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30 years later: 5 things you didn't know about 'Twilight Zone: The Movie'



Hey, you wanna see something really scary? Thirty years later, nothing still scares me like 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie. Especially John Lithgow screaming, "There's a man on the wing of this plane!" Nightmare city. I don't even JOKE about that when flying now. That's worse karma that making jokes about bombs.

Of course, it's hard to forget a movie that features actors like Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Scatman Crothers, Dan Aykroyd and the great Burgess Meredith taking over Rod Serling's role as narrator. Likewise, it's sad to recall that the movie was maybe better known for the helicopter crash that killed three actors and effect it had on the career of the legendary John Landis.

Landis, it should be said, recently emerged in Orlando to take a few bows as his American Werewolf in London movie was adapted into a maze for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. No chance I'll risk a certain cardiac catastrophe by attending that. But maybe I'll stay home that night when the family goes, put on Twilight Zone, and see something really scary.


1. The Steven Spielberg segment of this movie is one of only two films of his not scored by John Williams; the other is The Color Purple.

2. Of the cast and crew, eight were involved in the production of the original TV series: writers Richard Matheson and George Clayton Johnson, composer Jerry Goldsmith, and actors Murray Matheson, Kevin McCarthy, Patricia Barry, William Schallert and Bill Mumy.

3. The film originally started with Rod Serling's voiceover, but it was replaced with one by Burgess Meredith, who starred in four episodes of the Twilight Zone series.

4. Landis's segments were the first to be filmed, and Spielberg considered canceling the entire project after the deadly helicopter crash.

5. Landis's signature line "See you next Wednesday" appears to be missing in the movie, but is actually spoken in German during his segment.


[Last modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 9:16am]


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