Jill Tallman

Thrills, chills, and a black Cessna Skymaster

October 26, 2009 by Jill W. Tallman, Associate Editor

With Halloween in just a few days, I was reminded this morning of perhaps the only horror movie made that features vampires, creepy reporters, and general aviation. That would be the 1997 film “The Night Flier,” based on a short story by Stephen King.

The bizarre tale focuses on a reporter for a Weekly-World-News-ish type of rag who uses his Bonanza to take him all across the country chasing sordid stories. (I know, already it strains credibility–a reporter owning a Bonanza? Maybe those pulp rags pay a lot better than we know.) He travels to a tiny field in Delaware where a brutal murder has been committed. As the story progresses, he finds himself tracking a vampire who flies a black Cessna Skymaster. Yup, a black Cessna Skymaster.

I won’t give it away, but if you’re squeamish you should know that the final scene is, in keeping with Stephen King’s reputation, pretty gory. The vampire in question isn’t one of those Twilight/True Blood pretty boys. But as far as I can tell, no Skymasters were harmed in the making of this film.

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8 Responses to “Thrills, chills, and a black Cessna Skymaster”

  1. Hunter Says:

    “But as far as I can tell, no Skymasters were harmed in the making of this film.”

    At least there’s that. Apparently being a vampire pays pretty well!

    This one is going to the top of the netflix queue.

  2. Aviatrix Says:

    I saw this movie on TV once. Just *wait* until you see the interior of the Skymaster.

  3. Bill Doorley Says:

    I understand that being a reporter for a supermarket tabloid is something of a bonanza, maybe even enough to own a Bonanza. Those papers pay well because any reporter working for, say, the Weekly World News is effectively throwing away their reputation as a journalist.

    The real question is why a vampire needs an airplane. Maybe he’s tired of turning into a bat?

  4. Claire Says:

    Hahahaha. Great story.

  5. Ryan Says:

    I saw an all-black Skymaster at Murfreesboro, TN (MBT) a few years ago. They told me it belonged to the “CEO” of a rap or R&B record label.

  6. Greg Brown Says:

    Thanks Jill! Gotta rent this. I posted a link to your entry on my FB page.

  7. SoCal Tburton Says:

    I, too, saw Night Flier on TV years ago and recently found it on ebay or Amazon for a bit less than the shipping and handling.
    It’s not a bad story if you watch it for entertainment value and don’t try to be a movie critic!
    I agree with Bill…… a reporter with a Bonanza and a Fanger with a MixMaster?! I would think any self-respecting Vamp would prefer something in a Tail Wheel! A spitfire or a Hurricane brought over from the “old country”, maybe a DC3 to haul the old coffin around it?
    If you can find it, it’s worth adding to your collection.

  8. Jo Hunter Says:

    Well, there were plenty of black O-2s doing night ops in Vietnam. See this one as an example: http://futurshox.net/aeroview.php?level=image&id=8808

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