184 user 112 critic

The Dead Zone (1983)

2:12 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic detective ability.



(screenplay), (novel)
3,877 ( 389)
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Scanners (1981)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan
Videodrome (1983)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits
The Fly (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
The Brood (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, amidst a series of brutal murders.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle
Dead Ringers (1988)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske
Rabid (1977)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young woman develops a taste for human blood after undergoing experimental plastic surgery, and her victims turn into rabid, blood-thirsty zombies who proceed to infect others, which turns into a city-wide epidemic.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver
Shivers (1975)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry
eXistenZ (1999)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm
Naked Lunch (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm
Spider (2002)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mentally disturbed man takes residence in a halfway house. His mind gradually slips back into the realm created by his illness, where he replays a key part of his childhood.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne
Crash (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
Christine (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Sullivan ...
Géza Kovács ...
Sonny Elliman (as Geza Kovacs)
Simon Craig ...
Peter Dvorsky ...
Julie-Ann Heathwood ...


Johnny Smith wakes from a coma due to a car accident, only to find he has lost five years of his life, and yet gained psychic powers. Foreseeing the future appears to be a 'gift' at first, but ends up causing problems... Written by Paul Reynolds <pauljr@innotts.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He can see the future. But can he escape it? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stephen King's The Dead Zone  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bill Murray was Stephen King's choice for the part of Johnny. See more »


In the fire scene, right after Johnny Smith tells the nurse her daughter is trapped but alive, the camera crane is visible in the window of the Fire Fighter truck that is parked in the driveway. See more »


[first lines]
Johnny Smith: [Johnny is reading "The Raven" to his class] And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting, on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door, and his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, and the lamp light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor, and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, shall be lifted... nevermore.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the opening titles roll, certain parts (or "dead zones") of the screen become blocked out, until the part of the screen you can see spell out the title "The Dead Zone." See more »


References Blow Out (1981) See more »


Camptown Races
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Dead Zone is Perfection.
11 October 2009 | by (Indianapolis, IN) – See all my reviews

At this point in his career, Stephen King had the miraculous, almost Hitchcockian ability to allow a story to proceed from the most believable of circumstances, trickle like water delicately over tiny steps which, taken alone, did not seem too out of the ordinary, and then coalesce magnificently into masterpieces that defy categorization – not horror, not science fiction, but truly something magical, if unnameable. Dead Zone is such a masterpiece.

Owing in no small part to the subtle yet compelling performance of Christopher Walken, who in the same year would star in one of my most beloved films of the genre, Brainstorm, Dead Zone may well be one of King's best. Almost certainly based to some extent on real-life psychic Peter Hurkos, Dead Zone shows the master, King, taking an already well known premise to a new and thrilling conclusion.

The theme developed here is a common one for King. An innocent victim, through no fault of his own, is thrown into a paranormal world that will lead to an ultimate test. The idea is classic literary tragedy at its best, and is represented with equal aplomb in King's contemporaneous work such as Firestarter and Christine.

Director David Cronenberg, smoking hot at the time with masterpieces of his own – Scanners and Videodrome, delivers a film that resonates perfectly with King's book, with pacing and tone that capture what was best about King in this period. King himself was experiencing his golden age, with Cujo, Firestarter, Carrie and The Shining rounding out his catalog within a few years. In other words, this is the best of the best for some people who gave us some pretty good stuff.

The supporting cast is brilliant. Martin Sheen, Tom Skerritt, Anthony Zerbe, and the lovely Brooke Adams are all exceptional. Screenwriter Jeffrey Boam, who also penned such classics as Lost Boys, Lethal Weapon 2 and 3, and the Witches of Eastwick, crafted a brilliant treatment that works absolutely perfectly from start to finish. Michael Kamen's brilliant score is but one jewel in the crown of his many achievements, and was said to be so disturbing that overhearing him practicing it gave his neighbors nightmares.

I suppose I could try to think of more ways to say it, but there is no need. It can be summed up once and for all in a single sentence. Dead Zone is perfection.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The tragedy philoj
god that woman was annoying perfectexcuse
Grotesque mum figure mikeos3
7.3?! Are you guys nuts? danielbaird-1
Christopher walken as johnny smith? wrong? guyver0yk
Ted Cruz - Stilson redjennger
Discuss The Dead Zone (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page