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 <email@example.com>
Written in 1979, the novel by Stephen King was the first book of his to reach #1 on the bestseller list (hard cover), a milestone for King who said it was "one of my most successful ever." It was 428 pages. See more »
When Henrietta Dodd is shot, she grabs the banister for a few seconds. At that time, there is no blood on her hands or the banister. A split second later, she falls to the floor and there is blood on her left hand and the banister. See more »
[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 »
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 »
Although the UK cinema version was 18-rated and intact in 1986 Thorn-EMI released a British home video version with 13 seconds cut to obtain a 15 certificate rating from the BBFC. A scissor suicide sequence was re-edited to remove shots of the preparation and aftermath, and shots of topless nudity and the descending scissors were removed from the gazebo murder. Later 18-rated releases feature the full uncut print. See more »
Of all the various cinematic adaptations of Stephen King's work throughout the '80s, none is perhaps more under-rated or over-looked than 1983's "The Dead Zone." Hot on the heels of his bizarre yet brilliant cult-classic "Videodrome," director David Cronenberg emerges with perhaps his most restrained and even-tempered work to date. Given that the film itself is a bit of a head-trip, that really says something. Along for the ride is Christopher Walken, who similarly commits to the tragic bend of the material with one of his best performances to date. Likewise, the script from Jeffrey Boam distills King's novel into an episodic format that makes it easier to digest than any "true" adaptation of the source material could ever hope for.
Johnny (Walken) has everything going for him. A respected school teacher, his life is only enriched with Sarah (Brooke Adams) by his side. Five minutes into the film, and it seems our character has already found his happy ending. Unfortunately, he finds his life (and his car) flipped upside down when an automobile accident sends him into a five-year coma. No use crying over spilled milk (literally). When he awakes, he finds himself burdened with the psychic ability to see anyone's grisly future simply by touching hands. Soon, he is helping a local sheriff (Tom Skeritt) solve a string of brutal murders and doing his best to stop an out-of- control, megalomaniacal politician (sound familiar?) before he goes too far. Of course, he takes the time to reconnect with the love of his life and mentor a young loner (Simon Craig), whose haircut suggests he was imported from the previous decade.
"The Dead Zone" benefits greatly from its slightly unorthodox structure; you can see why a TV adaptation eventually came to be. The film unravels much like four different anthology stories concerning the same character. Walken walks through the whole thing with one of his most sympathetic and humane performances, while Cronenberg shows he can do mainstream horror just fine, thank you very much. Unlike his previous efforts, "The Dead Zone" doesn't carry much in the way of gore and is the better for it. The dramatic angle of the story is what makes it all come together. An outlier in a truly iconic oeuvre, the film is hardly a dead zone in the director's history of violence.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this