Celebrity Film Music News

Michael Jackson’s THRILLER gets a 3-D Makeover and a BEHIND-THE-SCENES DOCUMENTARY

Monster Hit

Thriller was (and is) the biggest music album of all time.  And the legendary video for the title track was a cultural phenomenon. And now, like its undead protagonists,  it’s baaaaaack.


Director John Landis said Monday that he is still upset by Michael Jackson’s death, but a Venice Film Festival screening dedicated to “Thriller” is a chance to celebrate the musician’s life. An enhanced version of the landmark Landis-directed music video, “Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3-D,” is screening alongside a behind-the-scenes documentary that has never been shown in cinemas before. Landis told reporters in Venice on Monday that Jackson’s death aged 50 in 2009 was a tragedy for his family, his friends and the world.

“Truly great performers are rare, and he was brilliant — and a tragic figure, I think,” Landis said. “I was horrified, and I’m still upset about it. Landis says modern technology has let him remix the sound and improve the visuals while converting the film to 3-D, so audiences can now “experience it the way Michael wanted you to.”

“My only disappointment is that Michael is not here to see it and hear it, because I think he would love it,” Landis said. Landis says the accompanying backstage documentary shows Jackson “happy and joyous” and at his creative peak. “It’s a celebration of Michael I didn’t expect, and very emotional for me,” he said.

Thrilla, The Real Dilla

Here’s more from Landis, who clearly took this on as a labor of love, not just money. Well, money too.


“(Thriller) was nobody’s good idea, it was no brilliant business plan,” John Landis told journalists. “It was a vanity video because Michael wanted to be a monster. And everything that came, evolved from that, was spectacularly successful and I was totally surprised.” Landis said Jackson first approached him about making the video because he liked his work on “An American Werewolf in London” and the two, along with make-up artist Rick Baker, met to look at photographs from old monster movies.

“Turns out he hasn’t seen many horror films, they were too scary. I found him great,” Landis said, laughing. “He wanted zombies, but the big thing for Mike was turning into a monster.” Michael was very determined that everything had to be the best, the greatest,” he said. “He had a spectacular work ethic, but he was an old pro, the guy has been performing since he was 8 years old.”

While making “Thriller” Jackson was happy to “show up and do whatever I wanted,” Landis said. It was different when they met again to produce “Black or White” in 1991. “On ‘Black or White’ I was working for Michael. It was different. We were still fine, but … he was much more guarded,” Landis said.

Cue Vincent Price