Twilight Zone movie accident 1982


July 23

Actor and two children killed on "Twilight Zone" set


On this day in 1982, Vic Morrow and two child actors, Renee Shinn Chen and Myca Dinh Le, are killed in an accident involving a helicopter during filming on the California set of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Morrow, age 53, and the children, ages six and seven, were shooting a Vietnam War battle scene in which they were supposed to be running from a pursuing helicopter. Special-effects explosions on the set caused the pilot of the low-flying craft to lose control and crash into the three victims. The accident took place on the film’s last scheduled day of shooting.

Twilight Zone co-director John Landis (Blues Brothers, Trading Places, National Lampoon’s Animal House) and four other men working on the film, including the special-effects coordinator and the helicopter pilot, were charged with involuntary manslaughter. According to a 1987 New York Times report, it was the first time a film director faced criminal charges for events that occurred while making a movie. During the subsequent trial, the defense maintained the crash was an accident that could not have been predicted while the prosecution claimed Landis and his crew had been reckless and violated laws regarding child actors, including regulations about their working conditions and hours. Following the emotional 10-month trial, a jury acquitted all five defendants in 1987. The familes of the three victims filed lawsuits against Landis, Warner Brothers and Twilight Zone co-director and producer Steven Spielberg that were settled for undisclosed amounts.


1 Like

I'll never forget Vic Morrow in Combat! RIP! 

just a bump for anyone who missed out...

I personally think Landis should have been held accountable, but he pretty much got off Scott free as far as his career went. 

Maybe I'm too sensitive or something since I've gotten older but I'm not sure that segment should have made it into the final release or the film, knowing that three people died including two children to make it. And those kids didn't go easy like Morrow. Morrow was decapitated and died instantly but the two kids drowned under the wreckage. Makes me feel a certain kind of way watching the movie. 

What happened to the thread?

There's an urban legend that Spielberg was on the set and was rushed off secretly to avoid a bigger scandal.

Someone has been watching the cursed movies on Shudder. 

Landis should be in jail for life. 


I first learned about this just a few years ago. 

Dude, there was a page or two more of this thread. Good movie btw

Thebonfirexm - 

Someone has been watching the cursed movies on Shudder. 

Landis should be in jail for life. 


MarcusAurelioFan - 

There's an urban legend that Spielberg was on the set and was rushed off secretly to avoid a bigger scandal.


Tmaguru -

Apparently Vic Morrow had terrible, terrible dandruff.






























they found his Head and Shoulders in the bushes.




- Director John Landis violated California's child labor laws by hiring seven year-old Myca Dinh Le and six year-old Renee Shin-Yi Chen without the required permits. Landis and several other staff members were also responsible for a number of labor violations connected with other people involved in the accident, which came to light after the incident.

- Le and Chen were being paid under the table to circumvent California's child labor laws, which did not permit children to work at night. Landis opted not to seek a special waiver, either because he did not think that he would get permission for such a late hour or because he knew that he would not get approval to have young children in a scene with a large number of explosives. The casting agents were unaware that the children would be involved in the scene. Associate producer George Folsey Jr. told the children's parents not to tell any firefighters on the set that the children were part of the scene, and hid them from a fire safety officer who also worked as a welfare worker. A fire safety officer was concerned that the blasts would cause a crash, but he did not tell Landis of his concerns.

- The trial, the defense claimed that the explosions were detonated at the wrong time. Randall Robinson was an assistant cameraman on board the helicopter, and he testified that production manager Dan Allingham told Wingo, "That's too much. Let's get out of here," when the explosions were detonated, but Landis shouted over the radio: "Get lower... lower! Get over [lower]!" Robinson said that Wingo tried to leave the area, but that "we lost our control and regained it and then I could feel something let go and we began spinning around in circles."[12] Stephen Lydecker, also a camera operator on board, testified that Landis had earlier "shrugged off" warnings about the stunt with the comment "we may lose the helicopter."[13] Lydecker acknowledged that Landis might have been joking when he made the remark, but he said: "I learned not to take anything the man said as a joke. It was his attitude. He didn't have time for suggestions from anybody."


-Filmmaker Steven Spielberg co-produced the film with Landis, but he broke off their friendship following the accident.

- Spielberg said that the crash "made me grow up a little more" and left everyone who worked on the movie "sick to the center of our souls". He added: "No movie is worth dying for. I think people are standing up much more now than ever before to producers and directors who ask too much. If something isn't safe, it's the right and responsibility of every actor or crew member to yell, 'Cut!'"

Two final asshole John Landis stories:

In 1996, he says this is an interview about it:

Landis spoke about the accident in a 1996 interview: "There was absolutely no good aspect about this whole story. The tragedy, which I think about every day, had an enormous impact on my career, from which it may possibly never recover.

The last few words say it all, he was upset about his career being hurt. (He still made a lot of movies)


The second story is about his unexpected appearance at the funeral of Vic Morrow

(By Dick Peabody)

"I rode with them to the funeral and sat with them in the section of the chapel reserved for family. Moments after we arrived, an audible shock wave of reaction from Vic's friends and co-workers who come to pay their respects, grabbed my attention.

A thin, bearded man was coming down the aisle, seemingly unable to walk without assistance. He was supported by a woman and another man (Mrs. John Landis and George Folsey, Jr., the production manager of the "Twilight Zone" movie). The bearded staggerer was "Twilight Zone" director, John Landis.

His stooges helped him to the lectern and he began a rambling eulogy --unplanned, unrequested, unwanted and shocking to Vic's family and friends. His mere presence at the funeral was offensive to them. He did this, presumably, on the advice of his attorney.

The most obnoxious remark he made, among many, was that he was "proud to have directed Vic in what Vic, himself, considered the best performance of his career."

Vic's girl friend and his ex-wife Barbara both said Vic thought the movie was a piece of s..., and he was ashamed to be connected with it.

John Landis' eulogy sounded more like a promo for the film.

The following day, I called the Los Angeles Country District Attorney's office and told them I had a tape from my radio show in which Vic expressed his confidence in the Combat! special effects team. My thought was that having worked for five years with pros, he was lulled into a false feeling of security. He had expected the same professionalism on the "Twilight Zone" set. The D.A.'s office sent out an investigator that afternoon to pick up the tape.

Everyone I know who knew Vic hoped Landis and Folsey would get at least a year in the slammer. After all, they were responsible for the deaths of three people.

They were tried and acquitted of manslaughter and their careers have escalated since.

As hard as I try, I can muster no charity for these butchers."