BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Dead Zone: Collector's Edition (1983) - Blu-ray Review

The Dead Zone: Collector's Edition

“And the lamplight streaming shows his shadow on the floor.”

Some say this is David Cronenberg’s best film.  While I may not necessarily agree with that suggestion, I have to agree - and this is wholeheartedly - that, The Dead Zone, just might be one of the best Stephen King adaptations to ever grace the silver screen thanks to screenwriter Jeffrey Boam’s attempts to squeeze every bit of emotion from the original book, published in 1979.  That, coupled with the acting talents involved and Cronenberg’s knack for inserting horror in the everyday roll of the dice, makes The Dead Zone a King-sized cinematic treat.

"Scream Factory brings The Dead Zone to blu-ray thanks to a new 2021 scan from the original negative"


Starring Christopher Walken (Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, The Dogs of War, King of New Work, Batman Returns, True Romance) as Johnny Smith, The Dead Zone rolls out its drama in solid Cronenberg fashion as Johnny and his love, Sarah (Brooke Adams), a fellow teacher, enjoy a rollercoaster ride together at a local amusement park.  That night, after reading out loud Edgar Alan Poe’s The Raven to his students and assigning The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, he suffers a coma as the result of a freak highway accident.

Cut to FIVE YEARS LATER

Life has moved on.  But, for Johnny, it seems just like yesterday.  Except for one thing.  As a result of his damaged brain, he can now see the future when he comes into contact with people.  That’s right, Johnny is now a freak of nature and, once the world gets hold of his power, nothing will be the same for him again.

His visions are violent and unexpected and they arrive whenever he touches another human being.  Secrets are revealed.  Fates are told.  First, it is the nurse.  Then it is his neurologist Dr. Sam Weizak (Herbert Lom), whom Johnny informs that his mother is still alive and how he can contact her.  Thanks to Cronenberg’s camera, these past retellings are masterful and full of horrors that are unsettling and deeply rooted in a person’s psyche.The Dead Zone: Collector's Edition

Soon enough, Johnny has caught the attention of Sheriff George Bannerman (Tom Skerritt) and, eventually, assists him with solving the murders that are occurring in Castle Rock.  Johnny might feel like he's dying on the inside, but, thanks to the gift of his second sight, he is giving life and guidance to a whole bunch of people who need a light in the darkness.  

But something is amiss here as his powers grow and he heals from the 5-year coma.  Sympathetic and howling with terror, The Dead Zone is a quiet storm of psychological terror.  Not a moment is wasted.  

The dread and tension that hangs about in almost every frame of Cronenberg’s film as Johnny’s second sight develops sets into motion a chance to save the world from a narcissistic demigod figurehead, played by Martin Sheen, who, as President of the United States, fires the first shots in a nuclear war.  All this from a car accident.

Thing is, Johnny’s reluctance to help others and change the fate of the country drives this narrative forward and adds to Walken’s haunting performance, making this film and its tragic events all the more unshakable.  

Co-starring Colleen Dewhurst and Nicholas Campbell as Deputy Frank Dodd, Scream Factory brings The Dead Zone to blu-ray thanks to a new 2021 scan from the original negative.  Johnny can see the future.  He can’t escape it, though.

The Dead Zone: Collector’s Edition is now available to own.

5/5 beers

The Dead Zone: Collector's Edition (1983)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- July 27, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

School teacher Johnny Smith (Chistopher Walken) had a beautiful fiancée, a rewarding career and a fortunate life ... until one tragic accident changed everything. After slamming into an 18-wheeler, Johnny is plunged into a five-year coma. When he awakens, he finds his true collision was with destiny – he now has the remarkable gift (or curse) of seeing into the future. From horror master Stephen King and director David Cronenberg (Scanners, Dead Ringers), this supernatural thriller turns an everyday guy into a reluctant hero ... saving children in danger, helping the police and finding a serial killer. But Johnny's next vision may be his most terrifying yet.

Video:

Thanks to the new 2021 4K scan, The Dead Zone gets to be brand new all over again. Maybe now it will find the right audience. The new scan of the original film is crisp and bright, adding a lot of pop to the scenic locations used throughout this sad and frightening tale of a man who can see the future. Colors absolutely pop. Locales, both at night and during the day, are vibrant. The town at night is full of depth and well-defined shadows. Black levels are both solid and deep. Presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the 1080 transfer looks great.

Audio:

A booming DTS-HD Master Audio track provides the tension and the terror.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features for the breakdown.

Special Features:

The NEW 2021 4K Scan Of The Original Camera Negative is one reason to own this release.  The movie is, of course, another, but these supplementals are incredible.  With new looks at the movie, interviews, and all the new commentaries, this is one of the best Collector’s Edition releases that Scream Factory has put out.

  • NEW Sarah’s Story – An Interview With Actress Brooke Adams
  • NEW Cold Visions: Producing The Dead Zone – Featuring Interviews With Production Manager John M. Eckert And Associate Producer Jeffrey Chernov
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Mark Irwin
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian Michael Gingold
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian/Author Dr. Steve Haberman And Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Music Historian Daniel Schweiger With Isolated Score Selections
  • Trailers From Hell – Mick Garris On The Dead Zone
  • Memories From The Dead Zone
  • The Look Of The Dead Zone
  • Visions Of The Dead Zone
  • The Politics Of The Dead Zone
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Behind The Scenes Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

5/5 stars


Film Details

The Dead Zone: Collector's Edition

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
103 mins
Director
: David Cronenberg
Writer:
Jeffrey Boam
Cast:
Christopher Walken; Brooke Adams; Tom Skerritt
Genre
: Sci-fi | Horror
Tagline:
He can see the future. But can he escape it?
Memorable Movie Quote: "They call it "coma diet". Lose weight while you sleep."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 21, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 27, 2021.
Synopsis: School teacher Johnny Smith (Chistopher Walken) had a beautiful fiancée, a rewarding career and a fortunate life … until one tragic accident changed everything. After slamming into an 18-wheeler, Johnny is plunged into a five-year coma. When he awakens, he finds his true collision was with destiny – he now has the remarkable gift (or curse) of seeing into the future. From horror master Stephen King and Director David Cronenberg (Scanners, Dead Ringers), this supernatural thriller turns an everyday guy into a reluctant hero … saving children in danger, helping the police and finding a serial killer. But Johnny's next vision may be his most terrifying yet …

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The Dead Zone: Collector's Edition

 

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