‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’: The Tragic True Story Behind Its Legendary Curse

Twilight Zone: The Movie brought fans four twisted tales inspired by the original Twilight Zone series. The 1983 anthology film freaked out moviegoers with the horror and sci-fi based narratives.

The spine-chilling legacy of Twilight Zone: The Movie was fueled by chatter that the production was, in fact, cursed. The documentary series, Cursed Films, explored the origin of the rumors and revealed what really happened on the production set.

'Twilight Zone: The Movie' set
‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ set | Bettmann / Contributor via Getty

‘Cursed Films’ explored ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’

The AMC operated streaming platform, Shudder, launched Cursed Films as one of its first original series. The program is a documentary-style show that delves into supposed jinxed movie productions.

Cursed Films has dedicated episodes to some of the most popular horror movies and the so-called curses surrounding them. The series kicked off with The Exorcist, followed by The Omen, Poltergeist, and The Crow.

Twilight Zone: The Movie is the fifth and final episode of the first season. The story of an on-set catastrophe and subsequent grief made for a fitting finale that was both heartbreaking and thought-provoking.

‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ is comprised of four stories

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Twilight Zone: The Movie followed an anthology model with four separate plots. Other films in the genre, enjoyed success with a similar formula. Creepshow, which was released a year before Twilight Zone: The Movie, made fans scream in fear and laughter. And Tales From the Darkside, which dropped in 1983 alongside Twilight Zone: The Movie, was also a smash hit.

Twilight Zone: The Movie treated enthusiasts to four segments directed by different filmmakers. Joe Dante helmed “It’s a Good Life,” George Miller directed “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, and Steven Spielberg’s story was called “Kick the Can.” The ill-fated segment, “Time Out,” was directed by John Landis and was marred by accidental on-set deaths, spurring talk of a movie curse.

‘Cursed Films’ described the on-set circumstances that led to multiple deaths

RELATED: ‘The Crow’: The Disturbing Story Behind the Film’s Supposed Curse

According to witnesses interviewed in Cursed Films, Landis’ crew became concerned about safety. The director was focused on creating a realistic feeling and allegedly used real bullets in his portion of the movie. The high-action storyline also required the use of explosives and a helicopter, which led to disaster.

In a particularly tricky sequence, the star, Vic Morrow, was tasked with carrying two children across a stream, at night, to a helicopter rescue team. As the actor hoisted the kids, the crew detonated explosions around them.

When the blasts came too close to the helicopter, it plunged into the river, striking Morrow and the children. Unfortunately, all three victims were killed.

Is ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ really cursed?

The film pros who appeared on Cursed Films did not blame a curse for the on-set accident. Based on the details revealed, it was a miscalculation in production that had devastating results.

Stunt legend, Kane Hodder of Friday the 13th film series weighed in on production mistakes that have dangerous consequences. “Sometimes things just happen on set,” he said, “there’s no guarantee of anything.”

RELATED: ‘Poltergeist’: The Chilling Story Behind the Film’s Mythical Curse