Written by / 9/17/2013 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

OUT OF THE HAT REVIEW OF 'TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE'

year: 1983 cast: Vic Morrow, John Lithgow rating: ***
The tragic deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children aside, this theatrical version of Rod Serling’s groundbreaking television series has a few other problems...

The first story, directed by John Landis, centers on Morrow as a racist loudmouth spouting epitaphs in a bar – overheard by a group of tough black dudes who, if they only beat him up when he walked out the door, would have deleted any need for the character’s descent into various historical settings where racism reigned: From walking a ledge as a Jew in Nazi Germany to sloshing through swamps as a Vietnamese native (the tragic helicopter sequence was filmed there), Morrow discovers sticks and stones have nothing on words.

Not Shining Here
The story itself is somewhat intriguing – you’ll wonder what’ll happen next – but the ultimate punishment of the main character, as unlikable as he might be, is too forced and would have been much different had there been no on-set tragedy: Vic Morrow's Bill Conner could have learned his lesson and saved the Vietnamese children.

The worst of the lot is Steven Spielberg’s KICK THE CAN. Making for an eerily nostalgic fable on the original series, Speilberg's take, with his flowing signature style overdosing to the point of seeming like a Spielbergland Theme Park, is a mushy melodrama centering on rest home old-timers who yearn for youth. The discontented coots turn into youngsters that seem part of a corny stage play. The child actors, instead of simply being children, are doing imitations of their older selves, so the entire episode feels like a parody. Veteran icon Scatman Crothers, as the mysterious traveler who wields the magic, tries his best but to no avail.
Bart Simpson's voice actress stalked by killer cartoons

Leading to the third entry as THE HOWLING director Joe Dante re-imagines one of the coolest episodes of the original series. Remember Billy Mumy as a sinister child holding his family, and the residents of a small town, at bay with evil powers to send chosen people into the Cornfield?

The boy this time around is, like director Dante himself, heavily into cartoons. His house has a TV in each room and his family makes sure everything goes his way. When the maniacal brat brings home a beautiful passerby (Kathleen Quinlin), she witnesses this strange behavior. Although it can get too bizarre for its own good, Dante builds suspense nicely, setting a taut vibe where anything can happen – including the actress who’d later voice Bart Simpson being hunted by demonic cartoons: inside a television set!

The Monster on the wing in the best segment
Leading to the last, and by far the best, episode: John Lithgow (reprising William Shatner) plays a man terrified to fly. Stuck on a plane during a raging lighting-packed thunderstorm, he sporadically witnesses a scheming creature on the wing.

MAD MAX director George Miller paints an intense canvas. From the claustrophobic fuselage to the storm-struck exterior where the monster wreaks havoc, each element adds nightmarish touches of one man’s descent into a personal hell. Lithgow turns-in the best performance, balancing manic desperation and edgy pathos, eventually facing off with the sinister ALIEN-looking Gremlin. And although Landis's first story fails in content... His prologue/epilogue involving hitchhiker Dan Aykroyd getting a ride from nice guy Albert Brooks – jovially discussing old TV shows like THE OUTER LIMITS and, yes, THE TWILIGHT ZONE – is both humorous and ultimately intense, leading to a terrific twist ending... Making you forget the first half was practically, and tragically, a complete throwaway.
The demonic alligator creature just ate Bart Simpson...
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

GLOSSING THROUGH STANLEY KUBRICK'S '2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY'

Gary Lockwood in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Year: 1968 Rating: ***** The greatest cinema epics (from LAWRENCE OF ARABIA before to GOODFELLAS afte...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "Give a girl a pair of shoes, and she walks out on you." Michael Greer in Willard Huyck's Messiah of Evil

FILM NOIR & NEO NOIR CRIME

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)HELL IS A CITY 3)ROBBERY 4)THE FEARMAKERS 5)CANYON PASSAGE 6)VIOLENT SATURDAY 7)HOT CARS 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)THE CROWDED SKY 10)THE ROARING TWENTIES 11) ANATOMY OF A MURDER 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 15)HARDCORE 16)THE BREAK 17)WHITE HEAT 18)AL CAPONE 19)HIDDEN FEAR 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)NIGHT CREATURES 22)THE ASPHALT JUNGLE 23)ASH WEDNESDAY 24)THE SYSTEM 25)AIR PATROL 26)THE STONE KILLER 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)FRENZY 30)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)STANLEY BAKER 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)CHARLES BRONSON1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)VAL GUEST 4)STANLEY KUBRICK 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)ORSON WELLES 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)JOHN LANDIS 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

CHARLES BRONSON CINEMA

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE