Based on the television show by Rod Serling, Twilight Zone: The Movie is shot in the style used in Creepshow and Cat’s Eye, four separate shorts collected for one movie. Each segment is also helmed by a different director and with names like Landis, Spielberg and Dante you can expect some chills and thrills at the least.
The first story is about a racist who becomes a victim of what he hates. From Germany to the South, Bill Connor learns the meaning of brotherly love. This is a decent warm up to start things off and I really liked the performance of Vic Morrow as Connor. Pretty much a get what you deserve little piece, the ending was quite enjoyable.
The second episode is helmed by Steven Spielberg and features a group of old folks in a rest home who get the chance to be kids again. This is a sweet little tale, but does not have any horror elements to it at all, it was much more like an episode of Amazing Stories. Cute and light but it left a lot to be desired, although Scatman Crothers does an incredible job as a truly special old man.
The third tale is the weirdest of the bunch as a young lady befriends a little boy and goes home with him. Once back at his house she meets his family and learns more than she could ever want to. This is kinda like a cartoon brought to life. The little boy and make anything he wants to happen and he uses his powers in a bizarre way by keeping his family hostage, and this part does have the most demonic looking rabbit I have ever seen. Itâ€™s actually kind of silly.
The last and best is The Wing, in which a man on a plane sees some kind of creature on the wing of an airplane. In the original the man was played by William Shatner “My…..god..there, is..some…….thing..on, the wing!” However the remake is Shatnerless, his role is played by another great over-actor John Lithgow. This was my favorite of the shorts and is actually pretty scary as Lithgow goes nuts on the plane and the other passengers have to deal with him.
Twilight Zone also has a great opening sequence with Dan Ackroyd that made me jump and the whole film is narrated by Burgess Meredith, and he adds so much class to the film.
Sadly, Twilight Zone: The Movie is known for a real life tragedy. During the filming of the first short, a helicopter crashed on the set and killed actor Vic Morrow and two small children instantly. Although the families sued the filmmakers it was determined to be only an accident and no one was charged in the deaths.
If you liked the TV show or movies like Creepshow this one is sure to please.
Yikes! Prime,Prime,Prime… how can one review Twilight Zome: The Movie and not refer to the final story by it’s proper title – Nightmare at 20,000 Feet? This is a remake of the classic episode of the original series which featured William Shatner as a nervous man who sees a gremlin on the wing of his plane, and in this modernized version, the terror is racheted up a notch. A truly convincing performance by John Lithgow as the terrified passenger certainly doesn’t hurt.
Also, the third ‘silly” segment about the little boy Anthony is titled It’s a Good life.. and is based on a story by none other than writer Richard Matheson. Let us know our history when we embark upon a review.
Okay, folks, I admit it… I’m being a dick here. My bad! To be fair to the illustrious Mr.Prime, a gentleman whose reviews I read and enjoy regularly, I’m a Twilight Zone fanatic (gee, ya think?) and I probably revere this film and the source episodes (each segment of the film was an update of an original installment of the series) on a deeper level than he does.
Besides, despite the historical oversights, (heretic!) Prime makes an awesome point- Twilight Zone is tailor made for folks who found themselves engaged by the episodic wonders of Cat’s Eye and Creepshow, not to mention any other omnibus flick of the past thirty years.
This is a fun movie, although the tragedy that resulted in the death of actor Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese children is ghastly. The effects of the debacle are felt on the creative level-in director John Landis’s original scripted version, Morrow’s charcter was supposed to redeem himself by saving those kids.
As it is, the first segment with Morrow as the racist has a darker,creepier feel to it. Ironically,I felt this worked in the segments favor, and truly exemplified that which makes the series the Twilight Zone so great.
The Spielberg directed second episode about a group of seniors getting a second shot at youth is somewhat trite, but the third and fourth episodes- as mentioned above- are thriling, chilling and all too startling to dismiss out of hand.
Overall, I would have to recommend Twilight Zone:The Movie to anyone who has ever enjoyed taking that journey to “a land whose boundries are that of imagination.”
Wanna see something really scary? Witness a TZ fan who misses this film.
Ten out of ten Contemplative Conclusions