Dead Zone


The Dead Zone

David Cronenberg
USA, 1983
103min, OF

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

The Dead Zone

David Cronenberg
USA, 1983
, 103min, OF

Christopher Walken
Johnny Smith
Brooke Adams
Sarah Bracknell
Herbert Lom
Dr. Sam Welzak
Martin Sheen
Greg Stillson
Jeffrey Boam
based on the book
Mark Irwin
Ronald Saunders
Michael Kamen
Carol Spier
Olga Dimitrov

Dino De Laurentiis Company
Lorimar Film Entertainment
35 mm

Christopher Walken plays a high school teacher whose life is happy, until the night an accident puts him into a coma for five years. When he returns, he has an extra-sensory gift. He can touch people’s hands and know what will happen to them. His first discovery is that he can foresee the future. His second is that he can change it. (Roger Ebert)

Don’t let the fact that visible breath and frosty misery take priority over exploding heads and fetus-licking snow you. THE DEAD ZONE, a completely transitional film, is one of Cronenberg’s most emotionally warm films, even at the same time as its devastating sense of topographical isolation remains at absolute zero… The protagonist’s stripes as a tragic hero are earned because, in spite of the fact that he can see everything from every other time period in clear detail, he can’t attend to his own personal narrative. Actually, the real “dead zone” is Johnny’s own life, which he can neither see accurately, nor change. (Eric Henderson)

35mm copy from the UCLA Film & Television Archive