“The Dead Zone”


One of my big dilemmas when watching a film from the past that I haven’t seen is that sometimes, the ensuing years will intervene and hamper my enjoyment. For example, try and watch one of Rock Hudson’s old leading man roles knowing about the whole gay/AIDS thing. Like it or not, you’re distracted. This happened to me when I was catching up with David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone.

The Dead Zone came out in 1983, when I was 8 years old. My family, being shockingly sensible, decided they wouldn’t take me to see it, since it was rated R. Therefore, my first exposure to The Dead Zone came by two other means:

1) 20 minutes’ worth of the film I watched on television once;
2) The SNL sketch “Ed Glosser: Trivial Psychic.”

Take it away, Sir Walken:

As a result of one of my favorite SNL sketches, I was almost unable to enjoy The Dead Zone. Every time Walken did the “SHOCK” reaction, I couldn’t help but smile and snicker in that same childish way I do when the Ford Super Duty truck commercial comes on. Ha, oh man . . . Super Duty. Gross! lol

My split-second blips of immaturity aside, I liked The Dead Zone a lot. Cronenberg shoots in the same style as A History of Violence and Eastern Promises: Dry, direct, with an almost invisible hand. Like those other films, The Dead Zone contains a freaky scene of violence that will jolt you. I think I preferred The Dead Zone to those films, largely due to my Walken fandom. If you have Netflix Instant Watch, by all means catch up with it.

Speaking of which, this is one of the first films I watched using the Netflix Streaming service for the Wii … Like nearly every other viewing experience through this system, watching The Dead Zone was alternately enjoyable and unbelievably infuriating. While I was satisfied with the picture quality (I don’t have HD, so I’m unable to complain), The movie froze a handful of times, adding 15-20 minutes of delay to the film’s running time. My connection just isn’t constant enough, and is guaranteed to freeze at least twice during any program. Any help with speeding up this connection would be appreciated.


One thought on ““The Dead Zone”

  1. Dead Zone is a major fave – the SNL skit is hilarious. Speaking of King movies – I read Cujo a couple weeks ago. Then I watched the movie last night. (I saw it once on cable a hundred years ago but had little memory of it). I was amazed at how good it was! Genuinely scary and disturbing, and Dee Wallace is terrific. Highly recommended. Not On-Demand, though :0(. Oh, and be careful if you check it out, cuz there’s a pan n scan version out there – yucko.

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