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Desc:I remember my young self blown away by this episode.
Category:Classic TV Clips, Horror
Tags:Twilight Zone, alien invasion, The Cold War, bad russian accents, Ineffectual U.N. policy making
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Comment count is 25
Jet Bin Fever
Okay, so maybe the newer Twilight Zone wasn't so bad after all. Maybe I shouldn't have judged it so harshly.
Five for cheesiness and pre Gremlins 2 and Scrooged John Glover. He looks so young. This seems like just a remake of "To Serve Man" - meaning a story about aliens coming to earth with a certain message and us grossly misunderstanding it.
I wrote a short story about rich people shooting their dead loved ones ashes into space and some aliens thought they were free samples.

Nobody liked it.

Jet Bin Fever
That sounds so Bradbury or something.

An episode whose success hinges entirely upon not seeing the twist ending, while very obviously aping a classic episode with a famous twist ending -- the very same twist ending, in fact. Weak.

They get five stars only for quoting Ed Wynn, who was in two classic TZ episodes. Here, go watch "One for the Angels":



The strength of the episode is not at all the twist ending, which isn't even a twist. It's all in the character interaction.

Rodents of Unusual Size
Ah, back when character actors actually meant something!

That was another talent of Rod Serling's. He really had a knack for finding incredible characters in little known actors and actresses. I don't know why it's so very hard for casting agents nowadays.

Rodents of Unusual Size
oh yes I do, marketing...never mind.

Another amazing performance, which is not on Youtube, was from Andy Devine, who played Frisby in "Hocus Pocus and Frisby" where a man tells tall tales all the time; a natural storyteller. So of course aliens land and believe him because they have no concept of lying. They immediately want to take him back to their planet as an ultimate specimen of humanity.

You know what else they get wrong? They have this notion that "Twilight Zone" needs to be cynical, and that too has to come from people who have never seen the show. More often than not, "Twilight Zone" ended on a note of optimism even when covering bleak material. From a Grim Reaper in "One for the Angels" who has to abide by the rules yet still tries to give a guy a break, to the doomed Confederate soldiers in "Still Valley" who refuse to sell their souls to beat the Union (if only!), even to William Shatner's vindication (as related to us in Rod Serling's voiceover) in "Nightmare at 30000 Feet" ... classic TZ mostly eschewed the worst case endings or at least offered a moral victory.

That was the one thing separated the original Twilight Zone from all the crap new versions (and Outer Limits remakes). Every new episode always pulled a lame diabolus ex machina to the point where you didn't give a shit anymore.

They should have combined the DNA of the universe's most evil animals.
You just get a bunch of silvery sludge.

Dr. Lobotomy
I'm wondering what would have had to happen in 24 hours for the aliens to be satisfied upon their return.

Humanity attacking them?

Announcing a plan to clone Genghis Khan?

1986's Ronald Reagan sitting on a throne of skulls in the middle of a half nuked New York?
All the heads of the UN bow to their new master in apparent shame and defeat. He smiles, but only long enough to see the Russian Premier as he launches himself off of the back of the US delegate in a staggering 300-caliber international collaboration, shredding his shirt mid-lunge as his entire weight - each glistening, CG muscle on ablaze with the power of the bear - is concentrated into a single spear hurl. A perfect spear, whittled from the finest woods and metals from the finest countries by the finest craftsmen, in secret, in one day.

Mankind began their final stand in those halls. 193 men and women from 193 united nations embraced their inner warrior, their spartan savage. The next eighteen years of intense and merciless guerrilla warfare played out almost entirely in slow-motion.

Innocent Bystander
They fucked it up right from the start. The desired reaction was be that everyone should have immediately attempted to attack and kill the hologram ambassador.

The 80s revival had it's moments but it had plenty of clunkers too, like the one where a scientist from the 21st century is revived from cryogenic storage by a bunch of pacifist goody-two-shoes some centuries down the line because only he can use leftover satellite based weapons he designed back when to stop the eeeeevil descendants of the eeeevil politicians and generals who kicked off the big war back when from returning to Earth in their single Space Shuttle and he does and everything's hunky-dory. THE END.

Then again, it was still much better than the thuddingly obvious revival from the late 90s on UPN or whatever, with Forest Whittaker as your narrator. Just too dumb and obvious for words.
Rodents of Unusual Size
I used to be fairly obsessed with this show and I can say the clunkers were very rare. I'd say it was at least 90% really well done episodes, and it was extremely underrated.

The Forest Whitaker version was an abomination. The Jake Busey episode was one of the worst, most heavy handed, moronic sermons ever delivered in television form and Rod Sterling would puke if he had witnessed it. It was purely done for UPN as they struggled not to suck a ton of ass, but it was not done with love for material and every single episode was pulled out of some high school creative writing class. The acting was straight out of high school as well.

It's like every single person involved with the making of 2000 version had never heard of the Twilight Zone, or had ever read a short story in their lives.

John Glover narrowly beats Gary Busey as my favorite perpetual villain-actor.
I remember in my college creative writing classes, it seemed like 90% of stories from guys were about Twilight Zone TWIST endings.

(90% of stories from girls were about breaking up, suicide, or suicide over breaking up)
Creative Writing classes at my college were exactly this.

Well, that and racism.

In all fairness, I think the twist ending is a fairly standard staple of the short story - probably because it's the best way to make an impact in such a short span. Plus it's easier to fool the reader without feeling cheap in a short story.

1:36 - they keep showing the guy from the USSR and all of a sudden there's a rep from Ukraine. Which is weird, considering Ukraine was part of the USSR until 1991.
Hank Friendly
why does david byrne want to kill everything?
White Republican aliens make white Republican human race to wage just warfare against evil.

Sorry, spoilers, but new Twilight Zone really is bad.
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