Tuesday, June 7, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

"that wasn't a 'Zone dude, that was an "Outer Limits""- car passenger

"Birdie with the yellow bill hopped upon my window sill, cocked his shining eye and said 'ain't you shamed you sleepy head?' "-Mrs. Weinstein

"The day we stop playing is the day we start getting old."- Mr. Bloom

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the Twilight Zone. "- Narrator

So it goes. The Twilight Zone is (next to Mystery Science Theater 3000) my favorite show ever. This movie was made by four directors as a tribute to their favorite 4 episodes. Three are remakes, and the first one is an original based on two earlier episodes. Spielburg, Jon Landis, George Miller and Joe Dante directed, and Burgess (The Penguin) Meredith acts as the announcer in Rod Serling's place. John Lithgow, Dan Ackroyd, Albert Brooks, and Scatman Crothers in TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE!!! (PS- prepare yourself for one of the shittiest/ boringest trailers EVER)

So, the flick is busted up into four sections. Each of them except for this first one like I said are remakes of classic 'Zones. There is a tragic story to this first one though. The First one is about a bigot who got passed over for a promotion by a Jewish guy. The guy starts using racist and anti-semetic language in a bar, and then flys off the handle and leaves. When he leaves the bar, he's in Nazi Germany and the SS take him for a Jewish citizen. He tries to escape, and then he's in the south at a clan rally and is about to be lynched because they see him as black. Then he's in Vietnam, and US soldiers are about to shoot him down taking him for the enemy. The tragedy here is in real life there was a helicopter crash on the set and it actually killed the main actor Vic Morrow, and the 2 Asian children he was acting with in the movie. Jon Landis and 3 others were actually charged with manslaughter but not convicted. Bummer. Good piece about how shitty racist assholes are though.

The second story is based on "Kick the Can". There's one old pitiful man who wants his family to take him out and hang with him, but they're always too busy so he becomes a bitter "old" man. Then we meet the others at his nursing home who are pining for the old days when they could play games, and run around and act like children. Then old Scatman Crothers is there straight off the set of the Shining probably and he tells all these oldsters that they can for sure play the old games like they used to. All they have to do is do it. But the one old guy is the spoil sport and he tries to ruin it for everyone, but ol Scatman tells them to meet him downstairs. Somehow that night they turn into kids, but realize they wanna go back to the way it was, except for one English swashbuckler kid. They all laugh in the old crabs face, and he tries to tell on them, but he realizes it was true, and starts living his life like a kid again, kicking a can in the yard, as we transition to segment 3.

The 3rd segment is based on "It's a Good Life". It shows a teacher who is going nowhere fast hanging in a bar. This kid is getting yelled at for messing up the tv with interference from an arcade game he's playing (which doesn't make sense.) So after one of them pushes him down, she tries to leave but backs into the kid and runs over his bike. She offers him a ride home. When they get there, Anthony's family is acting shady as Hell like they're all on speed and trying to hide it. Super apprehensive, they rush Anthony and Helen off to hang out. Anthony turns out to be a little omnipotent king in this world he has seemingly created around himself. But he hates it because no one trusts him and they all just say what he wants to hear instead of being truly honest with him. Anthony likes Helen because she is honest with him. Eventually he makes cartoons out of thin air, and then makes them disappear because he's sick of them. Helen asks him if she can teach him to be a psychic be his mentor or something and then she says she can learn from him as well. Then they drive off.

The last segment may be my favorite, and a lot of people who've seen this say the same thing. Its a remake of "Nightmare at 20,000 feet". John Lithgow is having a freakout session on a plane and finally Donna Dixon and some other stewardesses get him to go back to his seat. He eventually looks out his window, sees a gremlin on the wing going to town on the engine and then he just goes apeshit. Dudes are trying to calm him down, and finally he cools out. But then he sees it again, grabs a gun from an air marshall, and blows a hole in the window, sticks his gordon out there (in minus whatever degrees it is up there temps [yeah right]) and the gremlin grabs his face, sees they are landing and gives him the "unh-unh-unh" finger wag. Insane. They all call him crazy til they see the wing damage. As he's shipped off to the hospital Dan Ackroyd repeats the same line from the beginning about wanting to see something really scary... tying it up in a nice bow for ya. I'd say watch all the original episodes myself, or even the 80s 'Zones were way better than this.... But for pure nostalgias sake, this one wasn't TOO bad.

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