If you think I’ve found another movie to review, then you’re are both right and wrong. If you just came in with an open mind, then blessed are you by the magical tree log. So, yes, the original movie I WAS going to talk about was The Box, the 2009 Cameron Diaz picture but then I realized my entire review would look little bit like this: OH GOD THIS IS THE STUPIDEST, DUMBEST, MOST CONVOLUTED CRAP I EVER WATCHED. THE ACTING IS CRAP. THE SCRIPT IS CRAP. It looks pretty. ONE STAR, DUH END.
But, I mean, really, why would you want to read that? I mean, I’m sure some of you do, and I guess I’ll force myself to cover it next week unless some other movie comes along. But I had to wonder WHY this particular episode of the epic Twilight Zone was chosen. Yes, this movie was based on the episode from the 1985 Twilight Zone called “Button Button.” In fact, there are a lot of episodes that should never, ever hit the big screen, even though everyone’s fixated on the ones they do want to see on there. Well, being the Debbie Downer I was born to be, I want to talk about the ones that should not be touched by a movie producer with a trillion foot pole.
6) The Invaders
The Genre It Would Fall Into: Sci-Fi Horror
Why it Won’t Work: The twist is basically ruined from the get go. Every sci-fi fans from here to Calcutta knows that if the word “Earth” isn’t mentioned, or the main character being assaulted doesn’t speak an Earth language, we know that she, meaning the woman, is the alien, and we are the poor tiny sized schmucks trying to attack her. And really, is it feasible in the least to try and stretch out the tension to even a full 90 minutes? I mean, it’s difficult enough to extend it throughout the 20 minute episode. Besides, there would be huge unanswered questions – why did we attack her? How did we find this planet? Why does this woman seem to have the same technology and appearance as Earth in the 8th century or so? Why do we try and attack her? Why don’t we explore other facets of the planet? Why don’t we flee once we see they are giants? There’s just not enough in this one episode to make a stand alone film, let alone a good one.
5) Cavender is Coming
The Genre It Would Fall Into: Romantic Comedy/Fantasy/Christmas (just add snow!)
Why it Won’t Work: Guys, really? Do we REALLY need another movie about guardian angels? Haven’t we played out this scenario as far as it can go? The essence of the episode is a guardian angel is sent to help a tired, overworked woman by giving her everything she needs and wants. In the end, however, she decides that she was happy with her old, miserable life and the angel undoes the wish. I’m putting this one the list solely because the premise itself barely makes it an interesting episode – unless you hugely re-wrote everything in it and added a love interest. I guarantee you though, it would still suck.
4) Probe 7, Over and Out
The Genre It Would Fall Into: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (maybe)
Why it Won’t Work: This movie would cause a lot of shit-fits to erupt just for the ending alone. See, the episode is about a man in a space ship who crash-lands on a mysterious planet. He tries to get help, but his home planet tells him nuclear war has begun and they are all going to die so he’s stuck on the planet forever. He meets a being from another planet who also landed here. They don’t speak the same language, but they’re in it for the long haul. He tells her his name is Adam, and she says hers is Eve. See the problem? They landed on Earth and they are the “first human beings in Eden,” and if you think people wouldn’t protest this, you don’t remember how they marched out against The Da Vinci Code. This would be a bad movie adaptation also for the fact that you would have to extend the premise before and after the episode takes place. What was Adam’s planet like? How do they survive on Earth? Whatever happened to that spaceship? How long has Eve been there? If you get a bad writer, the entire plot turns to crap. If you get a good one, it could still fall apart due to poor ideas or even being unable to match the tone of the original.
3) Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
The Genre It Would Fall Into: Sci-Fi/Suspense
Why it Won’t Work: If a movie was made in the 1960s then the premise would have worked. Sadly, the twist in this one has also be ruined in more ways than one. First, the idea that aliens are already here and setting up their little colonies has been done to death. Alien invasion movies have been done to death. Even being suspicious that those around you might secretly be aliens has been done over and over and over again. While a fun little episode, the premise is cliched. And the thing is, I don’t feel like this particular story hold tension well. You KNOW one of them is an alien, so it’s just a matter of time until someone comes out and says it. Just like in Devil - someone’s got to be the evil entity, it’s just a matter of who. There’s no suspense in that – it’s just a waiting and guessing game, unless you can somehow add horror to the mix without ruining the plot. Though dead bodies just aren’t as scary, or convenient as they used to be.
2) Death’s Head Revisited
The Genre It Would Fall Into: Historical Drama/Supernatural Drama
Why it Won’t Work: The problem with this premise is that Holocaust movies are either heart-melting-sadness epics that win awards, or they are awful. So, when you take a story like this, about a sadistic former Nazi who returns to the concentration camp he ran only to be tortured by those he murdered, it’s not hard to see the controversy. On the one hand, you have justice being served. On the other hand, it’s a very mean-spirited, deeply disturbing justice. For one, it infers that holocaust victims were never able to pass on and are stuck on Earth forever. Second, when this episode was written, there were still a lot of raw emotions in play concerning what had happened, and it was still on everyone’s minds. Fifty years later, it just seems like something that wouldn’t be depicted in the popular media. I think the episode itself is literally perfect as it is, and should remain untouched for all generations to watch rather than trying to take it and reshape it.
1) The Howling Man
The Genre It Would Fall Into: Supernatural Horror
Why it Won’t Work: Problem one with this story? It’s hard to to the Prince of Darkness well in any medium, especially a visual one. How many movies have you seen a physical manifestation of the devil in? Good, how many of these movies were actually good? One or two, maybe a foreign one here or there. But getting a perfect Devil, a real true to life monster to end all monsters is probably one of the trickiest things to do because you need to also make him deceptive. The episode itself does a pretty okay job at it, especially because we don’t see him in it that often. Two, the remainder of the premise falls into two categories. The first is hunting Satan back down after our stupid protagonist lets him out, which is fine. The second is the relationship between the holy man and our protagonist debating whether or not the man in the cage is actually Satan and what is real or unreal. After all, the pivotal point of the episode is should the protagonist believe Satan, whose telling a very feasible tale of his unjust imprisonment and that he is indeed a man, or the crazy old guy with a beard leading a small religious group who thinks they’ve locked up the King of Hell. Again, this is a tension and a build up that’d be hard to replicate and would come off as obvious who is right and who is wrong.