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1500 Prisoners Do a Music Video Remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller

This has been around a couple of weeks but I just read about it in my Time magazine (yes I know, I am way late). 1500 Prisoners from Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines, perform a dance routine to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The lead guy’s MJ kick needs some work but overall this group is definitely Radio City Music Hall material. I just can’t decide whether the guy who plays the girl part is being rewarded or subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

The group has done more than just thriller. You can search the CPDRC tag to see all the YouTube related videos.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

16 Comments

  1. Allie
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 13:22:15

    this is what happens when one becomes bored.

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  2. Ann Bruce
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 14:18:39

    Probably a nice break from making licence plates.

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  3. Robin
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 14:25:52

    I know nothing about prisons in the Philippines, but I can see where something like this might have actual rehabilitative properties: creating an environment of cooperation, discipline, creative expression, teamwork, constructive sense of pride, etc.

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  4. Jeaniene Frost
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 14:57:58

    That was great. Hadn’t seen or heard of it before either. Thanks for posting it.

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  5. sherry thomas
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 15:29:29

    I don’t know why. I couldn’t make it through the video. I didn’t get any sense of joy from watching it.

    Growing up in China, students at school used to have to participate in all kinds of assemblies and organizations in which we didn’t have the slightest interest. I’m just wondering if this thriller thing wasn’t dreamed up by someone at the top of the power pyramid in the prison and pushed down. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were.

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  6. Keishon
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 15:55:46

    Maybe they should have danced to “Smooth Criminal.” Hee.

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  7. Leah
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 17:47:41

    According to Page 6 in the New York Post yesterday, someone in the CBS offices saw this as well and made the staff in the newsroom do the Thriller routine to help boost morale. CBS has a different story, of course, but interesting nonetheless.

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  8. Kate
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 18:08:00

    There is also a video of them doing a scene from the movie “Sister Act” also. I guess if you are in for life, why not dance to MJ?
    Keishin I love Smooth Criminal and the video! :)

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  9. Robin Bayne
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 18:41:07

    I saw a report on the news this morning that these men aren’t actually having fun, they are forced to perform for the warden and his sister, who is a state official. They have no choice but to learn to perform.

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  10. Chantal
    Aug 15, 2007 @ 20:10:19

    As soon as it started playing, my kids and I got up and started dancing. I taught them those steps year ago.

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  11. Samantha
    Aug 16, 2007 @ 00:04:22

    I read that they are forced to dance for hours upon end, sometimes with bleeding feet. Not sure if that is a fact, but it would seem that massive amounts of practice would be necessary to achieve that sort of perfection.

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  12. Sloane Davis
    Aug 17, 2007 @ 12:48:55

    The story behind this video is detailed here; it’s not pretty.

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  13. Geoff Video Dodd
    Mar 27, 2008 @ 09:01:06

    They must have a really enlightened superintendent at that Cebu institution, eh? Quincy Jones (producer) plus Michael Jackson was a truly magical combination that we’ll never see equalled. Only sad part of the video was the victimization of the girlie boy at the end. I guess prisoners feel a powerful need for scapegoats or victims to express their frustrations onto. Good video. Smart prison manager. GD.

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  14. Geoff Video Dodd
    Mar 27, 2008 @ 09:08:49

    They must have a really enlightened superintendent at that Cebu institution, eh? Quincy Jones (producer) plus Michael Jackson was a truly magical combination that we’ll never see equalled. Only sad part of the video was the victimization of the girlie boy at the end. I guess prisoners feel a powerful need for scapegoats or victims to express their frustrations onto. (I hope that bleeding feet line isn’t true!) Good video. Smart prison manager. GD.

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  15. bodydetoxdietgirl
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 20:25:26

    It is such a great loss that a man with great talent like Michael Jackson dies. RIP King of POP

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  16. Mireya
    Jun 28, 2009 @ 06:49:00

    Wow, that’s how old that video is: 2007? It just came to the attention of the media recently. My husband pointed me to it this last Friday night, after he read about it in CNN (I think it was CNN).

    ReplyReply

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