Nightcrawlers (The Twilight Zone)

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The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 4c
Directed by William Friedkin
Written by Philip DeGuere
Original air date 18 October 1985
Guest appearance(s)

James Whitmore Jr.: (Trooper) Dennis Wells
Scott Paulin: Price
Robert Swan: Bob the cook
Exene Cervenka: Waitress
Bobby Bass: Ray
Sandy Martin: Lindy
Matt Levin: Ricky

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Wish Bank"
Next →
"If She Dies"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

"Nightcrawlers" is the third and final segment of the fourth episode of the first season (1985–86) of the television series The Twilight Zone. It is taken from a short story of the same name by Robert R. McCammon, first published in the 1984 collection Masques.


State trooper Dennis Wells takes shelter from a downpour at a roadside diner. He is known by the owners and staff. As other customers arrive during the storm, he describes a massacre that he is investigating at a local motel. The diner patrons witness a near-collision between two cars on the road outside, and a Vietnam veteran named Price comes into the diner. While Price is having coffee, he asks for a cold beer, but Bob the cook tells him that the diner does not have a liquor license. Price laments how a cold beer would taste good and a can of beer appears in his hand.

Wells strikes up a conversation with Price, lamenting that he wishes he could have gone to Vietnam. Price is compelled to describe how he fled and abandoned his unit during the war, condemning all of them to death in the jungles. He relays that he dreams one recurring nightmare in which his unit, "The Nightcrawlers", are hunting him down to exact revenge. Price explains that he and other soldiers were "sprayed with something" that relates to his mysterious condition.

He claims that he and the men of his unit were endowed with the power of mind over matter, which he demonstrates by materializing a t-bone steak on the grill. The trooper, who suspects Price is a dangerous troublemaker who may be responsible for the motel massacre, pulls his gun on Price, but Price melts it with his mind. The trooper knocks Price unconscious, but the diner patrons and staff begin to experience Price's nightmare: ghost-like soldiers materialize, destroy vehicles in the parking lot outside, and then force their way inside to kill Price and Wells and destroy the diner, before vanishing again. Bob is wounded but survives.

As Bob is being taken away in an ambulance, he cries out a reminder to the others that Price said there were still four more soldiers with the same ability.

Production details[edit]

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