Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009 SGM Month of Halloween Horror Movie for October 16

Twilight Zone: “Nightmare at 20000 Feet” (1963)

Phobia: Aviatophobia (Fear of flying)

Quote: "Portrait of a frightened man: Mr. Robert Wilson. Thirty-seven, husband, father, and salesman on sick leave. Mr. Wilson has just been discharged from a sanitarium, where he spent the last six months recovering from a nervous breakdown, the onset of which took place on an evening not dissimilar to this one - on an airliner very much like the one on which Mr. Wilson is about be flown home. The difference being that, on that evening half a year ago, Mr. Wilson's flight was terminated by the onslaught of his mental breakdown. Tonight, he's travelling all the way to his appointed destination, which, contrary to Mr. Wilson's plan, happens to be in the darkest corner of the Twilight Zone." - Rod Serling

Synopsis: Cited by many aficionados as the all-time best Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" benefits immeasurably from a bravura performance by star William Shatner. While travelling through rough weather on a passenger plane, former mental patient Bob Wilson (Shatner) peers out of his window -- and sees a hideous gremlin balanced on the plane's wing. Doubting his own sanity, Bob tries to convince himself that he is merely hallucinating. . .and then the gremlin begins to tear the wing apart. [Courtesy of All Movie.]

Fear creeps in at 00:05:56: This one's a classic. I dare say that William Shatner was never better than he is in this creeper. The moment that he sees what appears to be a man on the airplane wing, then goes into full-on, psychotic, "surely I didn't just see what I thought I saw" mode ... This is by far one of the best episodes of any television show, ever. It's revisited with more harrowing special effects in "Twilight Zone: The Movie," but John Lithgow barely scrapes the surface of Shat's original performance.

See also: Red Eye; Airplane; Con Air; any episode of “Wings”

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