The Dead Zone (Collector’s Edition): Blu-Ray Review

During the 1980’s fourteen feature films based on the works of Stephen King were released.  Many were helmed by iconic filmmakers such as George A. Romero, Stanley Kubrick, Rob Reiner and John Carpenter. 1983’s The Dead Zone was also directed by one of the most iconic filmmakers to work in horror, David Cronenberg. While many consider the film to be one of the finest films to be adapted from a Stephen King novel, I was never a huge fan. That doesn’t mean I don’t like The Dead Zone, I just never loved it.  This week we get a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, which includes a new 4K scan of the original camera negative. If you love this Cronenberg/King psychological horror flick, you are going to be over-the-moon with this disk.

Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) is a good guy, living a simple, yet satisfying life. He likes his job as a school teacher, he loves his fiancée, who absolutely adores him. Johnny’s wonderful life comes to a sudden halt after he crashes into a milk tanker truck, which put him in a coma for five years. He awakens to learn that his fiancée Sarah (Brooke Adams) has moved on and started a new family. Johnny’s body has weakened from being in a bed for five years, so he must learn how to build his muscles and walk again. Oh, and he has now developed a psychic ability, that allows him to see someone’s past or future, simply by touching them.

As a big fan of Christopher Walken, it is his performance here that kept me invested. However, the film itself has never left any kind of lasting impact on me. Not the way Scanners or The Fly did, which The Dead Zone was sandwiched in between. Still, Scream Factory has delivered a fantastic release here. The new remaster is absolutely, beautiful. I could tell early on during the roller coaster scene just how much work went into cleaning up the film. The snow-filled daytime scenes are where the details are most notable. This is a huge improvement of Paramount’s previous Blu-ray release.

There are a heaping amount of new bonus features, including interviews with Brooke Adams and the film’s producers, plus a handful of new audio commentaries. If you are someone who loves The Dead Zone, I highly recommend grabbing this disk.

Bonus Features

  • NEW 2021 4K Scan Of The Original Camera Negative
  • 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

By: Marc Ferman