In some ways “Thriller,” written by Rod Temperton, is the album’s sore thumb, a semi-novelty song with sound effects of creaking doors and eerie footsteps and bwah-ha-ha narration by Vincent Price. Horror was a genre with which Jackson had an ambivalent relationship. As a child, he had known episodes of real-life terror. Michael’s biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli recounted that Joe Jackson had once put on a fright mask and crawled into Michael’s bedroom through a window at night, screaming; Joe Jackson said his purpose was to teach his son to keep the window closed when he slept. For years afterward Michael suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his room, and said that whenever he saw his father he felt nauseated.
Happy first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, everybody! And don't forget to mark the occasion by reading Vanity Fair's super fascinating and very detailed account of the making of MJ's masterpiece, "Thriller." For example, did you know this?
After Jennifer Beals of Flashdance turned down an offer to co-star, Landis cast an unknown 23-year-old former Playboy Playmate named Ola Ray. “I auditioned a lot of girls and this girl Ola Ray—first of all, she was crazy for Michael,” Landis says. “She had such a great smile. I didn’t know she was a Playmate.” Jackson signed off on Ray, then reconsidered the seemliness of cavorting with an ex-Playmate and came close to derailing the casting.