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The Dead Zone

Christopher Walken , Brooke Adams , David Cronenberg    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
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Dead Zone Dead Zone 4.3 out of 5 stars (75)
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The Dead Zone + The Dead Zone: Season 2 + The Dead Zone: The Final Season
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Product Description


The Dead Zone is based on a novel by Stephen King, directed by David Cronenberg (Scanners, The Fly) and produced by Debra Hill (Halloween, The Fog). Such a trio of horror vets would be expected to come up with an evening of shocks and gore, but The Dead Zone is a surprise. While it has great atmospheric eeriness and undeniably scary moments, The Dead Zone is at heart a sensitive and thoughtful portrayal of main character Johnny Smith's dilemma. Christopher Walken, king of the vaguely creepy, plays Smith, a man who awakens from a five-year coma with the very mixed blessing of second sight. At the mere touch of a hand, Smith is unwillingly launched into scenes of past and future terror. (Director Cronenberg is said to have fired blanks from a .357 Magnum just out of camera range to keep Walken's flinching spontaneous.) The Dead Zone wisely takes its time telling the story, and thus allows for some great performances. Walken gives a rich portrayal of the conflicted Smith, and Colleen Dewhurst and Tom Skerritt both do welcome turns in smaller roles. The most fun of all, though, is clearly being had by Martin Sheen, who gives a spirited performance as a complete sleazebag. --Ali Davis

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Adams/Lorn/Sheen ~ Dead Zone

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe no one else has reviewed this! Nov. 20 2004
By Aderam
The Dead Zone is one of my favourite shows. I'm surprised that no one else has reviewed it before, although that may be because it can speak for itself. The Dead Zone is one of those rare occurances where the show is not only based on a book, it also follows the plot line of the novel rather than just stealing the characters. It's based on a Stephen King novel and ends up with an amazing mix of horror and humour to stop it from having an atmosphere that is too heavy all the time. The show itself is one of the most visually stunning I've ever seen. The cinematography pulls the viewer along and the special effects are used so skillfully that sometimes you don't even notice that they're there. The acting is really good and the show often tackles current and/or controversial topics, from school shootings, to politics, to witchcraft. I highly recommend this show to anyone who is interested in current events and the unusual or paranormal. Anyone who likes modern SciFi and continueing stories will love this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OH JOHNNY WHERE HAVE YE GONE? June 7 2004
David Cronenberg took a definite twist from his usual shock-laden films when he helmed THE DEAD ZONE. One of King's best books, this is also one of the best adaptations of his books. Beautifully filmed with an expert talented cast, THE DEAD ZONE is a heartbreaking look at Johnny Smith, a young man who loses five years of his life lying in a coma. When he awakens, the girl he planned to marry has already wed, and has a young son. He is physically handicapped and sentenced to a world he doesn't know or understand. Christopher Walken gives one of his finest performances as Johnny. Beautifully understated and poignantly touching, Walken creates a Johnny you will never forget. And what a fine cast he has to support him: Brooke Adams as his love Sarah who still loves Johnny but knows there is no hope for a future together with him; Martin Sheen as the preening, dangerous Senatorial candidate with a predicted itchy finger; Tom Skerritt as the frustrated sheriff who seeks Johnny's help; Colleen Dewhurst as the mother of a serial killer who knew his crimes; Herbert Lom as Walken's doctor and mentor, who tries to help Johnny adjust; Anthony Zerbe as the father who wants so much for his son to function normally in his world; and Nicholas Campbell as a deputy hiding a horrifying secret.
The stark winter landscapes add to the chill and there are horrors here, but they are the horrors of not belonging, of loving someone you can never have.
A brilliant film and a must for King affecionados and lovers of compelling psychological thrillers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
One of my wierd little pet peeves is people who instantly associate Stephen King's name with gory schlock. And I just know that these people have probably never read any of his books. King is way more than just a horror writer (and when he writes horror, it is far from schlock), but can also write touching dramas, and his Dead Zone novel is a testament to this. Cronenberg's movie also stands (alongside Carrie) as perhaps the best King adaption ever. This is due in big part to the ingenious casting of Christopher Walken as the sympathetic hero. We watch what he goes through, losing his girl and his mother and now having this new psychic talent, and we sympathize for him. You'd be surprised to discover how sweet the movie is, and we get to see Johnny Smith help a lot of people out. The movie also has a slam-bang ending which manages to tie everything together in about two minutes without seeming rushed.
Overall, you gotta love Walken and Cronenberg equals brilliance, and when they're hard at work to adapt something from master Stephen King, you get: MASTERPIECE.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Character-Driven Film June 4 2004
Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken), a young teacher, has been in a coma for the last five years as a result of a car accident. When he suddenly awakens, he finds that the world around him has completely changed. The love of his life, Sarah Bracknell (Brooke Adams) has married another and he has received the dubious gift of second sight. Johnny finds that when he touches another person, he can see their future. Distraught and unable to bear the ramifications of his gift, Johnny retreats into himself and lives alone in a small town in the country. He tutors children in his home to make ends meet and tries to avoid physical contact when at all possible. However, as opportunities to use his gift come up, Johnny finds that he cannot resist. First there is the rapist/murderer, then there is the young boys' hockey team falling through thin ice, and finally there is an obsessed politician (Martin Sheen). In the end, Johnny must make the choice between doing what is right or continuing to endure his bleak, loveless life...
Director David Cronenberg did a wonderful job adapting this Stephen King novel. It is not a horror story like many of King's books are, but a wonderful story about a man's inner landscape. Christopher Walken was fabulous as the self-tortured lead character and I felt that I knew exactly what he was going through, even though he never said anything. He was also ably supported by other actors, including a conflicted Brooke Adams as his love interest and Martin Sheen as a characteture of a smarmy politician who takes kissing babies to a whole new level. Shot almost entirely in a bleak, gray, cold winter, the settings were perfect for this film and really let you focus on the characters. A wonderful movie to curl up at night with.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Movie....timeless!!
Published 16 days ago by Gayska Schafer
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
very good dvd and excellent film too I have senne it a couple of years ago and just love it again
Published 4 months ago by Claude Couillard
5.0 out of 5 stars The one that started it all. Great.
This was a great movie and the series continued to reach the same heights in entertainment value. Well worth getting so you know where the series came from.
Published 12 months ago by Geoffrey Scherer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dead Zone
The original Stephen King movie is a dark story (as all of King's material is). Christopher Walken as John Smith played the role exactly as King wrote in the book. Read more
Published 13 months ago by K. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars The dead zone
Having collected all Stephen King books and movies I was surprised I didn't have The Dead Zone. After ordering it and seeing it it was almost like seeing it for the first time. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael McGillvray
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Better Stephen King Screen Adaptations
David Cronenberg directs the Stephen King novel about a man who awakes from a coma with a life draining ability to see future tragedies when making contact with people. Read more
Published on July 5 2007 by K. Driscoll
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent drama sci-fi for everyone to enjoy...!
This is the story of Johnny Smith who has been leading an idyllic small-town life, employed as a science teacher. Read more
Published on June 11 2007 by D. Landry
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden treasure
I stumbled across this series by accident. It was like finding a well kept secret. Great show, great cast and quality. You will like it.
Published on July 13 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best King Adaption!
John Smith (Walken) leads a humble, but fulfilling life as a teacher, has a sweet girlfriend and an all around normal life until, in his words: "God through and 18-wheeler at me. Read more
Published on July 18 2004 by pizowell
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg in his best movie!
Exciting adaptation of the Stephen King novel . It turns around a man who uses physic powers to solve multiple murderers and perhaps avoiding the end of the world. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
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