Rating:

Arguably the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel, THE DEAD ZONE stars Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith, a shy schoolteacher who leaves his fiancee's house one night during a rainstorm and suffers a near-fatal auto accident. Five years later Johnny comes out of a deep coma, his life

forever changed. His fiancee has married another man, his mother has become a religious fanatic, and he has developed the power to see people's futures by touching their hands. After helping to solve a murder and saving the life of a child he "saw" drowning in a vision, Johnny attends a political

rally. There he shakes hands with local candidate Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen) and has a spontaneous vision: Stillson will become President and precipitate a nuclear war. As the politician gains power and influence through his calculated right-wing populism, Johnny resolves to assassinate him.

David Cronenberg's first mainstream film, THE DEAD ZONE alienated some genre fans who missed the director's trademark gross-out effects (which made an unforgettable reappearance in his 1986 masterpiece, THE FLY). Here, Cronenberg's well-known obsessions with the human body, disease, and aberrant

sexuality take a back seat to another very personal theme--social alienation, as expressed through unconventional ways of seeing. It's also an attack on the destructive impulses associated with masculinity: Sheen's aggressively potent Stillson is insistently contrasted with Johnny, a crippled,

anemic Cassandra brilliantly embodied by Christopher Walken.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1983
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Arguably the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel, THE DEAD ZONE stars Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith, a shy schoolteacher who leaves his fiancee's house one night during a rainstorm and suffers a near-fatal auto accident. Five years later Johnny co… (more)

Show More »

Watch This

Chris Geere and Aya Cash
The You're the Worst cast can act, but can they draw? (Nope!)

We challenged Chris Geere, Aya Cash, Kether Donohue and Desmin Borges to draw 45-second portraits of each other and the results were... interesting