March 31st, 2014: The Dead Zone (1983)

Cast and Crew:  David Cronenberg (Director); Stephen King (Novel); Dino De Laurentiis (Executive Producer), Debra Hill (Producer); Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst,

What It’s About: When Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) emerges from a coma after a near fatal car crash, he’s changed in one vital way:  he’s able to see things about people-their past, futures, and present-when he touches them.  After his attempts to use his gift back fire, he becomes a recluse-that is, until he meets populist politician Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen).

Why Watch it Today?: Lead Christopher Walken was born today in 1943 in Queens.  Walken is most known for his long career of wonderful, out there cameos and supporting roles, but here he plays the lead in one of the better adaptations of Stephen King.  While it is not a full-fledged classic, it is good to see Walken before he became a “funny/creepy/weird” cameo king. 

Other Choices: Walken is wonderful as Leonardo DiCaprio’s father in Catch Me if You Can; and as an over-the-top bad guy in The Rundown.

2 comments on “March 31st, 2014: The Dead Zone (1983)

  1. Psy says:

    A superb choice as usual. There’s an extra special level of irony added by the fact Mr. Creepy Cameo King is playing the most-literal everyman in Stephen King’s entire multiverse: John No-Middle-Initial Smith.

    • professormortis says:

      Thank you sir. I hadn’t thought of that, but it is pretty ironic that he’s playing a guy who’s gained the ability to see into the future and it’s about as normal as Walken gets to play.

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