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Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Duration1h 41m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG, South Africa: 10 
Source of storyThe original 1960s TV show, which is the origin of three of the four stories.
DirectorJohn Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, George Miller
Writers/ScriptJohn Landis, George Clayton Johnson, Richard Matheson, Melissa Matheson, Jerome Boxiby, Rod Serling,  Robert Garland,
StarringDan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Nancy Cartwright, John Lithgow, Kathleen Quinlan, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.5 by 34,000 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 57% by 40 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: This is a collection four short films, three of them previously episodes of The Twilight Zone, and one new one. There is also a prologue which involves a man turning into a scary monster the first story is about a man who has missed out on promotion bad mouthing ethnic minorities in a bar, but when he leaves he experiences what they might have experienced in history. The second story involves a group in an old people’s home who are given the opportunity to be young again, but when they do so realise that there are limitations. The third story is about a boy who has total control of his environment and uses it to terrorise some adults who may or may not be his family members, and that is about a man who fears flying, rightly so as it turns out.

Content: There is no sex or nudity, and just a bit of drinking in the first story. If we are talking about what is frightening, the third story is genuinely unsettling, and features threatening cartoon characters brought to life. The fourth story features gremlins perched on the wings of a passenger aircraft, and the first which includes an event in WWII France, the KKK and more is intended to illustrate historical misfortunes of various races. 

A View: I had been a fan of The Twilight Zone when it was on TV particularly since the writer tended to use actual SF stories as a basis for their plots, and I had often read them. I’m not sure it works well as a film but is one of those you might choose to have on while doing something else.

Additional info: The helicopter accident which killed actor Vic Morrow and two young children in a scene intended to be in the first segment dominates the on line information about the film. A terrible misfortune, which resulted in improvements to safety standards in the industry.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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