Don’t you admire your favorite Hollywood hero flying across the planet or living the best life in a 3-D dimension? And Hollywood creates legendary sci-fi that remains etched in our minds and souls forever. Science fiction only looks close to reality when you watch it on the screen! Moviegoers have a string of options on various OTT platforms. The fatal accident still echoes in people’s memories. Today, we will take our readers back in time when the iconic film Twilight Zone: The Movie made history, as well as tragedy spiraling around its filmmakers. Stay tuned to know what happened on the film sets of the Movie.
While the first series of Twilight Zone made its warm welcome around the mid-1950s, the audience had access to the collection on Netflix for 6 years until it said adieu in the year 2011. From 1956 to 1964, CBS channel broadcasted Rod Serling’s groundbreaking TV series.
Let’s look at the Twilight Zone’s untimely tragedy and everything you should know about the Movie!
- Director: John Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller, Steven Spielberg
- Writer: John Landis, George Clayton Johnson, Jerome Bixby and Richard Matheson
- Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Scatman Crothers, John Lithgow, Vic Morrow, Kathleen Quinlan
- IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 58 %
- Platforms Available: Prime Video
What’s the Hype About the Movie?
The genre of Twilight Zone is a blend of intensified horror/thriller and hardcore science fiction. The creator executed his imagination, which seemed to endure on the big screen. Rod Sterling’s experiences from real life during World War 2 played an inspiration in making the film.
Released in 1983, the Twilight Zone was helmed by legendary directors John Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller, and Steven Spielberg. Solo director has helmed the four segments.
In Landis’s segment, Time Out, a young man who badmouths and hurls racist statements against the community of Asian people, black and Jewish, encounters the worst experiences of his life. Nazi-occupied France perceived him as Vietnamese and Jewish man.
Joe directed ‘It’s Good Life’, Jerome Bixby loosely constructed Nightmare at 20,000 feet from a short story. The second segment has been adapted from season 3, episode 21.
The anthology movie Twilight Zone can creep you out to a certain extent, and that’s a no-brainer! Due to sensitive and hair-raising content it is not advised for kids to watch. The tone of the film is exuberantly out-of-the-box. When the characters are persuaded to enact uncanny sequences, they often feel uncomfortable.
Characters of the Movie
To keep his eccentric facade alive, the character of Vic Morrow has been written carefully. In the story, he is the heart and soul. Morrow’s character is seen enjoying time travel. He has also been deemed the most racist in the film! The promising American actor essays the role of Bill Connor.
Laura Mooney plays the character of young Mrs Dempsey. Another American actress part of Twilight Zone history was Helen Shaw, who appeared as Mrs Dempsey. Steven Spielberg helmed the segment Kick the Can which featured them.
As we go skin-deep into the edgy characters of Twilight Zone, Gremlin is the central character of the “Nightmare at 20,000 feet” segment. This creature has become the most insanely iconic critter Ever since the Movie was created in the 1980s. Actor John Lithgow portrayed the character of John Valentine.
American starlet Kathleen Quinlan dons the hat of Helen Foley. She is on an expedition to discover new employment before quitting as a school teacher. Emotions are attached to her character as she becomes a beacon of hope for a bullied boy, Anthony, played by the actor Jeremy Licht.
In one of the movie “Mute” segments, Ann Jillian performed beautifully as a mute telepath. She was widely recognized for her role as IIse Nielson, a 12-year-old God-gifted child who was raised by her parents. She came from a family that could have conversations through telepathy.
IIse could communicate as a telepathic as she never learned how to converse like a human being. When she finally talks in human language, everyone around her is taken aback.
Tragedy Behind Twilight Zone
Morrow’s character is carried by the echoes of the Vietnam War. War-torn tragedies surrounded Vic Morrow’s life. On the way to a Nazi concentration camp, Morrow had to display bravery.
Two Vietnamese children whose lives were entangled by troops of American soldiers were sheltered by Vic’s character.
The Vietnamese sequence is heartbreaking, and one must endure immense bravery to watch this film! You will definitely love Morrow’s character as he becomes the shining light. Two Vietnamese children, Renee Shin Yi Chen and Myca Dinh Lee, have donned children’s roles.
While they film for the first segment, “Time Out,” they are supposed to get murdered by a helicopter pilot and Vietnam veteran, Dorcey Wingo, who has to purposely run a helicopter over them. This was initially what was depicted in the scene until a brutal accident happened. The incident appeared during the final cut. The scene eventually turned into a tragic accident.
On the film set of Twilight Zone, the two child actors and Bill Connor were killed instantly. Pilot’s irresponsibility caused the helicopter accident. The unexpected fatal accident, which required a certain dangerous stunt, also seriously injured six passengers. The filmmakers faced heavy criticism after violating child labor laws.
On the sets, the crew members failed to check whether the air vehicle functioned without hearsay of an impending disaster. The helicopter came crashing down in the waters of Indian Dunes, Valencia, California, while Morrow crossed the river with two child actors. Unfortunately, the low-flying helicopter caused an explosion that claimed three lives of those who acted in the movie.
#TheTwilightZone is trending, but no mention of Vic Morrow. So sad and unfortunate that no one remembers the great tragedy! They should be talking about it on all the #horrorpodcasts
— Bill Connor (@BillConnor82) June 25, 2020
After the Tragic Accident, the Rules in Hollywood Changed!
On the sets of Hollywood movies, the rules and regulations concerning safety were altered.
People began to open their eyes wide. The precautionary requirements for enacting dangerous stunts also grew with time. A lot of effort was put into creating emergency measures on the film set. To ensure ample safety standards were taken care of while filming stunts, Safety bulletins were utilized by unions and guilds.
Later, after thought-provoking discussions and closer inspections with the committee, major studios, like Warner Bros vice president, supplied a manual etched on safety bulletins called an illness prevention program.
The helicopter flew in close proximity to the set and went out of control because of a high-temperature explosion. Unfortunately, the pilot and co-pilot couldn’t help making it right. The national transportation safety board managed to figure out what caused the fatal accident.
The 1986 release “Stand By Me” maneuvered precautionary safety measures in one of the most important elements of the film. The actors had to overrun a damaged train. The directors of Stand By Me took advantage of body doubles while filming long sequences.
Stringent child labor laws were enacted and were regularized in 1986 since certain laws didn’t permit children to be a part of work culture for particular hours. Working hours from 12 am to 5 am were squashed for children till 18 years of age.
Seven-year-old Myca and six-year-old Renee Shin Yi Chen were forced to act in defiance of California law.
The director, John Landis and four other associates were on criminal trial for involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles (1985).
They were ultimately acquitted all at once after a span of seven long years. However, the executive team of directors and associate producers could not prevent civil lawsuits despite having all the luxuries in the world.
Twilight Zone: the Movie is Cursed?
What happens when something awry happens during the shooting of a film?
The incident that brought Twilight Zone: the Movie under the clouds of a storm forced people to believe that their sets were cursed.
Nobody wanted to be held accountable for such a tragic accident, so these theories sprung up. Many people believe that the whole crew’s errors and irresponsible behavior eventually killed 3 professional actors.
Life After Controversies for John Landis?
Even after the legal coup, the director of movie, John Landis, escaped from guilt set off by the public and the press. His career grew more and more successful. Landis went on to direct major blockbusters such as Coming to America, starring Eddie Murphy, and Three Amigos. Beverly Hills Cop III, which was released in 1994 had Eddie Murphy helmed by John Landis.
Though Landis has never credited himself for the 1983 set incident, in multiple interviews, the director stated that “this is a terrible, terrible accident, and it will cause pain and anguish to all of us for the rest of our lives. I can think of nothing worse than losing a child. The idea that this could be anything other than an unforeseeable accident is not only wrong, it’s bewildering.”
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