One of the best film adaptions of Stephen King's novels, 1983's THE DEAD ZONE is a taut, terrific thriller.
Christopher Walken stars as Johnny, a school teacher who falls deep into a coma after a rainy car accident. Awakening after five years, Johnny finds that his fiance has remarried, life has moved on and that he has a very special "gift".
When he touches people, he can see major events in their lives, past, present or future.
At first, the ability appears to be a gift. Johnny touches a nurse caring for him when he wakes up and sees her daughter at home, trapped in a fire.
The nurse rushes home just in time to be save her.
Soon however, the visions bring darker events to life and Johnny becomes part of the hunt for a serial killer in his home town.
Martin Sheen is great as a slimy politician whose chance hand shake with Johnny drives the film's final act. Walken is very good as Johnny, portraying a good, quiet man with a dangerous power. Unsure how and when to use it, Johnny walks a dangerous and very fine line.
Director David Cronenberg is a great fit for the material. It's a far more mainstream film that his other efforts like "Scanners" or "Videodrome" but he carves out a great movie.
The Dead Zone is heaven for King fans and a fine thriller for any movie fan. It's aged well and Walken is superb. We'll give it an A.