The Langoliers

Have you ever liked something a lot but you know deep down…that it is mediocre or even worse? That is the way I feel toward this 1995 two-part Stephen King TV movie. This is an odd post. Me recommending a TV movie that is not great but…I do love the story.

I always complain when movies don’t go by the book. I can’t say that about this one. It’s so close to the book it hurts which is great. It wasn’t the story that was bad…I love the plot. The acting is ok…well average at best…no it has to do with something that I usually don’t care about at all. Special effects… Star Trek had primitive special effects but I loved the red beams from the phasers…as long as it gets the story across is all I care about. But this…this has to be some of the worst CGI effects ever in a movie even a TV movie. It actually ruins the end for me.

The plot is much like a Twilight Zone episode. A plane full of people takes off from Los Angeles to Boston. 10 people wake up after sleeping for the first 40 minutes into the flight and see everyone else including the crew has vanished. They find the missing people’s watches, wigs, and even implants (surgical pins, pacemakers) sitting in the seats where their owners were at one time.

They look out the window as they were going over Denver and see no lights at all. No one is on the radio. It’s like the world is empty except them. It just so happens a pilot with the airlines was on the plane asleep traveling and he woke up and flew the plane to a smaller airport in Bangor Maine (it is a Stephen King story so where else but Maine). They land but no one is at the airport and everything is drab looking. All the food and drinks are flat. They hear this far off munching sound coming toward them.

That is a great beginning and I liked the story it’s just the “monsters” are pretty bad. If you want a Twilight Zone type story…it’s a fun watch but it could have been so much better. If Hollywood wants to redo a movie…which seems to be the case these days…this one would be a great one to do.

So yes I would recommend this sometimes so so TV movie because of the story. The Stephen Kings book it came from was called Four Past Midnight and is a collection of novellas. I have watched this movie at least 4 times. I just can’t help it.

In this trailer, they wisely avoid showing too much of the Langoliers

Image result for the langoliers special effects

 

 

 

 

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

17 thoughts on “The Langoliers”

  1. I remember reading this in middle school and seeing the television series and thinking that although the effects were pretty cheap, the story was and still is captivating. Unfortunately for Stephen King, a lot of his material gets handed to B actors who are either washed up or rookies. IT (1990) and THE STAND are perfect examples.

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  2. I think I read the book way back when… that lower photo looks so cheesy it almost makes me want to see the show just for the effects! Coincidentally, right now I’m reading ‘On Writing’ by King, which is a sort of half-autobiography, half “how to” about his writing process… quite interesting both to get his background and how he came to become a writer and also getting his tips on writing well.

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  3. I saw this when it came out. I watched it. I liked it but, I’ve never read the actual story. It was very “Twilight Zone-ish”. Bronson Pinchot does a similar nutso impression, much like Shatner in the original series. Both have been known to over-act.

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    1. He did over act… I liked the British guy…I think he did a good job. Dean Stockwell I like in anything. Love the story.

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  4. You know if Dean Stockwell is in it, it will be a cheesy Bad B movie, even though he has been in some pretty scary ones (Dunwich Horror and Blue Velvet). I don’t care for Stephen King because he likes to get into your head too much.

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      1. Looks more like a comedy. My sons would have a field day with that movie. Have you ever seen Mystery Science Theater? They could host it and do a funnier job than the real hosts. I don’t think my kids ever saw Twilight Zone. Have you ever seen Tales from the Hood? Now that’s a scary Twilight Zone one.

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      2. Oh I love that Mystery Science Theater…
        Yes Tales from the Hood, Tales from the Darkside, The Outer Limits…I love those type of shows.

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