The Langoliers (1995 series)

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"Goofy CGI? Of course it is - don't be re-dic-a-lous!"

The Langoliers, AKA Stephen King's The Langoliers


A TV Mini-series (sometimes cut into a commercial film-length movie) based on the Stephen King] story, in which passengers on a red-eye flight bound for Boston awaken to find a terrifying world inhabited by an unknown enemy.


  • Release Date: 1995
  • Country/Language: USA English
  • Genres/Technical: Miniseries, Science Fiction, Drama, Fantasy, Adventure Film
  • Runtime: 3 hr 1 min
  • Starring: Patricia Wettig, Dean Stockwell, Bronson Pinchot, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Kate Maberly
  • Director: Tom Holland
  • Writer: Stephen King and Tom Holland
  • Producer/Production Co: American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Laurel Entertainment Inc., Spelling Films International, Worldvision
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • TVTropes: (link)
  • IMDB: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG-13 (for mild TV-miniseries-friendly Violence)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)

Aside from the weird, eldritch version of reality, the time-eating monsters, and Bronson "Balki Bartokomous" Pinchot's gleefully sanity-shattering performance (one of my favorite things about this miniseries), there's not much "Lovecraftian" about the film. The premise seems vaguely familiar, though, as if this mini-series were a three-hour-long adaptation of a thirty-minute episode of the Twilight Zone.... Still, this story would probably adapt fairly well to a Call of Cthulhu or Delta Green scenario.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • Sir Jorge at Scary Film Review, (link) - "...This is not [King's] best work. I take that back, this is a bad example of adaptation from print to screen, and it shows terribly...."
  • That Was a Bit mental dotcom, (link) - "...The Langoliers could either have been compelling viewing or cheesy as hell. Impressively, it manages to be both at the same time. While the story is full of the typical twists and turns you’d expect from a King yarn, the acting [and CGI effects when the titular Langoliers arrive] are so laughable at times it somehow manages to make things even more entertaining...."


 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

Passengers on a red-eye flight bound for Boston, including a blind psychic, a washed-up writer, a British secret agent, and a maniac, fly through an unusual Aurora Borealis effect and awaken near Bangor, Maine to find they've flown a few minutes through time into a terrifying, deserted, "used up" world inhabited by time-eating "Langoliers".


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • Quotes: "Are you gonna look at the big picture or do I have to let *them* have you? Oh yes. They exist. They were here and they'll be back. They'll be back for you, you lazy sack of dirt! They are gonna chew your eyes right out of your head!" - the phantom of Roger Toomy

Associated Mythos Elements

Keeper Notes

  • This sort of disparate collection of strangers from different walks of life thrust suddenly into a strange situation is a classic formula for one-shot scenarios.