Opinions about ''Twilight Zone'' (1983) Unboxed spoilers--duh!

Specifically the first, and most famous, vignette in the movie.

Vic Morrow plays a bigoted chap who gets his comeuppance when he is forced to live the lives of the people he hates. The segment ends with his being put into a railroad car, presumably to a bad end in a concentration camp.

Now, so far as we can tell, his character doesn’t do anything to harm the people he dislikes. He just doesn’t like Jews, or whatever. Apparently, some of the others involved with the movie thought that sending him to a concentration camp for “thought crimes” was a little too harsh, and added the scene where he attempts to rescue some Vietnamese children, to show his character being possibly rehabilitated. And, of course, the rest is history.

Since that scene was not usable in the movie, for obvious reasons, the vignette ends (as John Landis had originally intended it to) with his being hauled off in the railroad car.

So, any opinions??? I personally thing that the original ending was a bit harsh for someone who just “thought bad things” and basically sending him into the cornfield. It’s too bad the ill-fated redemption scene ended the way it did.

You’re right, in that his punishment isn’t, in modern military parlance, a “proportional response”. But that’s karmic payback – it isn’t always carefully measured.
As for the movie as a whole, I’d say it’s o.k., but nothing to lose one’s head over.


I think the appeal of the Twilight Zone Shows on TV (and in the movie) are when characters meet some terrible fate that results in the viewer reaching an understanding. I found the happier endings to be less impactful as they sometimes felt cheesy (especially with ending narration…though I can’t remember if twilight zone had ending narration. I might be thinking of the outer limits). This might of been what the director was going for. Of course I agree that if he only had thought crimes the punishment might have been over the top.

It’s been awhile since I watched that though.

Now wait a minute . . . what exactly constitutes “over the top” punishment for Fate (or God, or Karma, or however you want to think of the mysterious power that works in the Twilight Zone)? If he was being punished for “thought crimes” by fellow humans, then it would be scary and excessive, but this is the Justice of the Universe we’re talking about here – whoever said it has to conform to our idea of justice? Perhaps the character’s circumstances were the only thing stopping him from actually hurting those he hated; in a different time and place he probably would have been a Nazi stormtrooper himself, happily rounding up Jews for the trains. Maybe the fact that he never got the opportunity to act on his hate was just a matter of circumstances.

Kind of creepy when you think about it . . . imagine how many people there are in the world who fit that same description . . . people who would be monsters if only given the opportunity. Ooooooh. :eek:

Of course, the greatest part of the **Twilight Zone ** movie has nothing to do with that episode . . . *“Wanna see something really scary?” *