Twilight Zone The Movie (1983)

The Twilight Zone, a seminal sci-fi anthology, a collection of atomic-era morality plays, has inspired many and in some cases even became a New Year’s tradition of watching complete marathons of the classic series. It is fair to say the ordinal show had a sizeable impact on generations. In 1983, decades after the original series, five recognisable names of the film world, worked on five stories, to package into an anthology worthy of the name Twilight Zone: The Movie.

Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in probably my favourite segment of the film.

After a very fun intro with Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks, involving hitch-hikers and old T.V. theme tunes. The first segment deals with a bigoted man getting a different perspective, accompanied by the second with a group of elderly patients, given a second chance at youth. The third deals with a spoiled child with a very active imagination, with the fourth dealing with the terrors that can happen on a {midnight flight. As the beloved classics of the 60s got a second retelling.

Although Lithgow’s performance in Nightmare at 20,000 Feet is worth a rewatch!

Twilight Zone remakes four quintessential episodes of the original run, not the most recognisable, but some that the average person might have seen adapted and heard referenced. The movie can enjoy a touch more freedom than the original series, with the usage of language, depictions of violence et cetera. While made two years before the first revival, a lot of these episodes are given a debut in full colour, and in some cases on grander sets too. Even if you have these segments memorised, seeing them get the cinematic treatment is a worthwhile experience, especially for the subtle differences that emerge from the two different tellings.

Hey look! Nancy Cartwright is in a rarer on-screen role!

As with a lot of anthologies, Twilight Zone does combine five acclaimed directors namely, Dante, Landis, Miller, and Spielberg. You do see a lot of the undercurrent of sentimentality that (I, at least, found noticeable in Spielberg’s successive sci-fi series Amazing Stories). It also has a unique section of actors to draw from. Including the aforementioned Albert Brooks and Dan Aykroyd segment (probably my favourite of the five) but along with Scatman Crothers, Dick Miller, Nancy Cartwright, John Lithgow, and I could go on. Jerry Goldsmith also does a great with the score, including the Jennifer Warnes hit Nights are Forever, making for a complete anthology package that is up there with the best of them.

A lot of the classic episodes got a colourful retelling, before the series got rebooted.

As a fan of horror/sci-fi anthologies, Twilight Zone: The Movie offers a fine selection, where once again, personal taste will probably influence your ranking, as would your level of exposure to the originals being remade here. However, the assembled creatives do a fine job getting the episodes onto a big screen matinée. Cinephiles might also welcome the opportunity to watch some masters working on a similar project (In a sort of compare and contrast). While other anthologies may give you more chills or more food for thought, even on the big screen, The Twilight Zone will always offer a world of imagination.

Each director does bring their signature hallmarks to their segments.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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