Twilight Zone: The Movie, such lost potential. The Twilight Zone is one of my favorite TV shows. I watch the marathon every New Years or 4th of July. Although just select classic episodes. If I was alive in the 80’s then I would have been thrilled to see a Twilight Zone movie. Unfortunately, Twilight Zone: The Movie will forever be associated with the worst tragedy in the history of filmmaking. Look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about. It could have been avoided, but the director John Landis was too reckless. Still, it’s a movie, and as such I have to watch it without thinking about what happened behind the scenes. There are five separate segments in the movie that I can only review separately.
Prologue – The prologue is the perfect combination of random and creepy. Which perfectly sums up the show. Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks play two men driving at night. They play a game of guess that theme song which ends with The Twilight Zone theme song. I’d say it’s well done for an opener.
“Time Out” – “Time Out” is the infamous segment in which the on set tragedy happened. It’s also the only segment that isn’t a remake of an episode. It’s about an old racist man who gets thrust into various points in history. Where he is the oppressed minority. The lesson is clear and the story is interesting. It just ends abruptly. Which hurts the quality of the segment.
“Kick the Can” – “Kick the Can” feels like the most out of place segment. Steven Spielberg directs with his signature brand of whimsy. Which just feels out of place in this movie. Plus “Kick the Can” is an episode that I only watched once and it’s definitely not a classic. Which makes the segment kinda boring and unmemorable. Old people become young, that’s it.
“It’s a Good Life” – “It’s a Good Life” is one of two segments that are the best in the movie. For one thing it’s based on one of the all time best episodes of the series. Joe Dante just does things in a different way. Anthony (the kid with powers) is more of a modern kid who loves things like junk food and cartoons. It’s creepy in a way that feels the most like the classic show. Making it one of the better segments.
“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” – “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is often considered among the top 3 best episodes of the series. This remake is nowhere near as good as the episode, but it’s still one of the better segments in this movie. George Miller brings his over the top Mad Max style to this tale of a gremlin messing with an airplane. Surreal is probably the best word to describe it.
In conclusion, if you can separate fact from fiction than I’d say Twilight Zone: The Movie is worth checking out. Just don’t expect a masterpiece like the TV show was.