MTV on a friend's 8 ft satellite dish - and the video premiered on a Sunday evening! I also remember the HUGE deal made about the VHS of The Making of Thriller - which was one of the first major releases to be put out at a "sell through" price lower than the $80-$110 (!) most VHS movies retailed for at the time. Thriller retailed at the "reasonable" price of $29.95. For a one hour TV special! Amazing stuff! Cheers!