Twilight Zone: The Movie [Spoiler in the OP]

Twilight Zone: The Movie just started on Retro, and the intro just finished.

To jog your memory: Two guys are driving in a car at night. They’re playing the TV theme song game, and then talk about scary things. The passenger says, ‘Do you want to see something really scary?’ They pull over to the side of the road. The passenger warns the driver that he’s going to do something really scary and turns away from the driver. The driver is smiling and chuckling in anticipation. The passenger turns back to him, and reveals himself as a hideous ghoul/demon/witch. The passenger lunges at the driver and grabs his throat. Cut to an exterior of the darkened car. There are screams, and it sounds like there are sounds of violence.

Question: Did the passenger kill the driver? It’s what I’ve always assumed. On the other hand, these guys are friends. Why would the passenger kill his friend as a joke? I mean, sure he’s a demon; but it seems a little pointless to kill the guy. Is it possible that he just roughed the driver up a bit to really scare the crap out of him? It’s been years since I’ve watched TMZ:TM, and I don’t recall if it’s the same demon in the call-back at the end.

Are they friends? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the movie, but I always assumed that the driver picked up the passenger as a hitchhiker, or something. Was there any dialogue to indicate that they’ve known each other for a long time?

Sure, they were acting friendly – but I theorized that it was the passenger trying to lure the driver into a state of complacency before getting him to a place where he could kill him without any witnesses.

I don’t think they were friends. I got the impression they just met–no back-story, but for some reason they’re taking the trip together. After the cassette gets eaten, one says, “Now we’ll have to talk to each other.” “We already talked to each other.” “Yeah, now I know where you’re from.” IOW, they did not know each other before this trip. And I think it was clear that Albert Brooks was a goner.

Same guy at the end, Dan Ackroyd, or else the scary gag doesn’t work. “I love Creedence!”

OK, that makes sense.

Here’s the opening scene. I definitely get the idea that they didn’t know each other before Brooks’ character picked up Ackroyd’s, and that Brooks’ character didn’t survive the encounter.

That scared the bejeezus out of me when I was 14.

I watched the movie recently through Netflix on demand. I agree that driver was killed and I never doubted that. The movie is surprisingly scary which isn’t true for many older horror movies after they have aged. That spooky kid that keeps people hostage in his house (and they better keep him happy all the time) is the one that gets me.

You guys are waaaaay over analyzing the scene. It’s a stringer … a set up … it doesn’t have, nor need, context. It’s two guys. Like two guys walk into a bar. It doesn’t matter if they’ve know each other since fifth grade, just that one of them has a three foot salami under one arm. The whole point to the scene is to set up the ‘punch line’ – the scary demon killing machine thing. See … it’s ironic … or twilighty … or something.

I haven’t watched the clip yet and it has been a while since I saw it but:

A. Clearly yes the driver is killed. Not sure why that is even a question.

B. I always assumed they were indeed friends. Why would a monster kill his friend? I think that question answers itself.

Since you brought the movie up, the girl with no mouth freaked the crap out of me when I was younger.

I disagree. The scene is more effective because they don’t know each other, Ackroyd seemed to be the more “scaredy cat” of the two, the tone is so lighthearted up to that point. The punch line is much more effective as a result. If they had known each other–say they were old friends driving to an out of town wedding or something–it would make no sense. (As opposed to the perfectly logical demon attack that did occur.) It’s a quick, painless set-up that they didn’t meet before.

And over-analyzing is what we do on this board, thank you very much. :wink:

Because I hadn’t seen the movie in years, and I missed the very beginning.

Now that I actually watched it, I have to change my answer. I remembered how casual and talky they were which suggested to me they were friends but now seeing it again there are lines that indicate that haven’t known each other very long at all. All in all, it is a pretty effective opening to an anthology.

Another observation:

Even though I hadn’t seen it in years, to this day, I remembered Albert Brooks’ fake lyrics to the National Geographic theme and hear them every time I hear that piece of music. Given Brooks, I would not be shocked if he made those up right there on the spot.

Look at that old man!
He looks like an old ape!

Same here.

I went to see this at the theater back when it came out. Because the film opened with this scene ‘cold’ (IOW no titles, no voice over etc.) and because of the Credence song playing I genuinely thought we had gone into the wrong multiplex room and were watching the wrong film!

Wasn’t until I saw Ackroyd that I knew.

BTW I was rather disappointed with it. I was especially disappointed to find that all the stories were remakes of old TZ episodes. Except for the infamous first one (that killed Vic Morrow) and that was actually the worst of them. The opening bit with Ackroyd & Brookes was really the best part of the whole movie!

Same here.

Of course the accident did provide a bit of comedy.

Grasp a not-too-crisp dollar (or other) bill at both ends and quickly and repeatedly snap it. Ask, ‘What is this?’ When no one knows, say ‘It’s the last sound Vic Morrow ever heard.’

My favorite was when he appears onscreen in anything to say:

Hey look! Its Vic Morrow, President of the Rotary Club! :smiley:

Disagree. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” ( the last story) is a classic, and John Lithgow is absolutely brilliant as the airline passenger who seems to be losing his mind.

I don’t know. I watched it again last night on Netflix On Demand and it is a pretty decent surreal horror movie and has held up pretty well. It had big shoes to fill in being named after the original series (Talking Tina :eek :eek :eek) but it is still pretty good and watchable. That spooky ass kid who brings people back to his place to be entertained until he gets tired of them is still a winner.

Which led to a further piece of brilliance in Third Rock from the Sun. John Lithgow is meeting his boss, the Big Giant Head, at the airport. The boss is portrayed by William Shatner, who, of course, was the passenger who saw the gremlin in the original TZ episode. John Lithgow greets him and asks how his flight was. William Shatner replies that it was awful – he saw something on the wing. John Lithgow gasps and says, “The same thing happened to me!”

I haven’t thought about this movie in years. However, when I saw the thread title, this image immediately popped into my head.

Look in that cave!
There could be some old bones!

I also sometimes quote “You heard the Captain - noooooo smoking!” - the little girl that taunts Lithgow for trying to light up on the plane.

Another fun thing about rewatching it - sister Ethel from the “It’s A Good Life” remake (“Th-th-th that’s all, Ethel!”) was Nancy Cartwright, a few years before voicing Bart Simpson.