Nightcrawlers (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episode|
|Directed by||William Friedkin|
|Written by||Philip DeGuere|
|Editing by||Jere Huggins|
|Original air date||October 18, 1985|
"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.
- Based on a short story by Robert R. McCammon
- Original score by Merl Saunders and the Grateful Dead, featuring Huey Lewis on harmonica
- Exene Cervenka of punk group X appears as a waitress.
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
- "Nightcrawlers" at TV.com
- "Nightcrawlers" on IMDb
- Jere Huggins on IMDb
- Robert McCammon site