TV Cream

Films: D is for...

Dead Zone, The

To be honest, if you wanted to make a horror film with Christopher Walken in, you could just sit him in a chair and have him look into the camera for 90 minutes, smiling occasionally. Anyway, David Cronenberg has him do a bit more in this version of Stephen King’s novel in which a young, bright, happy  – and therefore damned – teacher is put into a coma for five years only to wake up and discover he’s psychic, a power no doubt exacerbated by having scary eyes. Not normally our cup of tea, but Herbert Lom appears, so we’ll always be there for it.



  1. Tom Ronson

    February 22, 2022 at 1:09 am

    Watched this for the first time earlier this year. Walken very much belongs to the Peter Cook school of film acting – tilt your head to one side, staccato line readings, glassy stare all present and correct – but it works perfectly here, because his character actually is brain damaged. Every sod else has noted how similar Martin Sheen’s Greg Stillson is to Donald Trump, but it’s quite uncanny.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    February 22, 2022 at 8:04 am

    The Martin Sheen character may be a bit like Trump, but I suspect that’s less because of some eerie prescience (although quite fitting for a film about the gift of prophecy), but because he’s just the latest in a line of boorish demagogues in US politics – e.g. Huey Long, George Wallace, Joe McCarthy. This is one of Cronenberg’s less characteristic films (hard to believe it’s just two years since Scanners, which is a bit low-budget in feel and appearance, and isn’t blessed with very good leads – and even Patrick McGoohan is very subdued.

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