Music Literature Film Index About

Thriller, Michael Jackson

Epic, November 30, 1982

Track Listing: 1.  Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, 2. Baby Be Mine, 3. The Girl Is Mine, 4. Thriller, 5. Beat It, 6. Billie Jean, 7. Human Nature, 8. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), 9. The Lady in My Life

You know, I was, I was wondering … if you could keep on because … the force it’s got a lot of power and … it make me feel like, it make me feel like … Wooooo!

That’s what I’m talking about, says Fred (accountant). Michael Jackson’s spoken intro to “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough,” now that is the shit. Just a great great opening song to an album.

Right into “Rock With You,confirms Tina (DJ + Fred’s ex-girlfriend), catching Fred off guard. Validation from Tina does not come cheap.

Brett (I.T. support) and Annie (HR administration) are sitting quiet on the couch rolling their eyes, but not aggressively enough to really be noticed.

My favorite on that one is “She’s Out of My Life, says David (nurse).

What would you know about she being anywhere near your life, beyootch, zings Tina.

I don’t know whether to live or die, ’cuz it cuts like a knife, she’s out of my … (David, refusing to shoot for anything less than the Triple Salchow, adds a perfect quiver) … liii … uh … iife.

Everyone laughs. Even Brett and Annie.

Suddenly, Michael (musician + kick-ass dancer) appears out of nowhere. He has been mysteriously missing from his own party for at least half an hour. What about the title track? “Off the Wall. That was killer, he proclaims.

Tina—ever the aggressor—chides, Killer? Ha! What do you know about killer?

Everyone but Michael laughs. Yes, yes, Brett & Annie included. Suddenly, everyone is an active participant in what had been up to that point a fairly quiet (okay, lame) Halloween party due to this year’s no-costume rule. Michael’s house, Michael’s rules.

Ha, ha, ha. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Real fucking funny, a clearly offended Michael spews in a surprisingly nasty retort.

Fred, sensing the sudden seismic shift in the party’s tone, tries to douse the flames. Joke, buddy. Joke. You know Tina by now. And by the way, where were you for the last half hour? If you are hiding any party favors, you have some explaining to do.

Michael doesn't take the bait. Instead, he gets all serious and shit. I’ve got something I wanna tell you …

The unexpected unison of, Yes Michael? results in nervous laughter followed in short order by a silence that lingers like an unwanted houseguest, until at last …

I’m not like other guys.

David’s ears perk up.

No, I’m mean I different.

What are you talking about? Annie asks, even more annoyed than usual.

In a RuPaul-worthy moment, Fred looks out the window and sees clouds making a dramatic exit, sashaying across the sky, stage right. In their wake, all is revealed. Well, not all, but rather, a full moon hanging bright over Transylvania (Gary, Indiana).

So by now, with the creepy full moon and everything, you can imagine that Michael is acting seriously bat-ass crazy and you’d be right. Ready to do the birth-to-the-alien thing. I kid you not, his skin starts stretching, stretching like pantyhose, and then ripping, ripping like old pantyhose and everyone in the room is officially starting to get spooked even if another part of them is still somehow thinking that maybe this is Michael’s big surprise to explain a dud of a Halloween party.

But shit, how the hell is he pullin’ this off?

Next up, Michael’s eyes turn as yellow as a Yield sign, but don’t think for a second it stops there. Fangs, baby. FAAANNNGS. His ears widen (not pretty) and claws spike out from his fingers and toes. Fred is thinking, these things look like they can inflict some serious damage. David is thinking, these things are in need of a serious mani pedi.

Of course, nobody makes a beeline for the front door. That would be too obvious, not to mention boring.

When Michael lunges at Annie, things get … well, messy. The crazy-ass mofo literally takes a bite out of her neck as everyone screams in horror. Blood spurts out every-fucking-where, nowhere worse than all over Brett who is closest to Annie on the couch. Brett, mouth agape, actually swallows some of the volcanic eruption of blood that is spewing from Annie’s mangled neck.

Finally, Fred is making a move for the door, but Michael-the-zombie-werewolf has NBA-like wheels. He cuts him off at the pass before swiping a chunk of flesh from Fred’s stomach with stunning power and ease. Fred looks down wide-eyed and sees his own intestines spilling all over the floor.

Tina almost escapes to the kitchen door, but her head is snapped in two by a hairy-clawed hand that slices into the scene out of nowhere.

Brett is trying to cover the hole in Annie’s neck when Michael takes a humongous bite from Brett’s oh-so-inviting sexy bald scalp. Michael is now growling in animalistic ecstasy (which, for the transcript, sounds nothing at all like a high-pitched, He-he-heee.)

So what about David?

David is playing an absolutely fabulous dead. Oh yeah, AbFab, baby. Michael does not notice him as he continues to take alternating bites from Brett and Annie, all the while watching Fred out of the corner of his yellow eye where he sees Fred wiggling on the floor like a cut-up worm, wiggling in agony until he wiggles no more.

The room turns silent. Dead. Silent. There are bloodied corpses strewn over the IKEA furniture and floor. David, God bless him, is still playing dead when he makes his fatal mistake. He looks over at his sport coat that he had folded oh-so-neatly atop the credenza an hour earlier and he sees that it is now completely covered in blood. This is simply too much to fucking take. There isn’t a dry cleaner in the world that can work with that. He screams, My Valentino! Nooooooo!

At this, Michael turns to the only remaining victim amidst the carnage. And this is it. This. Is. It. David looks at monster-Michael and the monster-Michael looks at David …

And suddenly, the rest of the bodies start to rise from the dead to surround the shocked queen, a queen with the balls to exhibit grace under pressure (muttering rather casually, Oh no you didn’t, zombies). It must also be said that through all the mayhem, here is someone without a single hair out of place. Really, this guy is put together well.

And with that, the zombies do their thing. What else can that be at this point but dance? Best. Zombie. Dance. Ever. Really, it’s damn good. These ghouls have, of all things, SOUL. Michael front and center, the others following suit. Poor David does not know whether to be afraid (very afraid) or simply sit back and admire the stunning choreography.

Vincent Price: Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’alls neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell.

It’s official. David needs a bedpan.

Vincent Price: The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of 40,000 years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And, though, you fight to stay alive
You body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller.

The end?