The Dead Zone (1983)

The Dead Zone (1983) movie poster

director David Cronenberg
viewed: 03/09/2014

Of all the films I watch and all the filmmakers I focus on, I’ve only two directors that I’ve been intentionally working through all of their films: David Cronenberg and John Waters.  Frankly, it’s slightly arbitrary, but it’s a fact.

The Dead Zone is not one of Cronenberg’s best.  It’s an okay film, but it lacks any of the real weirdness of his early work and winds up being somewhat bland in comparison.  It is, of course, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name.  And for me, it coincided with my teenage interest in King and his work.  And oddly enough, 1983 was quite a tipping point for King.  He had three feature films come out in that year alone: Cujo (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), and Christine (1983) and I think I read each of those books and saw each of those movies that year (or somewhere around then).

The film stars Christopher Walken as a man who develops the ability to glimpse the future or other psychic visions when he touches someone.  He only gets these powers after getting into a bad car crash that leaves him in a coma for five years.  Herbert Lom plays his doctor and Martin Sheen plays a lunatic political candidate who would lead the world to utter destruction if Walken doesn’t assassinate him.

Like I said, it’s not a bad movie, but it’s not a very good one either.

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