Review: ‘The Dead Zone’

Joining the half-dozen shock-oriented directors who have filmed novelist Stephen King's horror and suspense yarns, David Cronenberg turns The Dead Zone into an accomplished psychological thriller.

Joining the half-dozen shock-oriented directors who have filmed novelist Stephen King’s horror and suspense yarns, David Cronenberg turns The Dead Zone into an accomplished psychological thriller.

Focus is Johnny Smith, a shy schoolteacher who snaps out of a long coma with the questionable gift of second sight. Convincingly played by Christopher Walken, Johnny can see into anybody’s past or future merely by grasping the person’s hand. The ‘dead zone’ seems to refer to the brain damage that enables him to change the outcome of events he ‘sees’.

His first premonition enables a nurse to save her daughter from a domestic conflagration. The news of the patient’s ESP spreads quickly and he experiences some pretty horrible incidents, inside and outside his head.

A lot happens in the 102-minute suspenser. There’s the girlfriend (Brooke Adams) Johnny loses to his near-fatal accident and regains for awhile. There’s also a sheriff (Tom Skerritt) who desperately needs a psychic solution to crack a murder case, and the wealthy businessman (Anthony Zerbe) who hires Johnny to tutor his problem son (Simon Craig).

The Dead Zone

Production

Dino De Laurentiis. Director David Cronenberg; Producer Debra Hill; Screenplay Jeffrey Boam; Camera Mark Irwin; Editor Ronald Sanders; Music Michael Kamen; Art Director Carol Spier

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Christopher Walken Brooke Adams Tom Skerritt Herbert Lom Anthony Zerbe Martin Sheen

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading