Twilight Zone: The Movie
Director: Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller and Steven Spielberg
Year Released: 1983
Attempted homage to Rod Serling's classic television show that consists of a prologue and four "segments": Landis' "Time Out" has racist businessman Bill (Vic Morrow) leaving a bar and ending up in Nazi-occupied France (as well as Vietnam and the American South), Spielberg's "Kick the Can" shows elderly individuals in a nursing home playing a children's game and turning back into kids themselves, Dante's "It's a Good Life" has a little boy named Anthony (Jeremy Licht) who has superpowers but gets "tamed" by jobless Helen (Kathleen Quinlan) and in Miller's "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," a computer programmer (John Lithgow) experiences a panic attack on an airplane and believes a demon is on the wing destroying the engine. I think the directors (who are clearly fans) each had a decent idea how to approach the material, but their respective takes lack the exceptional cleverness of the source: Landis' piece is too preachy, Spielberg can't drop his obsession with childhood and the Dante and Miller bits veer off into cartoon land, the latter going overboard with the swirling camera movements (Lithgow's feeling of terror is palpable, however). Sadly - and ironically - the real horror is what happened during the shooting of Landis' section where Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen were killed by a helicopter. Remember, "keep a youthful mind" ... but also never develop such an ego as to disregard proper safety precautions.