Friday, September 30, 2011

Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)


Was this the first attempt to take a classic television series and turn it into a film? Maybe we can blame this film for The Beverly Hillbillies feature? OK, that is a little harsh, but let’s see what the combined talents of four talented directors yields.


You’ve got four stories here each based on or inspired by an episode from the classic series The Twilight Zone. First up a bigoted man (Vic Morrow) finds himself turned into the very thing he despises. Let’s see how he likes being a Jew in a Nazi controlled country. Up next Scatman Crothers uses some mystical powers to help a group at a rest home find their inner child – literally. After that a teacher (Kathleen Quinlan) runs into a little boy (Jeremy Licht) who has some serious issues with power… and cartoons. The final segment has John Lithgow going bananas on an airplane, as some… thing… is on the wing destroying it. Dan Akroyd and Albert Brooks bring some laughs in a wrap around segment of this bizarre little movie.

Good Points:

  • Manages to capture some truly Twilight Zone moments
  • Jerry Goldsmith provides a clever musical score
  • Aside from the first segment, it never takes itself too seriously

Bad Points:

  • Never comes together as a whole
  • Pacing between the segments creates a bizarre viewing experience
  • Veers away from the Twilight Zone feel on a number of occasions


Nostalgia fans for 80s films will find a lot to enjoy here. But fans of the original show may be disappointed. I’ve also run into people who dislike the film because of the sordid issues that occurred during its creation. But taken as a film, it’s entertaining and showcases some of the talents of the cast and crew.

Scores (out of 5)

Visuals: 4

Sound: 4

Acting: 3

Script: 3

Music: 4

Direction: 3

Entertainment: 3

Total: 3

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.


  1. I saw this in the theater back then. It had been in the news for some time due to the fatal accident to which you allude with Vic and those kids. I agree it was fun overall. I wondered then if new material might have been better, but I suppose nostagia was the point. The resurrected TV show later mixed new episodes with ones adapted from the original TZ as a sort of compromise.

  2. I had forgotten that they brought the show back in the '80s. There was that as well as "Amazing Stories". In fact the anthology show really saw a boom in the '80s. Odd.