HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Twilight Zone: The Movie Another DimensionBuy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Scatman Crothers, Kathleen Quinlan, John Lithgow, Jeremy Licht, Kevin McCarthy, William Schallert, Nancy Cartwright, Abbe Lane, Donna Dixon, Bill Quinn, Doug McGrath, Charles Hallahan, Dick Miller, Burgess Meredith
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: It is the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere and a driver (Albert Brooks) and his passenger (Dan Aykroyd) are on a journey, singing along with the Creedence Clearwater Revival cassette playing on the car stereo - or they are until the cassette breaks and the machine spews out the tape. They are both irritated by this, especially as there are no radio stations to be picked up way out here, so they begin to amuse themselves by singing television theme tunes: Hawaii 5-0, Car 54 Where Are You?, The Twilight Zone - ah, there was a show. It really scared them when they were kids, but the passenger has a question for the driver... "Do you wanna see something really scary?"

It was an odd notion, that four of the brightest of the movie brats to work in the fantasy genres should wish to doff their cap to a television series, and not only that but recreate three classic episodes into the bargain which prompted the question, if they were so great why remake them in the first place? Yet the prologue apart, there were four stories to this film, the first one proper being the creation of John Landis (he had directed the prologue too) which, above all the others, really evoked the moralistic tone of Rod Serling's series. But that wasn't the reason his efforts were to be remembered.

No, in fact it's impossible to mention The Twilight Zone movie without acknowledging the terrible accident that occured on the set of Landis' segment. Actor Vic Morrow was filming a story set partly during the Vietnam War and in a battle scene a helicopter crashed, killing him and two young children who had been recruited to be in the sequence; it later transpired that the children were working in illegal circumstances, as if the accident wasn't bad enough. So when you're watching Morrow's bigot character receive his heavy-handed just desserts, you're not thinking of its "racism is bad" message but about how they managed how to edit it all together from what the unfortunate Morrow had already filmed.

Elsewhere, co-producer Steven Spielberg updated a tale of old folks in a retirement home enjoying a visit from a special friend, Mr Bloom (Scatman Crothers) who makes their yearning dreams for restored youth come true only for them to prefer being old in an unconvincing development. Considering Aykroyd's promise of "something really scary" it's curious that Spielberg would want to adapt the most saccharine story he could apparently find and this is rightly derided as the least of all the segments, though his lack of enthusiasm by that point was understandable. Joe Dante also suffers an attack of sentimentality for his adaptation of the one where little boy Bill Mumy (who makes a grown-up cameo here) has Godlike powers, but only at the ending.

Before that, there's a superbly designed nightmare of an eighties kid remaking the world in the image of cartoons, junk food and totalitarian regimes, luring schoolteacher Kathleen Quinlan back to his home after she "accidentally" crashes into his bicycle. There she finds that the boy (Jeremy Licht) is holding others hostage as an enforced family, bullied into doing whatever he says (watching cartoons all day, eating burgers with peanut butter garnish for every meal). The vision of a child's tyranny, transforming in particular the animation into something sinister, is very well done, but they had to mess around with the conclusion which deflates all the tension. Not so with the best section, George Miller's version of the one where William Shatner saw a creature on the wing of the jetliner he was travelling in. Here it's John Lithgow in the role, an exquisite performance of barely contained panic that matches Miller's paranoid take; it has the best punchline too. Inevitably a mixed bag, Twilight Zone: The Movie falters often and only rarely summons up the true frissons of the best of the original. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4685 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Landis  (1950 - )

American writer-director who made a big splash in the comedy genre, starting with The Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House and The Blues Brothers. An American Werewolf in London was an innovative blend of comedy and horror, and remains his best film.

Mega-hit Trading Places followed, but after a tragic accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie, Landis' talent seemed to desert him, and he offered up some increasingly unimpressive comedies. He returned briefly to horror with Innocent Blood, and after a long spell away helmed Brit comedy Burke and Hare; he also directed Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Black or White" videos.

Steven Spielberg  (1946 - )

Currently the most famous film director in the world, Spielberg got his start in TV, and directing Duel got him noticed. After The Sugarland Express, he memorably adapted Peter Benchley's novel Jaws and the blockbusters kept coming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones sequels, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, 2005's mega-budget remake of War of the Worlds, his Tintin adaptation, World War One drama War Horse and pop culture blizzard Ready Player One.

His best films combine thrills with a childlike sense of wonder, but when he turns this to serious films like The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Bridge of Spies these efforts are, perhaps, less effective than the out-and-out popcorn movies which suit him best. Of his other films, 1941 was his biggest flop, The Terminal fell between two stools of drama and comedy and one-time Kubrick project A.I. divided audiences; Hook saw him at his most juvenile - the downside of the approach that has served him so well. Also a powerful producer.

Joe Dante  (1946 - )

American director of science fiction and horror, a former critic who got his big break from Roger Corman directing Hollywood Boulevard. Piranha was next, and he had big hits with The Howling and Gremlins. But his less successful films can be as interesting: Explorers didn't do as well as he had hoped, but illustrated the love of pop culture that is apparent in all his work.

Other films include flop sequel turned cult favourite Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace, the underrated The 'burbs, Matinee (a more obvious tribute to the movies of his youth), Small Soldiers, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Hole and Burying the Ex.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: