I’m a bit of a Stephen King fan and love it when his stories are made into film providing they are well made of course. Unfortunately The Dead Zone despite being an excellent film adaption of Stephen King’s novel is yet to reach the UK on Blu-ray meaning the only way to see it at its best is to obtain an imported version that is region B/Free. So time to take a closer look and see what we get with the imported copy, here’s The Dead Zone Blu-ray review.
- Stephen King’s The Dead Zone (1983) Import
- Genre: Horror, Thriller
- Directed by David Cronenberg
- Based on the Stephen King novel The Dead Zone
- Running Time: 104 Mins
- UK Rating N/A
- Discs: 1
- Released By Lionsgate
- Blu-ray Import (Region B)
Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) is a teacher that lives in a town called Castle Rock in Maine. He is also very much in love with fellow teacher Sarah (Brooke Adams) fortunately for him she feels the same way and they intend to get married. However following a date in which their rode a rollercoaster Johnny is left feeling a little strange and has a headache. After driving Sarah home he declines her invitation to stay the night and proceeds to drive home on the snowy roads. That decision will change his live forever as he is involved in an accident leaving him in a coma for five years.
Once out of the coma Johnny discovers that when he touches certain people he can see into their future or past, is this a gift or a curse?
Style / Direction
The film is directed by David Cronenberg with the cinematography handled by Mark Irwin. To be honest I’d have to say that Cronenberg delivers a bit of a master-class in filmmaking with The Dead Zone. He simply makes all the right decisions be it casting, storytelling or visuals. I really don’t think anyone could have done a better job.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is composed by Michael Kamen and plays a key role and is almost like another character, let me simply same it works exceptionally well.
Acting / Characters
Christopher Walken is outstanding as teacher Johnny Smith that develops a special gift, and by doing so I simply cannot imagine anyone else playing the role, he’s that good.
The rest of the cast aren’t bad either with Brooke Adams taking on the role of Sarah, Johnny’s perfect match. These two are perfectly cast and have a rather nice chemistry.
Meanwhile Tom Skerritt plays the local Sheriff in need of Johnny’s assistance while Martin Sheen plays politician Greg Stillson who believes he is destined to be president and won’t allow anyone to stand in his way.
Yet there is one more important character that of Johnny’s doctor Sam Weizak played by the excellent Herbert Lom. It really doesn’t get much better than this in terms of perfect casting.
- Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith
- Brooke Adams as Sarah Bracknell
- Tom Skerritt as Sheriff George Bannerman
- Herbert Lom as Dr. Sam Weizak
- Anthony Zerbe as Roger Stuart
- Colleen Dewhurst as Henrietta Dodd
- Martin Sheen as Greg Stillson
- Nicholas Campbell as Deputy Frank Dodd
- Simon Craig as Chris Stuart
- Géza Kovács as Sonny
Conclusion – The Dead Zone (1983) Film Review
I’ve also loved this Stephen King story and this film version but I’d forgotten just how much having not watched The Dead Zone for many years. It’s directed by David Cronenberg and he delivers a superb vision of Stephen King’s novel, it moves along a good pace whilst never feeling like its skipping story telling. The snowy landscape of the town of Castle Rock looks perfect and Christopher Walken is simply sensational as a man both cursed and gifted.
If like me you haven’t seen this one for a while it’s time to dig it out and take a look and for those of you that are yet to see it you are in for a real treat. The Dead Zone is a must see and must have film in anyone’s collection.
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The Dead Zone (1983) Blu-ray Review
I’ll start with the bad news and it’s something I’ve already mention. Why is it not out on Blu-ray in the UK? Now on to the imported version, the picture quality is clean and sharp with zero speckles of dirt. There really is nothing to complain about in terms of sound and picture quality.
So time to take a look at those extras, “Memories from The Dead Zone” is the one that contains interviews with director David Cronenberg and actress Brooke Adams amongst others and is well worth a look. Meanwhile “The Look of The Dead Zone” focuses on how the visuals and location of the film and how they were chosen.
“Visions and Horror from The Dead Zone” concentrate on Johnny’s visions and how director David Cronenberg chose to visualise them. All of the extras are a must for fans of the film or novel.
- Audio Commentary by Screenwriter Stephen Jones & Film Critic Kim Newman
- Memories from The Dead Zone (12 mins)
- The Look of The Dead Zone (9 mins)
- Visions and Horror from The Dead Zone (10 mins)
- The Politics of The Dead Zone
- Original Theatrical Trailer
On to my movie rating for The Dead Zone (1983)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
The Dead Zone (1983) is available now on Blu-ray if you are prepared to obtain an imported version.
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip not be representative of the Blu-ray version
So that’s the The Dead Zone (1983) Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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The Dead Zone (1983) Blu-ray Review - Import
Director(s): David Cronenberg
Actor(s): Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Herbert Lom, Martin Sheen, Tom Skerritt, Nicholas Campbell
Genre: Horror, Drama
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Christopher Walken is outstanding in this fabulous film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel.
- Stephen King Story
- Stars Christopher Walken
- Directed by David Cronenberg
- Not Available On Blu-ray In The UK