Monday, October 6, 2008
The Dead Zone (1983, David Cronenberg)
Ok, what do you get when you cross the master of horror Stephen King, the master of slimey things David Cronenberg and the master of cool Christopher Walken? A pretty frickin' sweet movie, is what. Actually one of the best Stephen King adaptions, in my opinion.
The Dead Zone is the story of Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken), who is in love with fellow schoolteacher Sarah (Brooke Adams). One night, Johnny gets into a car accident with an 18 wheeler and ends up in a coma. Five years later, Johnny finally wakes up to find that Sarah has moved on without him. Oh yeah, he also woke up with psychic powers (don't you hate it when that happens). When he touches someone's hand, he can see into their past and future. The word gets out about Johnny's gift and he does his best to stay out of the spotlight. He is then contacted by the local police to help catch a serial killer. After helping apprehend the murderer, Johnny has a chance meeting with politician Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen) and has a vision that could change the world if he doesn't react.
This is one of those films that I avoided for a long time in fear that it would be mediocre. I was very wrong. The great cast along with Stephen King's brilliant story makes this movie a classic. Not to be forgotten though is David Cronenberg's directing. This film is much different from his other classics Videodrome, Scanners and The Fly, but at the same time it ranks up there with them.