Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson's Oddest Transformations

I have to apologize for doing a list like this at a time when the Internet is practically overflowing with Michael Jackson related stuff, but it was an idea for a list I've had for a while, and now seems like the right time.

I listened to Michael's music a lot growing up, and I consider myself a fan. I enjoy his songs, his performances, and think he was a phenomenal talent (As if you haven't heard that before). For as long as I've been alive I could count on Michael Jackson to deliver some awesome songs, but also some completely random entertainment. I would say that not a single aspect of his life was normal, but I don't mean that in a negative way. He was a one of a kind performer, a unique celebrity, and one of the strangest eccentric personalities we'll probably ever see in our lifetime. I just can't help but like a guy who will throw millions of dollars into a music video to make it a one of a kind experience. The man didn't know how to make a short video, but at least we can agree it was never boring.

So, here goes a list of the strangest transformations I can think of from his career. And, no, I'm not referring to his real life physical transformations. Just the ones from his music videos and short films.

5. A Panther (Black or White)
In the original version of the Black or White video, there was a 4 minute segment where Michael leaves the studio as a panther, transforms into a human, does some complicated dance moves, and then transforms back in a panther. This part was censored for most of its airings due to excessive crotch-grabbing and Michael randomly vandalizing a vehicle and some windows. Later on some racist graffiti was digitally added to the glass to make the window-smashing more agreeable.

Seems a bit weird to me that people would have problems with that. Crotch-grabbing is Michael Jackson's trademark, and do we really need to digitally add an explanation for his vandalism? No one bothered to explain why he had turned into a Goddamn panther! Also, sorry there's no picture. I couldn't find one, but you know what a panther looks like.

4. A Dancing Skeleton (Ghosts)
Remember that crazy music video where Robbie Williams dances in front of a bunch of girls, peels off all of his skin and muscles, and then dances around as a skeleton? Well Michael Jackson had done that old routine 4 years prior in the completely insane 35 minute music video Ghosts.

In the video he contorts his face is a bunch of frightening ways, then ends up pulling his face off like a mask. Later in the video he does the who shebang and dances around as a CG skeleton. The whole production is pretty inexplicable and pointless, but as I said before, I have to give him credit for getting the biggest names in special effects on board for this Halloween special of a music video.

3. A Biker Rabbit (Speed Demon)
As I know this video is only from the movie Moonwalker, and I used to watch it as a kid on beta video. I remember feeling very confused and sort of frightened by the characters, but still being oddly mesmerized.

In the video Michael is chased around by some grotesque claymation characters who are apparently crazed fans. In order to outwit them he dresses up as -and turns into - a giant biker rabbit ... thing. I don't know. He rides around on a motorcycle at high speeds and morphs into various celebrities like Tina Turner, Sylvester Stallone, and even Pee-wee Herman. It honestly didn't make a lick of sense then, and it doesn't make a bit of sense now.

2. A Zombie with Moves (Thriller)
I really do love the video for Thriller. In the past I thought it was ridiculous, but it's grown on me. I almost added the werewolf transformation from Thriller to this list but then I thought about it some more. Sure, Michael transforms into a werewolf (or maybe it was a werecat), but he just chases the girl around and attacks her. That's exactly what you'd expect a monster to do.

But this is a list of the weirdest transformations, and what's weirder that someone suddenly becoming a zombie and then instead of munching down on some braaaaaiiiiinss, they break into a cool choreographed dance with all the other zombies? As a lover of zombies, that scene is pure entertainment gold, and just another example of Michael delivering the unexpected.

1. The Amazing Colossal Mecha Man (Moonwalker)
Another fantastical transformation from the Moonwalker movie. In the final (and arguably only) story of the movie, we have Michael playing a gangster who is trying to save some kids from an evil drug lord called Mr. Big, played by Joe Pesci. Mr. Big and his henchmen chase Michael all over the city. Little do they know that when in tough spot, Michael can wish upon a shooting start and become ... a giant robot!

What is Michael's oddest transformation? How about becoming a Transformer!! In the movie we see his character change into a futuristic car, a giant laser-shooting robot, and then a spaceship. He even blows up Joe Pesci. What more do you want?

As far as musical stars go, Michael is larger than life in every way. With videos and movies like Moonwalker we can see that he is always willing to go the extra mile to do something new and unusual; changing into animals, monsters, machines, and more. It's best not to ask why, but simply sit back and be entertained.


Cole D'Arc said...

you kind of missed the obvious one: his real-life transformation from black megastar known for great music and exciting dancing into a pale, white walking scandal rag story who only got weirder and weirder right up until dying.
but good list anyway. Ghosts remains one of the stupidest things ive ever seen but yeah, the effects were good.

Shane Patenaude said...

Well I made a point in the introduction to say that I would not be counting his real life transformation, but just the ones from his videos.

Also Ghost looks awesome because of another awesome dead guy; Stan Winston. All hail, Stan!

Cole D'Arc said...

it's just that i kind of wonder if Jackson understood the difference between real life and his videos...

Shane Patenaude said...

Fair enough.