Based on the classic Rod Serling television series, and perhaps best known for the accidental death of actor Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese children during production, this anthology film features a wildly uneven quartet of entries. The first, KKK, directed by John Landis, with Morrow as an embittered racist, is far too short to deal with its ambitious subject, although the actor is effective in his final role. The second segment Kick the Can, from Steven Spielberg, is an excessively sentimental fantasy, starring Scatman Crothers as an old man conferring youth on the residents of a retirement home. Things improve with the third episode, It's a Good Life, an imaginative tale about a family in thrall to a child with special powers, includes a finely modulated performance by the underrated Kathleen Quinlan. The last and best of the segments, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, directed by George Miller, stars John Lithgow in a virtuoso turn as an airplane passenger who is terrified by the sight of an elusive creature who can only be seen be him. The film's moderate success led to a television revival of the original series.
by Michael Costello review