"You're travelling through another dimension. A dimension, not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone."
An Anthology Film
based on The Twilight Zone television series
, released in 1983. It follows the show's anthology format by presenting four segments based on its episodes, which are directed by four different directors.
- "Prologue" (Directed by John Landis): Two men discuss old television shows.
- "Time Out" (Directed by John Landis): A bigot is taught a fantastic lesson as he finds himself traveling through time and hunted down for being a minority (a Jew in Nazi Germany, a black man living in the Deep South during the 1950's, and a Vietnamese man during The Vietnam War)
- "Kick the Can" (Directed by Steven Spielberg): A mysterious man arrives at a retirement home and shows its inhabitants how to be young again.
- "It's a Good Life" (Directed by Joe Dante): A woman meets a young boy who has a very special power, which he uses to hold his family in a grip of terror.
- "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" / "Epilogue" (Directed by George Miller): A man who is scared of flying finds out that the plane he is in is being sabotaged by a gremlin.
This film became infamous for a ghastly accident that took the life of Vic Morrow and two child actors. The script for "Time Out" called for a scene in which Morrow's character is supposed to be carrying two Vietnamese children across a river to safety during an American bombing raid in Vietnam. Director John Landis was shooting late at night, violating child labor laws, and ignoring the helicopter pilot's concerns about flying so close to the ground and so close to explosive detonations. The cameras rolled anyway, and the explosive charges meant to simulate bombs caused the helicopter to crash, crushing one child under its landing skid and decapitating Morrow and the other child. Landis was later tried and acquitted on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
The tropes covering the film as a whole:
- Remake Cameo:
- Burgess Meredith, who starred in four episodes of the series, including the all-time classic "Time Enough at Last", is the Narrator of the film.
- Rod Serling's wife Carol has a cameo as an airline passenger in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet."
- Bill Mumy, who played the creepy omnipotent boy in the original episode "It's a Good Life", plays a diner patron in this film's adaptation.
"Kick the Can"
- Game Show Appearance: Brief clips from the April 24, 1974 episode of the original Jeopardy appear during the segment.
- Magical Negro: Mr. Bloom.
- Reality Ensues: After the elderly people become young they wonder who will take care of them now and what they'll do now that they're kids, so all but one decide to just go back to being old again. The original episode left it more open-ended but we were left to assume the magic only works one-way.
"It's a Good Life"
"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" / Epilogue
- Book Ends: The ambulance that Valentine is placed in is driven by the hitchhiker from the prologue, who asks him if he "wants to see something really scary".
- Eye Pop: When Valentine removes the cover from his window, the gremlin is behind it, which makes him do this briefly.
- For the Evulz: Strongly implied to be the "reason" for the gremlin's attack. When it sees he has a single witness, it starts showing off, just for him.
- Graceful Loser: Realizing that its window of opportunity to drop the plane is closed, the gremlin smiles and wags its finger at Valentine before flying away.
- Griping About Gremlins