21. Twilight Zone: The Movie

I’m sure at some point someone thought they had a great idea by turning the television show The Twilight Zone into a movie.  Upon hatching this idea I’m sure a lot of money was plunked down to produce it, as well as many talented directors and actors wanting a piece of the action as well.  Unfortunately, Twilight Zone: The Movie falls flat on its face.

Split up into 4 segments that are directed by 4 different directors, the film starts off with promise but is quickly stuck in the mud spinning its wheels.  The first segment directed by John Landis starts off with a down-on-his-luck bigot (Vic Morrow, who actually died during a stunt for the film) who storms out of a bar after a racist tirade only to find himself in Nazi Germany.  As the bigot runs from the Nazis in terror, he ends up at a Ku Klux Klan rally as they chase him through the woods.  Eventually he ends up in the middle of the Korean War running for his life as well.

Most disappointing of all is the second segment directed by Steven Spielberg, which focuses on a retirement home full of lethargic elderly people accepting the rest of their days as a slow descent into death.  An odd resident played by Scatman Carothers convinces them to play a game of “Kick the Can” which turns them all into the children they used to be.  The segment wanders aimlessly and feels more like a Hallmark channel version of Field of Dreams.

The third segment is a little more appealing when a woman encounters a peculiar child with strange powers.  Upon taking the child home, many crazy occurrences follow and the segment lives up to the expectations you’d have when watching a film titled Twilight Zone: The Movie.

The fourth and final segment finds John Lithgow playing a hallucinatory (or is he?) passenger stuck on an airplane, seeing strange visions no one else seems to see.  While Lithgow plays his part well, the rest of the segment is stale and predictable.

Other than the first segment and a brief but enjoyable cameo by Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks, Twilight Zone: The Movie is entirely disappointing.  Films with multiple directors usually suffer from a lack of focus and continuity and this film is no exception.  Avoid at all costs, unless you’re just a die-hard Twilight Zone fan.

The survey says…2 stars out of 5

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Categories: 100 Films

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