The Dead Zone


The Dead Zone Review

One of the more successful entries into the Stephen King horror film genre (and probably the best under the Dino De Laurentiis production label), The Dead Zone is aided in no small part by Christopher Walken in the lead role.

Walken stars as high school teacher Johnny Smith, who wrecks his Beetle and spends five years in a coma, only to discover he now has the gift of second sight. Predicting local tragedies is one thing, but eventually he becomes entangled in a political race (with Martin Sheen running for President), and Johnny foresees that if he wins, disaster will ensue (you know, the nuclear kind).

David Cronenberg's direction -- his first mainstream job, after Videodrome -- is apt and creepy, though the story never really goes as far as it could have. Still, it's a creepy little mystery, especially for a King flick.

The Dead Zone gets a curious upgrade with a new DVD release from Sanctuary Visual Entertainment (though I don't know where you can actually buy it). The film is restored and uncut, and it also provides a commentary track from a couple of film critic types, debating the merits of the movie. It's kind of like sitting around with a couple of your film snob pals, listening to them drone on and on about some obscure Japanimation production (which, if you're me, happens far more often than you'd think).

The Dead Zone

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st October 1983

Budget: $10M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Dino De Laurentiis Company, Lorimar Film Entertainment

Reviews 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: as Johnny Smith, as Sarah Bracknell, as Sheriff George Bannerman, as Greg Stillson, as Dr. Sam Weizak, as Roger Stuart, as Henrietta Dodd, as Frank Dodd, William B. Davis as Ambulance Driver, as Teenage Boy with Camera, as Herb Smith, as Vera Smith, Géza Kovács as Sonny Elliman, Roberta Weiss as Alma Frechette, as Dardis, as Walt, Cindy Hinds as Natalie, David Rigby as Truck Driver, Helene Udy as Weizak's Mother

Also starring: ,