6.24.23 (two days ago) was the 40th anniversary of the opening of Twilight Zone: The Movie, which was produced by Steven Spielberg and John Landis.

The anthology film (four segments directed by Landis, Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller) is primarily known for the ghastly on-set helicopter blade tragedy that killed Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese child actors, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen.

Morrow’s segment (Called “Time Out”) is about a racist who gets an imaginary taste of his own medicine.

The accident happened on 7.23.82 at an Indian Dunes location in what is now Santa Clarita, during a late-night filming of a Vietnam nightmare sequence. A helicopter lost its tail rotor due to a stronger-than-expected VFX detonation and it suddenly crashed, killing Morrow and the kids.

The rap against Landis, the segment’s director, was that he was incautious, but there’s always been a fine line between reckless disregard and capturing that extra element of super-charged realism. It was an accident, yes, but attitudes about safety certainly weren’t paramount.

I’ve always wanted to read Stephen Farber and Marc Green‘s “Outrageous Conduct: Art, Ego, and the Twilight Zone Case” (1.1.88). The hardback and paperback versions are out of print and the surviving copies are outrageously priced. Why isn’t it purchasable on Kindle?