Combustible Celluloid
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With: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Martin Sheen, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst, Nicholas Campbell
Written by: Jeffrey Boam, based on a novel by Stephen King
Directed by: David Cronenberg
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 103
Date: 21/10/1983

The Dead Zone (1983)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Future Shock

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This adaptation of a Stephen King bestseller was David Cronenberg's first "job for hire" in Hollywood, and for a time it was also his most universally acclaimed movie. Maybe it served as a kind of inoculation toward his more personal works. Christopher Walken stars in a terrifically modulated performance, part deranged, part haunted, as Johnny Smith. Just after he becomes engaged to his beloved Sarah (Brooke Adams), he gets into a car accident that leaves him in a coma. Years later, he awakens to discover that not only is Sarah married to someone else, but also he has the power to see the future of anyone he touches. After a series of shocking events, he retreats to live as privately as possible, but visions of an up-and-coming politician (Martin Sheen) begin to draw him out. Cronenberg tells the story with measured strokes and a sure emotional touch as well as nifty blasts of horror. It's a solid piece of work.

DVD Details: Paramount's 2000 DVD comes with a theatrical trailer. In 2006, they released a "special edition" with several featurettes.

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