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Juxtaposing Nightmares at 20,000 Feet

While I’m still fondly remembering all the nights I snuck downstairs at midnight with a bag of M&Ms to watch The Twilight Zone on TV when my parents were sleeping, I thought I’d share one of my favorite fan-created Twilight Zone videos: a scene-by-scene juxtaposition of both the film and television versions of Richard Matheson’s classic "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", made up as a music video to the PWEI song of the same name.

"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" was the only section of the Twilight Zone movie that the directors really managed to nail, and it’s fascinating to watch the differences between the two versions side-by-side. Unbelievably, the Shat is the far more subdued and realistic actor, but there’s something to be said about Lithgow’s bug-eyed mania, the sweat pouring all over his body as he faces the literal demon that represents his fear of flying. This was the role that made me a Lithgow fan: for an actor whose talents seem to end at bulging his eyes out thyroidically and laughing insanely, this was the role he was born to play.

As much as I love this episode, I always laugh at the end: de-pressurizing an airplane on a stormy night isn’t exactly the brightest solution to a gremlin problem. And post-9/11. the ease with which Robert Wilson manages to get his hands on a revolver is pretty awe-inspiring.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Video [YouTube]

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