Sep 092020

The Dead Zone doesn’t quite enter into classic territory for me, but I did generally find it entertaining thanks to a charismatic enough performance from Christopher Walken who actually plays the lead fairly straight.



The Dead Zone

Genre(s): Drama, Horror
Paramount | R – 103 min. | September 15, 2020

Date Published: 09/09/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: David Cronenberg
Writer(s): Stephen King (novel); Jeffrey Boam (screenplay)
Cast: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Martin Sheen

Features: None
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French
Disc Size: 23.74 GB
Total Bitrate: 29.37 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.25/5

Plot Synopsis: When Johnny Smith (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN) awakens from a coma caused by a car accident, he finds that years have passed, and he now has psychic abilities. Heartbroken that his girlfriend (BROOKE ADAMS) has moved on with her life, Johnny also must contend with his unsettling powers, which allow him to see a person’s future with a mere touch. After shaking the hand of aspiring politician Greg Stillson (MARTIN SHEEN), Johnny sees the danger presented by the candidate’s rise and resolves to kill him.

Quick Hit Review: The Dead Zone is a movie I had never seen before doing this review, albeit heard of it thanks to the television series. My first viewing is pretty much on par with many of the Stephen King adaptations, meaning it’s mostly well made but not especially memorable, which is kind of strange considering this was directed by David Cronenberg, not exactly known for making standard cinema, and featuring Christopher Walken, not known for playing relatively normal characters, even one with the supernatural telepathic abilities, he’s pretty straight forward. The film itself is engaging enough I suppose and fun seeing Martin Sheen playing a sleazy politician, a far cry from this turn on The West Wing.

Not saying The Dead Zone ranks all that high on my list, comparatively it’s one of the better Stephen King adaptations, albeit behind The Shining which King absolutely hated (no idea what his thoughts were on this). There’s nothing that really stands out except for an interesting premise, but the finale at least does have some tension and a satisfying ending.



This is one of the movies in the Stephen King: 5-Movie Collection. No features were included for this movie.


VIDEO – 3.75/5

The Dead Zone marks its debut on Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. For the most part the picture here does look adequate enough, detail is relatively well defined but it’s not exactly a fine grain level of sharpness and colors were at least decent enough. That being said, I did notice some instances of some specs and dust marks so clearly this did not undergo any sort of restoration, but these flaws weren’t especially distracting, however would be nice if a company like Arrow or Shout Factory would undertake a new transfer along with some special features down the line.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The film comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which I found serviceable, especially since the bulk of the movie is dialogue driven. There is some modest depth for the crowd scenes during the campaign parts of the movie, including idle chatter and such, but otherwise most everything was generally centrally located.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, The Dead Zone doesn’t quite enter into classic territory for me, but I did generally find it entertaining thanks to a charismatic enough performance from Christopher Walken who actually plays the lead fairly straight, same goes for Cronenberg’s direction.

As of this writing, the film is only available in high-definition through the Stephen King: 5-Movie Collection though for fans, I would hold out for Shout Factory to release a “Collector’s Edition” with a restored video and some bonus features.


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