The Dead Zone (1983)

Article 3757 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-15-2011
Posting Date: 11-27-2011
Directed by David Cronenberg
Featuring Chrisopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt
Country: USA
What it is: Psychic power drama

A schoolteacher goes into a coma after a freak car accident. He comes out of his coma five years later with his life utterly changed… and with newly developed psychic powers. But what will be the price he has to pay to use these powers?

This movie marks a landmark in my Movie of the Day series, as it is the first movie I’ve covered that is based on something from the pen of perhaps the most famous horror writer in the world, Stephen King. Oddly enough, the novel was a departure for King, as this movie would also be for director David Cronenberg; it’s perhaps the most restrained work from either artist. It’s an excellent movie that explores the moral and personal issues of having a psychic power, as well as a conscience and a sense of responsibility, and it asks one of the more difficult moral questions to be found; if you could save the world at the expense of your life and reputation, would you do it? There are fine performances from an excellent cast, especially from Christopher Walken as the psychic and Martin Sheen as a ruthless politician, but Brooke Adams, Herbert Lom, and Anthony Zerbe are all memorable as well. I’d seen this one before, and I’m glad to say that I still find it just as gripping as I did then. Highly recommended.

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