Sunday, September 16, 2012

1983 - TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE, is pretty bad considering the talent

Four big names directors pay tribute to Rod Serling's anthology series and for the most part the segments can't touch and old black and white episode of the series.

John Landis directs, Time Out, the only original episode in the series.  This was the notorious episode that killed the actor Vic Morrow and 2 children.  It's a hit you over the head story about racism that is about as subtle as a steamroller.  Pretty bad.

Steven Spielberg directs Kick the Can and he directs poorly.  This slop about elderly people at a nursing home discover their youth brought out the worst of the director the sloppy overblown music, the too glowing photography, the sentimental garbage about old age and childhood, just awful.  This is a director barely in control of his story, possibly the worst thing he has ever been associated with.

Joe Dante directs It's a Good Life and sort of redeems the film.  Dante is able to indulge his interest in cartoons and does make the segment his own.  The problem is that the original episode was a brilliant horror story and Dante chooses cartoonish silliness over horror.

The director of The Road Warrior George Miller, directs Nightmare at 20,000 Feet like it's a Mad Max movie but he has the same probably as Dante he can't really capture the  horror of the original black and white episode, still probably the best of the short films.  John Lithgow's over the top hysterical performance is pretty fun but he can't top the original actor William Shatner.

Considering how influential The Twilight Zone still is, this is a pretty poor tribute.

101 minutes.

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