Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

I was 12 years old when the mind-blowing video for Thriller was released. It's an understatement to say that this 14 minute horror musical, with it's zombies, werewolves, and Vincent Price narration, did more to popularize the horror genre for folks my age than any single film from that period. Michael Jackson and John Landis created lasting horror-pop with this video that influenced and inspired a generation. Monsterama gives props. At the other end of Michael Jacksons' career, we have the mysterious, long-haired, masked weirdo, who lived in a twisted theme park with a mansion full of the world's oddest curiosities (like the skeletal remains of Joseph Merrick, the 'Elephant Man'). No matter how horrible he became, he retained a legion of fans, many of whom actually enjoyed reading about his latest bizarre exploits. It ought to come as no surprise that the character of Argost from my show The Secret Saturdays is partially inspired by this late-period Jackson. From the Jackson 5 songs of my youth, to the eccentric stranger of recent years, I own Michael Jackson a great debt for the inspiration received.