I’ve never been a real fan of the original series The Twilight Zone, even though I dug a show or two. It was cunning and disturbing, those shows, and very interesting too. This movie however isn’t, and it doesn’t even get close to the greatness of the series. It’s cunning enough to insult the intelligence of any die-hard fanatic of the show. It’s disturbing in the point stupidity, since this piece of shit is SO FUCKING DUMB, SO EMPTY AND SO DAMN FUCKED, that it will not only insult your intelligence, but also disturb your mental health due to these reasons. And it’s also very interesting in the point of how these renowned actors and directors make complete dumb-asses out of themselves not by giving their own versions of these stories, but by clearly ripping of in the most blatant and mediocre way this TV series. Gosh, I always thought The X-Files: Fight The Future was just a lame excuse to exploit a great TV show (my favorite actually), but I never seen a TV series anally raped like this by this trash bag. If series creator Rod Serling were alive, he’d probably kill himself again.I figured that it would be difficult and also unfair to review this film as a whole, so lets review it story by story, starting with the prologue. That’s 5 segments (even though they’re officially 4 not counting the prologue, but fuck that), so lets review away.
"The Worst Exploitation/Rip-Off Of A TV Series, Ever"
1. Prologue: A passenger and car driver driving in the middle of nowhere, listening to the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic “Midnight Special,” and singing along as they drive into the middle of the night. Then the tape gets jammed, so they stop, and soon, both start discussing a TV show (you know which one), then the passenger reveals something to the car driver, something scary
The prologue is pretty much a clear indication of where this film is going. It has no point, no direction and no clear meaning. Here we are listening to these two fuckheads how they try to sing a CCR classic, and then boom, the final moment comes and we get scared like hell (a good scare actually) and were supposed to be like: OOOO, AAAAA, that was awesome. Audience reaction: OOO, AAA, what was the fucking point of that sequence? Sure it’s hilarious and scary (even though I just laughed at the stupidity of the sequence), but what’s the point? But hey, you may say: Hey, this The Fucking Twilight Zone man, shit happens due to weird and unknown reasons, or simply because it happens. Ok, granted, but at least the series explained or gave you an idea to you of why it happened. Here it doesn’t. Dan Aykroyd, save me God, what the fuck is his purpose here? Albert Brooks, bunch of wasted talent. John Landis, what in the blue fuck was the point of your prologue? Please add some more argument to it for Fuck’s sake. Geez, no wonder you’ll later end up in Suck-land. Rating: Sucks all ass.
2. Racist Payback: This sequence was overshadowed; in fact, the entire film was overshadowed by the unfortunate death with Vic Morrow, who plays the Redneck yahoo Bill Connor. A helicopter that crashed on the set of the Vietnamese sequence killed Morrow, along with two kids. Landis and his crew were acquitted of manslaughter charges 4 years later. Moving on, Connor is pissed because a Jew worker took the job he was aspiring for, so he makes some pretty racist remarks about both the Jews and the Blacks. Then as he walks out of the bar, he is “taken through time” and given a taste of his own medicine in the times of WWII, Vietnam, and finally, a showdown with the KKK.
I’m assuming that probably due to the unfortunate death of Morrow, the filmmakers couldn’t do pretty much anything else with the rest of the sequence, if there was any left, and hoping that the filmmakers, Landis more than all, wasn’t retarded enough to write such a shit story like this one. Ok, so finally, this first sequence has a point, since it addresses the issues of racism, and the thoughts of “How would you feel if you were that Jew or Black or Vietnamese being beaten by some racist fucker?” Obviously Rod Serling’s purpose of this series was also not only showing us the weird and the unknown, but also giving us many lessons about humanity that we normally would rather ignore. That’s the highpoint, and it all goes downhill from there. There’s a problem with this segment: Serling never wrote it. Now, again, how the hell does he travel time? And again, this is The Twilight Zone where shit happens because it happens. Sure, like that episode where you wake up to an empty town and you see a giant boy, and boom, you just became his brand new toy. Granted, but the effect of the scene is so poorly made that it pales in comparison to the low-budget 50’s production design. Of course, big does not equal good, and the scenes are shot in a rather amateurish way. Landis’ tactics of comedy just don’t fit here and the occasional laughs come from scenes that you’re not supposed to laugh, and dumb in many others. It was ridiculous all over, and just stupid, with shitty artistic details. Too bad Morrow’s career ended in such a low note. Landis, you fuck up again, please read this: The Twilight Zone WASN’T INTENDED TO BE A FUCKING COMEDY YOU IDIOT-SAVANT FUCK!!! Rating: Sucks all ass.
3. Kick The Can: Old man Bloom (Scatman Crothers) through strange magic brings back life into a retirement community.
This story is actually the first adaptation of the episode of the same name. Since George Clayton Johnson wrote the segment based on his original teleplay for the TV shows, and directed by Steven Spielberg. So you would expect at least some uplift after a shitty prologue and an even shittier episode. Wrong, if only they could do that. Not even Spielberg’s creativity (seen in Jaws, ET, Close Encounters, Indiana Jones and countless others) can save this one from utter boredom. For shit’s sake, I was dying to get my remote and press the Fast-Forward right away, but I held on, and soon a headache started to develop. Gosh, the pace is totally wrong, the characters aren’t that interesting. All in all, the segment is dull compared to the original, even though I’ve never watched it, I sure don’t believe that the studio execs would allow a crap episode to be a part of a “tribute movie” like this one. The ending was pretty touching though, but it’s just not enough, since it was just an empty exercise in emotional manipulation. Scatman Crothers actually does a good job with his role and I was pleased by his performance. Steven Spielberg, man, you disappoint me, since you could’ve done a better job than this boring wretched wasteland you created here. Utter disappointment. Rating: Sucks all ass.
4. It’s A Good Life: This segment is probably the worst of all the segments. A young and hot teacher Helen Foley (Kathleen Quinlan) is involved in a minor accident when her car hit a boy riding his bike. The boy is Anthony (Jeremy Licht), and Helen offers him to give him a ride home. When she arrives she realizes that something strange has happened (obviously), since Anthony’s family lives under his threat, since he’s a kid who always gets what he wants, and if anyone objects he punishes them through telekinetic powers. So it’s up to Helen to find a way to make this kid come to terms with his family and himself.
A good start, and also a good point since it examines the attitudes of children at a young age and how their desires come first rather than their brains. The setting of this episode unfortunately has to be the most shittiest, stupidest and most nauseatic-inducing ever. The FX are crap, there are unusual flashing lights and weird-ass FX around the set to make the scene flashier and scarier but it only achieves in making you feel nauseatic. The house looks pathetic, and there’s probably a point to it since Anthony likes the house that way. Sure the sense of strangeness is there and the sense of weirdness is also there, but Director Joe Dante overdoes it, a lot to the point of being annoying and with a certain feeling of nausea. I know Dante wanted to recreate the episode with his style, but the only difference between his creation and the TV creation is that the TV creation relied more on atmosphere, craftiness, ever-changing but well-timed moods, good acting and great directing. This one relies on flashy FX, overdone theatrics and atmosphere and piss-poor acting that in turn, gives you this stinky melodramatic piece of shit. Kathleen Quinlan, gosh, you sucked. Jeremy Licht, well you still need more acting lessons boy, because you were pretty much bland. Joe Dante, next time when you want to remake something, rely always on a good script, don’t rely on FX, and add more depth to your idea, because this one’s flat and fucky. Rating: Sucks all ass.
5. Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: I pretty much gave up on this film when we arrived at this (thankfully) last segment, and it turns out to be the best of the bunch. In a night flight in the middle of the storm, a schizophrenic John Valentine (John Lithgow) believes the plane is under threat by some foreign force, but he doesn’t know what. The stewards have warned him already since his attitude is starting to disturb other passengers. Then the inevitable happens, the plane suffers a failure, or was it? Only John knows what it is.
This segment comes unfortunately too late, since 4/5ths of the movie are just utter shit but better to get it now than never. Sure, it’s flawed but finally it has some good standouts. The atmosphere of the scene is well put, and the audience is always held in suspense, waiting for the striking moment. The scenery is pretty dark, especially for a night scene, but it’s way effective. John Lithgow gives a convincing performance in the role of John Valentine, and arguably gives the best performance of the entire movie. Unfortunately, two things hamper the segment: the beast and the final sequence. The beastie, which is the stalker of the plane, is disappointing, since it looks more like a rip-off out of Gremlins and Alien. The FX here is lame, and the beast looks more like a guy in a costume. Then when the last part arrives, when John is in the ambulance, Dan Aykroyd again appears, this time as the ambulance driver, and again asks the classic question “You want to see something really scary?” Which is funny but in a certain way it spoils the segment due to unnecessary comedy, and it’s actually a very stupid way to end the sequence. Director George Miller, congrats, you made a worthy segment, but still you would’ve made it better. And as the end credits roll, the last segment is not enough to save you from 1 and half hours of pain. Rating: Just AverageIn the end, if you add 3 stars of three segments plus 3 of the last one, and divide it by five, it comes out 1.2, and rounding it off it’s just one, which means that this film overall is a fucking piece of shit, and deserves to be. Gosh, somebody get Dan Aykroyd a new agent because his talent is wasted here, and somebody just shoot whomever approved those 4 shitty scripts to be adapted for this film. All this wasted talent that is lying around the entire movie; gosh it’s just shameful. This abominable film is an embarrassment to the TV series, and even the most die-hard fans of the show would rather dig out the old videos of the show than to sit and watch this train wreck again. In the words of everything that’s holy, this film sucks twilight ass.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=986&reviewer=235
originally posted: 03/16/02 16:52:12