Stream Furiosa Director’s Cursed Horror Classic Right Now

By Zack Zagranis | Published

George Miller has one of the most interesting directing careers in Hollywood. From Mad Max to Babe: Pig in the City to Happy Feet, Miller has done it all—including a segment in the cursed horror anthology Twilight Zone: The Movie. Despite the film’s infamously tragic production, George Miller’s update of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet stands out as not only the best thing in the movie but one of the best horror anthology segments, period.

Twilight Zone: The Movie Brought The Series To Theaters

For anyone unfamiliar, Twilight Zone the Movie was a 1983 update of the classic television anthology. On paper, the movie should have been a slam dunk. Four filmmakers—John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller—each adapted an episode of the classic Twilight Zone series for the big screen.

A Horrible Tragedy

In theory, Twilight Zone: The Movie should have been a huge money-maker. In practice, it was an arduous shoot marked by a horrible tragedy. During the filming of John Landis’s segment, actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed in a horrible helicopter accident. This avoidable tragedy, as Landis kept the children shooting past curfew and ignored safety protocol involving the helicopter, understandably cast a huge shadow over the entire project.

However, over 40 years removed from the initial tragedy, Twilight Zone: The Movie deserves a reevaluation. The movie is a tad bit uneven, but the strength of the wraparound segments, along with George Miller’s masterful Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, make it more than worth the watch.

Remaking A Classic

George Miller takes something people already feel nervous about, flying, and cranks the anxiety to 11. John Lithgow plays an airline passenger—William Shatner in the original—who is deathly afraid of flying and prone to panic attacks. When we meet John Valentine he is dripping with sweat and white as a ghost. This is at the very beginning of the story before anything has even happened yet.

Valentine sees what looks like a man on the wing of the plane and starts to panic. What follows is one of the most intense 20+ minutes ever put on screen as Valentine tries in vain to convince the other passengers of what he saw. Things escalate as Valentine quickly realizes that being on the outside of the plane isn’t human.

Improves On The Original

The creature is instead a gremlin hell-bent on causing enough damage to the plane’s engines that it crashes, killing everyone onboard. Anyone familiar with the original Twilight Zone episode can tell you that the original gremlin was a big, fuzzy teddy bear creature and not especially terrifying. Twilight Zone: The Movie‘s gremlin, meanwhile, is a monstrous creature with bulbous eyes and needle-like teeth that puts the original creature’s design to shame.

That’s not the only thing that the remake improves upon. As much as we love Captain Kirk at Giant Freakin Robot, John Lithgow’s performance blows Shatner’s to smithereens. Likewise, the original Nightmare At 20,000 Feet may have been helmed by Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner, but George Miller does a much better job of making you feel like you’re watching an actual doomed flight.

Other Segments Aren’t As Good

Overall, Twilight Zone: The Movie is a mixed bag. Many people have cited the Steven Spielberg segment Kick the Can as the director’s worst work to date, and while we don’t agree, we wouldn’t call it his best either. As a whole, the movie is fun to watch and holds up today. George Miller’s segment, however, is practically perfect in every way.

If you’re curious, check out Twilight Zone: The Movie. The good news is that you can stream it on Tubi for free. Just don’t let the PG rating fool you. The movie might not have any blood or gore, but there are several disturbing images sprinkled throughout.