The Dead Zone is a 1983 thriller film directed by David Cronenberg (The Fly, Scanners, Shivers, Videodrome, & Crash). It’s based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Stephen King (Castle Rock, Maximum Overdrive, Silver Bullet, Doctor Sleep, IT, Pet Sematary, The Outsider, & Creepshow). It was written by Jeffrey Boam (Lethal Weapon 1/2/3, The Lost Boys, The Phantom, & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). It was produced by Dino De Laurentiis (Silver Bullet, Sometimes They Come Back, Firestarter, Cat’s Eye, Maximum Overdrive,& Army of Darkness) & Debra Hill (Halloween franchise, Escape from New York, The Fog, Adventures in Babysitting, & Escape from L.A.). The Sheriff Bannerman character also showed up in Cujo. The project was originally developed at Lorimar Film Entertainment. It was remade into a television series from 2002 to 2007. The budget was at an estimated $10 million & it grossed an estimated $20.8 million at the box office worldwide!!!!
In the town of Castle Rock, John Smith (played by: Christopher Walken from Batman Returns, The Deer Hunter, King of New York, & True Romance) is a schoolteacher that’s in love with his colleague Sarah Bracknell (played by: Brooke Adams from Shock Waves, The Unborn, Sometimes They Come Back, & Days of Heaven). After having a headache following a ride on a roller coaster, Johnny politely declines when Sarah asks if he wants to spend the night with her. As he drives home through stormy weather, he has a car accident that leaves him in a coma. He awakens under the care of neurologist Dr. Sam Weizak (played by: Herbert Lom from Pink Panther franchise, Ten Little Indians, Count Dracula, & Asylum). He finds that five years have passed & Sarah is now married with a child. Johnny soon discovers that he now has the psychic ability to learn aspects of a person’s life through physical contact with them. As he touches a nurse’s hand, he has a vision of her daughter trapped in a fire. He also sees that Weizak’s mother who was thought to have died during World War II is actually still alive & that a pushy reporter’s sister committed suicide. Johnny’s mother has a heart attack & dies after being visited by Johnny in the hospital. As news of his “gift” spreads, Johnny is asked by Sheriff George Bannerman (played by: Tom Skerritt from Alien, Top Gun, Poltergeist III, & Poison Ivy) for help with a series of murders. He sleeps with Sarah after reuniting with her. Having a change of heart about the murders, Johnny agrees to help Bannerman & through a vision at the crime scene he discovers it’s someone close to Bannerman’. Deputy Frank Dodd (played by: Nicholas Campbell from Naked Lunch, Cinderella Man, A Bridge Too Far, & The Omen) is trapped in the middle of it. A disillusioned Johnny now barely able to walk & moves away to attempt to live a more isolated life. He takes on tutoring jobs for children & working from home until a wealthy man named Roger Stuart (played by: Anthony Zerbe from American Hustle, The Matrix franchise, Licence to Kill, & See No Evil, Hear No Evil) implores him to come visit & tutor his son Chris (played by: Simon Craig from Kung Fu: The Legend Continues). They form a friendship, but Johnny soon receives a vision of Chris & two other boys falling through the ice of a local pond then drowning due to wearing heavy hockey equipment during a practice. Johnny attends a rally for Greg Stillson (played by: Martin Sheen from The Departed, Badlands, Firestarter, & Apocalypse Now), a superficially charismatic third-party candidate for the United States Senate. Johnny shakes Stillson’s hand & has a vision of him becoming president then ordering a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union that results in a nuclear holocaust. Johnny is forced with a hard decision but he must stop this evil man with power. What will he do? Can he change the future again????