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
Editing by Jere Huggins
Original air date October 18, 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.


Well-known State trooper Dennis Wells takes shelter from a downpour at a roadside diner. 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 enters the diner. While Price is having coffee, he asks for a cold beer but the cook Bob tells him that the diner does not have a liquor license. When Price laments how a cold beer would taste good, a can of beer appears in his hand; when he comments that beer would only make him sleepy, it vanishes.

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. Wells knocks Price unconscious. Then, the diner patrons and staff begin to experience Price's nightmare: ghost-like soldiers (clearly implied to have been responsible for the motel massacre when Price stopped there earlier) materialize, destroy vehicles in the parking lot outside, and then force their way inside the diner killing Wells. Price regains consciousness and sees he has a spotlight on him. He then calls out "Charlie's in the light!" and the soldiers react to the call to fire upon Price, killing him and ending the attack as the soldiers vanish. Bob is wounded but survives.

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

Production details[edit]

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