Rod Serling's classic TV series finally reaches the big screen care of 1983's TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE! This omnibus film features updated versions of three famous episodes and one new entry as directed by genre greats John Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller, and Steven Spielberg. The first story follows a steaming racist who is transported back in time through Nazi Germany, to the days of the Ku Klux Klan, and then into the swamps of Vietnam, where he must live out the horrifying life experiences of the people he claims to hate. Up next, the residents of Sunnyvale rest home are in for a treat when a magical game of Kick the Can restores their youth for one last night of fun. A young woman falls under the spell of a young telepath who has trapped her in his twisted dream world along with the rest of his fearful family in the third entry. Finally, an unfortunate passenger with a fear of flying spots a hideous creature tinkering with the engines, but his attempts to alert the crew only get him detained as the plane begins to plummet! TWILIGHT ZONE boasts a star-studded cast, including appearances by Dan Akroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Scatman Crothers, Kevin McCarthy, Dick Miller, John Lithgow, and many others. The film gets off to a mediocre start with Landis' ironic morality tale that more closely resembles the EC comic stylings from the 1950's, and then moves on to Spielberg's more sentimental approach to the series. These first two entries are only mildly entertaining, but Joe Dante and George Miller prove to be the big winners with the last two shorts. Miller's retelling of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet is a frantic and terrifying tale of paranoia and fear, itself, that offers up one of John Lithgow's most memorable performances. Overall, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE is an enjoyable throwback to the original series with plenty of colorful stories and an even blend of light humor and horror.
If you liked TWILIGHT ZONE, check out:
TALES FROM THE CRYPT, ASYLUM, BODY BAGS.