Dead Zone (film)

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German title Dead zone
Original title The Dead Zone
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1983
length 100 minutes
Age rating FSK 16/18
Director David Cronenberg
script Jeffrey Boam
production Debra Hill , Dino De Laurentiis
music Michael Kamen
camera Mark Irwin
cut Ronald Sanders

Dead Zone (alternative title: Dead Zone - Der Assentäter , original title: The Dead Zone ) is an American film from 1983 , which is a mixture of horror film and mystery thriller .

The director was David Cronenberg , the script was written by Jeffrey Boam based on the novel Dead Zone - The assassination of Stephen King from 1979. Christopher Walken played the leading role and the German dubbing was done by the dubbing company Interopa Film GmbH, Berlin.


Young teacher Johnny Smith and his girlfriend Sarah Bracknell teach at a school in Castle Rock, Maine . He declines an invitation to stay with her and gets into a serious car accident on the way home. He barely survived this and fell into a coma . When Smith wakes up from a coma after five years, he finds that his former girlfriend is already married and has one child. When he shakes hands with a boy, he foresees how he would break into the ice while playing ice hockey and drown. He warns the boy, who then doesn't go to the ice hockey game - but two of his teammates break in and die.

Smith realizes that he has clairvoyant skills: he can see the future of the people he touches. He can also change the future through his gift.

In this way he saves the life of his nurse's daughter, informs his doctor, the neurologist Dr. Sam Weizak about the fact that his mother, believed to be dead, is still alive, and uses his gift to help Sheriff Bannerman in the hunt for a mentally ill serial killer who is actually found through his help.

But now the terrible sides of his gift become clear to him, because soon he foresees bad things: When Smith shakes hands with the politician Greg Stillson at an election rally, he sees that Stillson, as President of the United States, will start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union .

Smith then prepares an attempt to kill Stillson. To do this, he wants to shoot him with a rifle during an election campaign. But Stillson notices the assassin and uses Sarah Bracknell's child, who works as his election worker, as a protective shield. Smith hesitates and is mortally wounded by a bodyguard. When he is dying, Stillson touches him again. Smith sees a picture of the politician with the child as a shield on a front page. The event will end his political career, after which he will commit suicide. The last words of Smith, addressed to the politician, are: "You are finished." Then he dies in the arms of Bracknell, who says: "I love you."


Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times of October 26, 1983 that the film does what only good thrillers with supernatural powers would: It made the viewer forget that supernatural powers were at work. The film is partly pathetic, which the viewer would accept. Ebert praised the performances by Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, and Martin Sheen.

"Mostly exciting political thriller based on Stephen King - a bit fuzzy in terms of psychological motivation, but with appropriate swipes at the political climate in the USA."


The film won the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 1984 . Furthermore, Christopher Walken as best actor, David Cronenberg as best director and Jeffrey Boam as best author were each nominated for the same award.

David Cronenberg was awarded the Critics' Prize at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival in 1984 and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. In addition, he received two awards from the Mostra Internazionale del Film di Fantascienza e del Fantastico di Roma in 1984 .

background knowledge

  • At first, Christopher Walken's character reads an excerpt from Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven to his students .
  • The shooting took place in Ontario , Canada . Production costs amounted to approximately 10 million US dollars , the box office in theaters US dollars approximately 20.8 million.
  • The television series Dead Zone is also based on Stephen King's novel .
  • At the beginning of the film, Christopher Walken's character mentions the story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ( The Legend of the Sleepy Gorge ). In 1999, Walken starred in the movie Sleepy Hollow .
  • The film opened in German cinemas on May 18, 1984.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dead Zone - The Assassin (1983) German synchronous files. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Film review by Roger Ebert
  3. Dead Zone. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  4. ^ The Dead Zone (1983). Box Office Mojo, accessed July 24, 2013 .
  5. ^ THE DEAD ZONE Moviepilot . Retrieved January 20, 2018.