Is This Scary (Ghosts 1993)

Themidwestcowboy

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I decided after watching Ghosts last night to revisit the leaked footage from 1993 and my god. Comparing the two i feel that the 96 version was somewhat a bit sanitized when you compare it to the 93 version. The 93 version was so raw, especially the hostility of the town folks and the mayor towards MJ. MJ also shows a lot more raw emotions in the 93 footage especially when he was telling them off. I think it's such a travesty that vision for the 93 version never fully got made. Does anyone know if the song "Ghosts" was suppose to be the big dance number in the 93 version? The 96 version was much more "friendlier" and palatable than 93. I actually find the 93 version more eerie and scary. As much as i love ghosts 96 much of the intensity that was present in 93 was somewhat lost.

What do you guys think?



 
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AlwaysThere

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I actually watched the '93 cut for the first time earlier today, and I really didn't care for it. It definitely has more bite and edge to it than the final version (plus I adore the reveal of Michael standing among the crowd), but it feels like an underwritten Disney Channel movie to me. The dialogue and cinematography are distressingly corny, and the portrayal of the Maestro and the townspeople loses a lot of its truth in my opinion. I know it's a semi-autobiographical piece, but writing the Maestro as a distressed loner, and the townspeople as universally dismissive of him, doesn't work nearly as well. The pacing was also incredibly off: they spent plenty of time wandering the mansion, then as soon as the Maestro shows up he launches into his horror routine.

The '96 version nails it as far as writing goes. The Maestro is a welcoming and goofy (albeit abnormal) presence who fights back against the prejudiced Mayor, who convinced the townspeople that the Maestro is a dangerous presence in town. The townspeople, though, are clearly apathetic towards the Maestro, and even grow to like him once they see that he's only trying to show people a good time. To me, that narrative fits the reality of Tom Sneddon and public opinion from 1993 to 1994 better.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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I actually watched the '93 cut for the first time earlier today, and I really didn't care for it. It definitely has more bite and edge to it than the final version (plus I adore the reveal of Michael standing among the crowd), but it feels like an underwritten Disney Channel movie to me. The dialogue and cinematography are distressingly corny, and the portrayal of the Maestro and the townspeople loses a lot of its truth in my opinion. I know it's a semi-autobiographical piece, but writing the Maestro as a distressed loner, and the townspeople as universally dismissive of him, doesn't work nearly as well. The pacing was also incredibly off: they spent plenty of time wandering the mansion, then as soon as the Maestro shows up he launches into his horror routine.

The '96 version nails it as far as writing goes. The Maestro is a welcoming and goofy (albeit abnormal) presence who fights back against the prejudiced Mayor, who convinced the townspeople that the Maestro is a dangerous presence in town. The townspeople, though, are clearly apathetic towards the Maestro, and even grow to like him once they see that he's only trying to show people a good time. To me, that narrative fits the reality of Tom Sneddon and public opinion from 1993 to 1994 better.

Well I definitely agree with you that writing and the delivery in 93 was lacking comparing to 96. MJ's acting in particular felt very forced and contrived in 93. I think the 93 depiction of the townspeople hit a lot closer to what he was actually going through in real life than the 96 version. the 96 version to me feels like a birdsview perspective of MJ's life while the 93 version feels like it was directly from the point of view of MJ. He actually responds to much of the criticism and hate they spewed against him. When they say "you're not like us!" and he answers "Why do I have to be?" It feels a lot more personal and gives you a clear insight to how MJ was actually feeling during that time.

I also think we have to keep in mind that 93 version was suppose to tie in to the Adams Family movie so during the long segemnts of the townspeople wandering the castle there were a lot of eastereggs from the movie. Also that was a very rough cut that wasnt color graded or had any post editing work done. I'm sure it would have looked a loot better than what we see in these short video clips if they had finished it properly. If you look at the Behind the scenes for ghosts 96 it looks the same as these clips.
 

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I agree with what both of you said.

But gotta love the key-puke scene and how the kids put Michael back together from dust. :D
Also loving the overall Steven King'esk feel of the 1993 version, which is due to the film maker Mick Garris being the one who also did several Steven King movie adaptions in the 90s (The Stand, Sleepwalkers etc).



Probably posted several times on here before... but since we're at it again...
Here's what Mick Garris posted about the leaked footage in 2015 on facebook:

“I never guessed that this would ever be made public, but it seems to be everywhere now! I so wish we had been able to make this as it was intended.”

“This was a REALLY rough early cut we did when I was directing this Michael Jackson film when it was called ‘IS THIS SCARY?’ (Three years later, it was greatly expanded and retitled ‘Michael Jackson’s GHOSTS’). It was before we ever got to the intended songs, as we never shot those. It was originally planned as promotion for ‘ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES.’ Stan Winston was in charge of the makeup and visual effects, and took over as director when I went off to make ‘THE SHINING.’ I have no idea how this got out, but it’s fascinating to revisit it all these years later. It became, and remains, by far the most expensive music video ever made. The original script was by Stephen King.”


https://www.inquisitr.com/3099023/r...otage-surfaces-for-is-it-scary/#ixzz6cZmlkx9A



Themidwestcowboy;4308194 said:
Does anyone know if the song "Ghosts" was suppose to be the big dance number in the 93 version?

Apparently the song to be included was "Family Thing", which, according to Shana Mangatal, Michael had a hard time finishing.

[video=youtube;DnwsTowePQk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnwsTowePQk[/video]

Shana's video description: "In this clip, from a previously shared interview, I discuss that time in 1993 (not 1992, as I misstated here), when Michael dictated the lyrics to an unreleased song he had just written, called "Family Thing". It was to be the theme song for the movie ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES, as well as for the short film we did together, IS THIS SCARY. I wasn't expecting it to go the way it did. Let's just say...Michael was very good at flirting."

If it was THIS laid back "Family Thing" song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBcB35gAA-k
...then I have a hard time imagining how that would fit into the short film though. :fear:
Maybe later versions of the song took a different direction.
 
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SmoothGangsta

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There is a version of Ghosts that Nick released with unfinished vocals and I'm pretty sure he said the vocals were from 93 when asked, so wouldn't surprise me if it was always intended for the film.
 

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I like both. but i'm gonna be real i don't like the suppose to be ending of the 93' version. i like the 96' ending better. i think Michael was suppose to be in the Addams family movie back in 93' until the lies came out.

also one of the reasons they change the storyline because all the kids and adults had grew up and move on to different things. if was true michael was suppose to be in the Addams family movie. that would of been awesome! sadly a guy name evan chandler screw things up.

it's interesting how Shana is in both versions. maybe michael liked her but not how she always put it. :laughing:
 
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SmoothCriminal1995

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I must admit I prefer the fantastical direction Michael went in with Ghosts but I do love the line in Is This Scary, where someone goes "you're not like us" and Michael doesn't even hesitate and replies "why do I have to be?" it's such a fantastic and revealing moment. Honestly I wish they would have found space for that in Ghosts somewhere
 

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Never seen the leaked 93 footage until now. Man that "we want to see you dance again" line hits hard.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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Never seen the leaked 93 footage until now. Man that "we want to see you dance again" line hits hard.

I think that is the genius of both the 93 and the 96 version. At the end of the day he was there to entertain them, and that was the story of his life.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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It's sad to know Michael made this short film not only he liked the addams family but he was tired of the media bullying him etc. :(
 
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Mikky Dee

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I actually watched the '93 cut for the first time earlier today, and I really didn't care for it. It definitely has more bite and edge to it than the final version (plus I adore the reveal of Michael standing among the crowd), but it feels like an underwritten Disney Channel movie to me. The dialogue and cinematography are distressingly corny, and the portrayal of the Maestro and the townspeople loses a lot of its truth in my opinion. I know it's a semi-autobiographical piece, but writing the Maestro as a distressed loner, and the townspeople as universally dismissive of him, doesn't work nearly as well. The pacing was also incredibly off: they spent plenty of time wandering the mansion, then as soon as the Maestro shows up he launches into his horror routine.

The '96 version nails it as far as writing goes. The Maestro is a welcoming and goofy (albeit abnormal) presence who fights back against the prejudiced Mayor, who convinced the townspeople that the Maestro is a dangerous presence in town. The townspeople, though, are clearly apathetic towards the Maestro, and even grow to like him once they see that he's only trying to show people a good time. To me, that narrative fits the reality of Tom Sneddon and public opinion from 1993 to 1994 better.

Excellent post and I completely agree.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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Btw talking about the cinematography, I’m 98% sure that some of the 93 footage ended up in the 96 version.
 

Hulkamaniac

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Themidwestcowboy;4308592 said:
Btw talking about the cinematography, I’m 98% sure that some of the 93 footage ended up in the 96 version.

Yep there is some little snippets from the 93 version on the film. Man, now that I think of, it would be absolutely bad ass if the Estate released the official version with all the existing '93 footage as a bonus. You know, I doubt it will ever happen, but wouldn't it be nice?
 

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Yep there is some little snippets from the 93 version on the film. Man, now that I think of, it would be absolutely bad ass if the Estate released the official version with all the existing '93 footage as a bonus. You know, I doubt it will ever happen, but wouldn't it be nice?

The things is as i heard that Sony/The Estate they shouldn't have the rights bout the '93 project, i'm not 100% but they belongs to Paramount(?) the same one who has the rights for Addams Value movies, getting those rights would be hard to me i think.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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Yep there is some little snippets from the 93 version on the film. Man, now that I think of, it would be absolutely bad ass if the Estate released the official version with all the existing '93 footage as a bonus. You know, I doubt it will ever happen, but wouldn't it be nice?

The things is as i heard that Sony/The Estate they shouldn't have the rights bout the '93 project, i'm not 100% but they belongs to Paramount(?) the same one who has the rights for Addams Value movies, getting those rights would be hard to me i think.

Man that is such a shame! I wonder how much footage they ended up shooting in 93. It would make an excellent bonus feature. What about kingdom entertainment and the Estate? Can the Estate release Ghosts as they wish or do they not have all the rights for it?
 

kai

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Themidwestcowboy;4308592 said:
Btw talking about the cinematography, I’m 98% sure that some of the 93 footage ended up in the 96 version.

Its fact.. :) Am i the only one who always felt that some of the shots were weird when the movie came out ? I am talking exactly about the 1993 shots. Back then i was sure that he looked slightly different.. Especially his hair was a bit shorter and more curly.. Pay attention to the scene when he smashes his skeleton head in pieces. It was always so obvious. When Is It Scary 93 appeared online i was like WTF... i knew something was weird.. haha :D
 
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