Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Wanna see a Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day that’s really scary?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

Twilight Zone: The Movie has a horrible stigma hanging over it due to the unfortunate helicopter accident in the Vic Morrow segment, which is undoubtedly a tragedy, but it’s also a shame that the movie has that taint because it’s pretty damn solid. I would have loved to have seen a series of Steven Spielberg produced Twilight Zone movies, but that was never meant to be.

Today we’re looking at Joe Dante’s segment, which is kind of Dante at his most Tarantino. He let’s all his fetishes fly in his segment and it comes off as more of a living cartoon in its 20-ish minutes than the whole Looney Tunes movie did.

Maybe when these Hobbit reports are finally finished and I get caught up I’ll venture back to my Light and Shadow column, where I go episode by episode of the Twilight Zone eps, but I’ve noticed there are other sites that are now doing that and stuck with it longer than I did, so maybe not. We’ll see how I feel.

In the meantime where’s Dante, a crazy puppet and one Mr. Rob Bottin acting as puppeteer! Thanks once again to the Practical Effects Group for the images. Enjoy the pics and click to (slightly) enlargen!




If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s pic is really bad!

-Eric Vespe
Follow Me On Twitter


Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One
(warning: there are some broken links that will be fixed as soon as I can get around to it)

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Saw this at the theater when it came out...

    by Buddapest

    I liked it much more than the critics of the day, but the Spielberg segment seemed a little protracted. Regardless, it had Scatman Crothers, so I gave it grace...

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Love this movie... loved the feel of this segment!

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    Twilight Zone the Movie was a strange and wonderful idea. Almost a WTF Hollywood? kind of thing- if it wasn't for the big names behind it.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    I've always enjoyed this movie

    by Juggernaut125

    and will watching it all the way through when it comes on TV. The segment with John Lithgow (retelling of the Bill Shatner episode) is my favourite.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Drop of Water

    by Quint

    Is the creepiest segment in any horror anthology ever made. FACT!

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    No sir, I did not care for this movie all that much.

    by Ted Knight

    They essentially remade a bunch of episodes in a way that added nothing to them. I do love the puppet creations though. Just look at that hideous sumbitch. It looks like Animal from the Muppets older, more grotesque brother.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Spielberg produced "Amazing Stories"

    by bah

    I loved it as a kid, but I've watched some recently, and it doesn't always hold up. But I do wish we'd get a GOOD anthology series again. That list above is the best thing creepythinman has ever posted. FACT!!!

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Just watch the original episodes.

    by Ted Knight

    Bill Mumy was far creepier than the brat cast in the movie. Disagree with me and your going to the cornfield.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    The girl without the mouth creeped me the fuck out as a kid

    by Mugato5150

    I don't know what it is, I saw all sorts of R rated horror films as a kid but that one PG-rated shot of the girl without a mouth freaked me out. But overall the film was just a rehash of episodes from the show and Spielberg's contribution was ironically the lamest. Terror at 30,000 feet was cool I guess but the original with Shatner was scarier.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    ....and enough with the *FACT!* shit

    by Mugato5150

    what is that?

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    What about the Friday 13th series?

    by Ted Knight

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Dante's segment is awesome, chop...

    by Nice Marmot

    LOVE it . . . rabbit . . . mouthless chick . . . has it all.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    That movie is half good.

    by notcher

    Creepshow freaked me out more.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    You can't escape the terror of ...

    by I_am_not_Henry_Silva

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    this one

    by I_am_not_Henry_Silva

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:01 p.m. CST

    N O S M O K I N G!

    by DickBallsworth

    Nooooo SMOKING!!!

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    creepy, I also wish we could get some anthology shows and films

    by lv_426

    I mean with all the classic Twilight Zone and Outer Limits episodes alone that could be remade, as well as mixing in new ones based on never adapted short stories or original ideas, they'd have a nearly endless franchise that could go on longer than Bond. Also, why not do a new TV series of The Twilight Zone or get The Outer Limits going again? Just with all the various short story science fiction compilations released every year they'd have a goldmine of tales and ideas to draw from, in addition to original ideas pitched by both veteran and new screenwriters. I'd love to make an anthology film of my own though. Of course it wouldn't have a known brand name like The Twilight Zone to hang its hat on. The main advantage being that it would be easier to put together than a single narrative feature film. An anthology film being just a set of short films means that you could shoot several little films or approx. 30 minutes a piece. If one or two are stinkers or your prima donna lead actor storms off never to be seen on set again, then just make another one to replace that botched segment and you're still good to go. If only I had some money to blow on some cool little short sci-fi, fantasy, and horror/suspense tales. Damn you real world and all your stupid shit!

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST

    the Friday the 13th show had that redhead with the hooters

    by Mugato5150

    Anyway, the Twilight Zone I guess was innovative for its day but it always turned out that the main character was dead or in some alien zoo the whole time. Although Kentucky Rye was fucking creepy. It was from the 80's iteration of Twilight Zone, google it, it's on youtube. It's a he's been dead the whole time episode but executed well.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Spielberg's "Kick The Can" segment might be the worst thing he's ever directed

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I know a lot of people cite Crystal Skull, Hook and 1941, but nothing he's ever directed has been as sappy, obvious, and embarassing as Kick The Can. And coming from a Jewish director, his depiction of the old Jewish couple transformed into a pre-adolescent Jewish couple was the worst bit of stereotyping I've EVER seen in one of his movies. Jerry Goldsmith's score for that segment was gorgeous, but, combined with Spielberg's over-saturated, maudlin, syrupy sentimentality, it just took the whole segment over the top. The last two segments of the film are good enough to redeem the film as a whole, but Kick The Can derails the film horribly (and to think it was originally intended to be the LAST segment).

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    The 80s did ROCK! Fact!

    by GravyAkira

    But didnt Tales from The Crypt start in the 90s?

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    I dunno, nasty in the pasty

    by Mugato5150

    Hook was pretty bad. Although John Williams' score was great. Tales from the Crypt started in 1989. With the Santa Claus episode with the retard from LA Law as the psychotic Santa Claus.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    This movie is total unoriginal CRAP

    by Anthony Torchia

    They just made episodes from the TV show into a movie I have seen all the TV episodes, so I, like most of humanity, knew every story already This movie is lazy, stupid shit.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    What's with all the "Kick the Can" hate?

    by Dreamwriter

    That was always my favorite segment, with the kid/cartoon one second. I recently saw the original Kick the Can Twilight Zone, I like Spielburg's version a lot better, it gives both the old folks and the younger versions of them a lot more personality.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    The Fact that..............

    by RoarsLoudly

    Rob Bottin did those stellar effects for the Dante segment has my lifetime approval.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:53 p.m. CST

    Black Sabbath

    by secondbanana

    I was about 10 or 11 when I saw that movie and I had to run out of the theater when the old woman came back!

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Pretty solid? only the Dante and Miller segments were good.

    by KilliK

    SS and Landins were not scary instead they were boring as fuck.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Not that Landis segment didnt have potential but unfortunately

    by KilliK

    because of the terrible accident it was left incomplete and as a result it doesnt resolute to anything. But SS's segment is terrible,really terrible.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Funny that Nancy Cartwright was in the It

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    s A Good Life segment of TZ:TM...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ...and ended up getting wished into "cartoon land", where she's essentially spent the last 25 years.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 11:36 p.m. CST

    My Pet Monster

    by Transhuman


  • Feb. 23, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Dante's segment holds up better than Miller's, IMO.

    by justmyluck

    It has the right creepy/funny/awkward TZ mix.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 12:16 a.m. CST

    btw Kathleen Quinlan is insanely hot.

    by KilliK

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Peanut butter makes the burger!

    by disfigurehead

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Totally, transhuman. "My Pet Monster" all the way.

    by cookepuss

    I just recently got rid of my younger brother's old "My Pet Monster". It had been sitting in the back of a closet for nearly 30 years. Regret having had to dump it, but it had 26 years of funky dust built up and cleaning it.... impossible. Loved that doll though. Dug the cartoon when I was a kid too.

  • Glad to see some newer bands like La Roux or Ting Tings with an appreciation for 80s new wave. Can't wait for Ting Tings "Sounds from Nowhere" to drop in the next few weeks. Can't stop playing their old album and the newer songs like Silence, Hang it up, and Hands. Definitely worth it if you're a whore for 80s type stuff.

  • ...but the accident and ensuing fallout soured him on the whole project. I don't blame him for wanting to do something happy and uplifting instead.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 12:47 a.m. CST

    killik you are a person of impeccable taste.

    by Ted Knight

    Kathleen Quinlan drives me to a near climax in every scene her seductive frame inhabits. I would have gladly climbed on board the Event Horizon and risked disembowelment by the demon possessed Sam Neill just to get within sniffing range of her glorious bounties.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Anybody seen Richie?

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    I'm gonna keep coming back until someone REMEMBERS seeing Richie!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 1:23 a.m. CST


    by Ciderman

    To this day the girl without a mouth scares the bejeebus out of me! John Lithgow is cool, brings up the scene in 3rd Rock when The Big Giant Head (Shatner) meets Dick (Lithgow) at the airport and remarks about that he saw something on the wing and Dick says "Me Too! ". Lets face it, you all love Dick!

  • Pretty sure that some people laughed but didn't know why. =)

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 1:33 a.m. CST

    I guess I'll be the first to say it.

    by bdc777

    John Landis is a fucking murderer. Fact! If that asshole hadn't been all coked up and out of his fucking mind, then safety would have been a concern, and three people wouldn't have died.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Weird, I don't remember that troll-thing in the movie..

    by BenBraddock

    Saw it in the UK... was this sequence cut? Or am I going prematurely senile here?

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST

    The rabbit fucked me up as a kid!

    by nobbythehappyelf

    Also I have every episode of Tales From The Darkside on my netbook - when I'm away on business I hole up in my hotel room and have a marathon viewing session! The transfers are from old TV VHS recordings and have tape roll etc for added awesomeness!!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:05 a.m. CST

    3rd Rock - Best In Joke in TV History

    by Gap Toothed TV Boy

    The same thing happened to meeee!!!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:52 a.m. CST

    Nothing wrong with the SS segment.

    by KnowItAllFromCali

    Who said it HAS to be scary? Okay, it was my least favorite, but it certainly wasn't bad.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Well bdc777, I guess you were the first to say it...

    by workshed

    ...but Landis was a product of Hollywood. Have you any idea how many people are coked up in that place at this very moment..? Lots. If Landis were solely at fault his ass would still be cracking rocks. It's not the director's job to ensure safety aspects on a set for starters. It's his (or her) job to 'direct' the picture, nothing more. It's the technicians who (imo) were to blame. Vic Morrow could, and should, have said, 'Fuck off; it's too dangerous'. The Screen Actors Guild would have backed him all the way if he had any reason to believe that Landis was out-of-control.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 3:48 a.m. CST

    That's Rj Macready in the second pic under the puppet, FACT!!!

    by Porrohman

  • Jerry Goldsmith is superlative. What a range that guy had. Thios segment and Miller's are my favourites from this. The Landis and Spielberg segments just feel 'off'. I remember when the movie was in development and they announced (I think it was Starburst Magazine) that the directors were going to be Joe Dante, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. Whoah. Cronenberg doing an episode of TZ? That would have been something...

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Vic Morrow was no "Accident"...

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    It was John Landis' criminal arrogance in demanding his pyro, stunts and efx guys do things they told him were dangerous to do. He demanded with an ultimatum that they'd be fired unless they executed his orders. The Parents of the two Asian kids were lured off the set under false pretenses, as was the safety inspector, until Landis knew they were gone - and then, in a canyon known for downdrafts, he demanded the chopper go lower, and demanded the pyro drums be COVERED. Three people died. John Landis should have served time. He evaded subpoena for about two years. Another producer on the project left the country for over a year to avoid the same. In the end, they blacklisted the effects and pyro guys, who ended up being blamed for the whole thing. He played fast and loose for a few years after, but Landis has since found out that though it might take a while to catch up with you, Karma's a bitch.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:48 a.m. CST

    The Reason Landis isn't cracking rocks...

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    Is because he evaded subpoena for two years, giving him distance, and time to build his defense strategy. For two years, this is what happened: Process servers would come to the gate of the studio to serve Landis with a subpoena. The guard at the gate would phone Landis' bungalow and let him know they were coming. The guard would stall the entry of the process server. Landis would drive out of the studio via another exit. He did this for two years. Another producer - not Spielberg - fled to Europe and "got busy" avoiding subpoena until they could all get their stories straight, get their high powered attorneys and put the evil eye out on the pyro and effects guys. What kind of defense attorneys do you think the pyro and effects guys involved could afford? That's why Landis isn't "cracking rocks".

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:49 a.m. CST

    That other producer...

    by D_Flint

    ...was Frank Marshall.

  • Fear Itself, another Twilight Zone (with...whatsishname, King of Scotland guy, totally blanking, fuck!), some thing that Henry Rollins hosted, Masters of Sci-Fi. Bleh.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Try watching TW:TM in black and white - it changes the experience

    by Crimson Dynamo

    Twilight Zone loses something in color. Night Gallery suffered the same thing

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Landis is a living proof that murder is legal and guilty-free

    by Ricardo

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Anyone else get that TZ anthology book back in the 80s?

    by durhay

    It has the actual stories that episodes were based off of. The original ep and movie segment of It's A Good Life pale to the story.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    I find this to be kind of a frustrating movie...

    by ChickenStu

    Don't like the first two segments but love the second two. When you put it all four elements together it DOES flow fairly nicely - but it's difficult to gage how it's supposed to make you feel. As an audience member I'm not sure what I was supposed to take away from this film - or really what the point of it was. But having said that it has an AMAZING Jerry Goldsmith score and a great cast. Just not sure what I'm supposed to do with it, you know?

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Flaw in the film version of the "Nightmare..." episode.

    by Bubba Gillman

    Miller reveals too early that the gremlin on the wing is real in the scene where it grabs Lithgow's face. This totally ruins the "a ha!" scene at the end when you see that something was messing with the gear in the plane. This is why the Shatner version will always reign supreme.

  • Don't do the Twilight Zone movie!!! Someone is going to approach you with a twilight zone script- do not read it!!! Do not under any circumstances do a twilight zone movie!!! He probably wouldn't listen and do it anyway. Who's that crazy guy he would'a thought.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST

    God she was so fuckin hot. You know the next scene was her

    by UltraTron

    telling Anthony- you can do anything Anthony. You can make yourself a full grown man. I need a man Anthony. Together we can rule the galaxy as pedophile and child in a man's body.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Seriously where is the Anthony spin-off movie?

    by UltraTron

    Kathleen Quinlin was perhaps the hottest fucking brunette on earth when this was filmed. Just a Frazzetta masterpiece. I agree that I would brave the hell-warp drive to get one whiff of her used spacesuit crotch

  • - Governments train people to kill and sugar coat what they do by calling them soldier, snipers, or whatever. - Historically, people have waged war over religion - Domestically, we kill one another over border or ideological differences - Many states put down hardened criminals like pound dogs - Most states have valid legal options for when you kill somebody in defense of yourself or others - Some states sanction a "castle defense" option where it makes it okay to shoot somebody who breaks into you house - Celebrities and politicians routinely buy their way into not guilty decisions or vastly reduced sentences - The court system is adversarial, which allows the defense to get their murdering clients off on legal semantics or quirky, antiquated holes in the system. - We kill animals not simply for food, but for sport. - Scientists kill small animals as a means to an end - People still wear fur when, in reality, we can manufacture suitably warm clothing without killing animals - Cops kill people all of the time. They can even get away with emptying full clips into fleeing suspects. If you think about it, we're just animals. We're no different than than puma or grizzly. Animals kill each other all of the time - usually for food, but sometimes for sport too. It's easy to bitch that so and so killed a person and got away with it, but it's really just what we do. It's far easier for us to destroy than create. We love to delude ourselves into believing that we've removed ourselves from the food chain and all that entails, but c'mon..... Lots of animals in the wild are more "civilized" than we are. The only reason why laws prohibiting killing exist is to uphold a societal contract. For us to continue as a species, we need to coexist. It's a lot easier for us to thrive and get along if we aren't routinely shanking the guys who cut us off in traffic or cut in line at the theater. Piss of lest not ye be pissed off. We don't kill one another as a matter of habit because we're happy with our iPads, PS3s, booze, and Big Macs. If I kill you and keep you from enjoying your vices then somebody will come along and kill me too. Self preservation is a beyotch. And let's not forget how religion guilts people into not killing. It's a set in stone commandment for many religions. Never mind the fact that the bible is the bloodiest story ever told or that god can switch from loving benefactor to angry diva in a heartbeat. People kill. Get over it. Just because 99.99% of us here will never kill even a fly, let's not delude ourselves into thinking we're something we're not. Given a chance, each one of us will kill for something. Love. Greed. Survival. Stupidity.

  • And I think his design work was influenced by Big Daddy Roth and his wild cartoon artwork. And listen to Jerry Goldsmith's brilliantly witty score, as it accompanies the action on screen like an old Warners cartoon. And again, impressed by creepythinman's reference to Bava's Drop Of Water. A fucking scary segment.

  • Landis topped out by 1988 with Coming to America and right after Three Amigos and Trading Places. Beverly Hills Cop III in `94 pretty much signaled his descent. Blues Brothers 2000 was just another kick to the nuts.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Buuuut I fondly remember Dream On with Brian Benben

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    that had quite a few eps directed by Landis. And I seem to recall a lot of nekkid ladies in that series...

  • others.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, noon CST

    Kick the can - abandonment....

    by Darth Macchio

    I love this movie. Saw it in the theater and still consider Miller's and Lithgow's "Nightmare at 20k feet" to be some of the best horror/thriller material ever filmed. But with all the negativity towards the "Kick the can" vignette, I wanted to put forth how I took it and why I do not get the same reaction most of you seemed to have gotten. For reasons I will not go into, even as a kid, I completely identified with the old man who's family had all but abandoned him (no, my family did not abandon me). He was unfriendly to Scatman and the other residents of the home but he always packed his luggage and always waited every Saturday for his "kid" to come and pick him up and every Saturday he takes his suitcase back upstairs an unpacks. Then, after the 'magic' turns everybody young except that old man after he refused to "play along" with what he saw as delusion, when the peter pan kid is on the window sill about to leave (tallyho!!!) and the old man is asking, begging, pleading "Take me with you...please...take me with you." I find it utterly touching and a truly great moment in that segment. "I'm sorry Leo, but you can't come with must find your own destiny" (paraphrasing from memory)...makes me sad every time I see it. And then, at the end of the piece, when Scatman is walking out of the home and sees Leo kicking around the can in the front yard, looks at the camera with that fantasatic Scatman smile and wink and says, "He'll get it...he'll get it!" I do not see it as overly saccharine or cloyingly sweet - sure, there's likely never been an old folks home like the one in the movie and the idea of little kids channeling older people is slightly silly; but I do find the segment's overall context magical in that same whimsical sense of the "clap to save tinkerbell" hallmark of youth that might otherwise, or even often in our needlessly analytical and clinically scrutinizing adult lives, be dismissed as obvious or 'trying too hard' to be cute.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Re: Rsanta74 - Can I have your TB and use it...

    by SK229

    as a monologue in a film sometime? That read like something Kurtz would say.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Not that it matters, but...

    by Buddapest

    I didn't hate KICK THE CAN. I just thought it went on a little too long, and some of the characterizations were a little much -- but, as I said earlier -- Scatman Crothers saved that segment for me. The Joe Dante sequence, to me, is a bit much, too, but I can't help but like it because it's fun. The ending is lame, in my opinion, but it was Dante's choice, not mine. I wouldn't have ended with them riding off into the sunset, but I don't know how it should have ended differently from the original. The television follow-up to the original was okay - it featured both Mumy and his little girl; she was adorable. I didn't mind the way the initial installment ended, but I remember reading the novel the film was based on after the fact, and recall that it was different. But with Morrow dead, I don't know how else it should have ended - his character got his just desserts, so it was okay. Personally, I love the brief opening with Brooks and Ackroyd, but it didn't have a TWILIGHT ZONE feel to me. Nor did the bookend closing sequence. I loved the final installment, and as I used to be a big soundtrack nut back then, I was delighted when GREMLINS came out and noted that the theme music for GREMLINS was a companion piece to the bit played where the creature on the wing grabbed Lithgow by the face. I remember playing that segment of the soundtrack for my girlfriend when we went home after the movie...

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Niedermeyer dead!

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    Killed by his own troops in Vietnam! Loved that tie-in. Although I didn't get it back when I was kid.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    resanta74: I'd kill for another great Twilight Zone movie.

    by UltraTron

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Rob Bottin! Lord among Men!!

    by monorail77

    He's the best

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST

    The Wizard tomorrow, I think

    by monorail77

    The Power Glove, it's so bad!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Choppah never studied the case/evidentiary files

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    I did. Landis is guilty as sin. The stories aren't "fantastical things" spread by rumor. I studied the case in detail for 6 weeks. Testimony, evidence, the whole procedure/run down of what happened. Landis was criminally at fault. He got off because he successfully placed the blame on scapegoats who, at the time, were threatened with being fired if they didn't do precisely what he demanded. The fact you call these "fantastical things" shows you've got no idea what you're talking about.

  • There's a checklist of items that need to be crossed off for the prosecution to meet its burden of proof. Unlike civil cases, whose rulings are reached based on a preponderance of evidence (morel likely than not), criminal convictions are reached by being without reasonable doubt. Being able to meet 9/10 of the criteria required for gaining conviction isn't enough. Any mortal man with half a brain would reasonably believe that he's guilty, but court is all about rules and procedure. Fail to check off that one remaining criteria and suddenly reasonable doubt enters the picture. It might be a tiny sliver of doubt, one based on happenstance or unlikely circumstances, but it's enough to guarantee a not guilty verdict. Let's also not forget that the jury doesn't always see certain evidence. Stuff gets tossed out during discovery arguments. Forgetting the circus around it, that's really why OJ Simpson got off. OJ killed Nicole and Ron. Nobody doubts that. Legal wrangling and tiny, improbable seeds of doubt were enough for the defense to win. Tap away a little bit at witness testimony. Shake the credibility of modern forensic science. Skew the timeline. Each one of things is small in and of itself. The cumulative effect, combined with defense missteps, was enough to make the jury overlook even the nearly infallible DNA results. Not guilty != Innocent Never forget that. It just means that the prosecution failed to make their case or the defense either did a solid job of poking a tiny hole of doubt or found a loophole. The fact that you're still angrily talking about Landis' assumed guilt is proof enough that justice takes many forms. The claim will follow him til the very end, much like Chappaquiddick did Ted Kennedy.

  • Were the result of a bunch of bearded nerds in ill fitting shirts sitting on the floor. THIS is why I love this column.

  • As a CG artist myself, it still amazes me how those guys were the MacGyvers of the film world, able to turn the tiniest bits of craft material into the scariest monsters of my childhood.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Burke and Hare is worth a look

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    I thought it was a real return to form for Landis, it had just about everything I could want from one of his films - the only thing missing was a "See You Next Wednesday" poster..

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST

    The helicopter was not faulty.

    by bdc777

    It was a combination of the downdraft and the pyrotechnics melting the rotor that killed them. Landis was told this was dangerous, but he wanted to get his shot, and the rest is the carnage that he left behind. Furthermore, Landis showed up to Vic's funeral coked up and so obnoxious that he almost got his ass kicked there. He caused a scene by giving a eulogy that no one wanted to hear. His eulogy consisted of him telling all of Vic Morrow's family members that the movie was going to be spectacular, and Vic would have wanted them to all go see it. Can you imagine being one of his friends or family members? You're sitting there and this motherfucker who just killed someone close to you is telling you how great your movie will be. After The Twilight Zone, Spielberg made sure that he took a more hands on approach to the films he produced. Fuck Landis. He may be innocent insofar as the law allows, but he is guilty as hell. Whoever here said that karma is a bitch, hit the nail right on the head. The only real hit he had after this incident was Coming to America, which was mired in all sorts of controversy because the idea was stolen from Art Buchwald.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST

    BDC777 is exactly correct

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    Looks like I'm not the only one who studied the actual testimony and evidence surrounding the case. And it's available for those who want to examine it. You have to dig, but the court records and documentation are all there. In a way, perhaps it's better that Landis endure a humiliating downward spiral to his career - given that it was his ego that resulted in the deaths of two innocent children and the violent decapitation of another actor.