Like most people my age, I only knew of the Twilight Zone from it being a TV before I knew what TV was, and for the movie that killed three people via an out of control director.
So lets get into this movie, I am very familiar with Creepshow, and I loved the Tales from the Crypt series. I’m not sure what I’m getting into here, but again, I’ve seen the knockoffs- from Robot Chicken to the Simpsons. Plus the Lithgow scene is about as famous as it gets.
We kickoff, and no, I’m not going through the whole movie until we hit the spoilers, how about just the first two, ok? Anyway, we start off with two of the funniest guys in history with Albert Brooks and Dan Akroyd driving down a country road, after the 8 track dies, and the radio doesn’t work (and I bet Akroyd just loves him some Coast to Coast) they start going over some TV Themes, and the Outer Limits/Twilight Zone arguments come up. Being a 1983 movie, and I was 10, a lot of these shows I never saw. I’m sure there will be comments below on how awesome these shows are. Thanks Joe and John.
Eventually Akroyd wants to know if Brooks wants to see something scary- and when Brooks pulls over, Akroyd attacks him after changing into a monster!
Not a great start, but Its Dan and Albert. The ending stinks, buts its a fun opener.
Now we get a nice 70s bar/restaurant and a man joins two other guys and complains about not getting a promotion. He goes all racist on everything, from the N* moving 6 blocks away to the Orientals owning the loan on his house to the Jew that got his promotion. He gets louder and louder, and there is a black man at the next table that stunningly doesn’t rip his arms off. When he leaves, he is transported to Nazi Germany (to see what its like being Jewish) to being Black with the KKK (and John Larroquette!) and then to Vietnam to be hunted there. Fun bit where one says they shouldn’t have shot Lt Neidermeyer! I wonder if that was a callback to Animal House. Next he’s kicked back over to Germany, and thrown in a cattle car, and is sent off screaming.
I like this one better, but I’d almost rather see him thrown in the cattle car, and then standup and be back at the bar. A little redemption maybe. True, they did have to change the ending due to the accident, but still.
We open at a rest home, where Scatman Crothers has just joined the Sunnyvale Retirement home, Oh Look! Its Selma from Night Court! You can’t miss that voice! Marty from the show is also there. That is just too cool. The Grandma from Parenthood (the Movie) is there as well. The residents all complain about being old, and Scatman talks about what games they liked, after some discussion, Scatman says he liked Kick the Can, again, I’m too young to even get that game, even as they play it- almost like a cross between Hide and Seek with the can being a safe point. One man says that people are going to be hurt, as they are too old, and goes to bed. The rest of the residents go out at night, and play Kick the Can, and it turns them young. All but one complain about having to start over, and Scatman allows the rest to return to being old.
I like this one a lot more, and even though the ending is again cheesy, I enjoyed it.
This one I didn’t like, but again, a TON of people I have seen before is there, including Nancy Cartwright! Holy Crap! I’m a big fan of Kevin McCarthy as well.
I have always been a fan of Lithgow, he’s always been a joy to me, not quite chewing scenery, btut dominating it when called upon. He’s not hammy here, but he’s dancing on the edge. The ending here is FINALLY, a lot of fun, and we get a callback that also puts a smile on my face.
So how is this one?
Well, the like its companions, Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, and I’m just guessing the two TV shows it references, the Outer Limits and the namesake, the Twilight
Is this a better movie than Creepshow? No, not even close. It feels like its just 4 shorts tied together with an opening and an ending. The good ones are really good, but not enough to get past a BAD third act. Three out of four having bad endings is also a bit annoying.
All-in-all its not a bad time-waster, if you are like me and love Creepshow and/or are a child of the 80s and want to play “how many people can I name from this show that I know from something else” game- I think I’m easily into double digits. Plus Selma Diamond people! I’ll give it a low 4, just throw it on DVR, and try and forget the John Landis tragedy
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