During the making of the movie, a stuntman suffered severe burns about his legs and groin when a prop went off too closely to his body as a WWII flashback scene was being shot. In this movie, you will also learn why one actor saw this film as a family affair and how one thing could easily turn into a great prop.
Martin Sheen’s son in real life, Ramon Estevez, plays a photographer that takes indiscreet photos of his character, Greg Stillson.
To make Christopher Walken’s face appear sweaty when he was playing out the scene where a bedroom is on fire, a flame-retardant chemical was sprayed onto his face to create this effect. At first, the results were unexpected.
David Cronenberg stated that he wanted to change the name of the main character, as he didn’t think Johnny Smith was suitable. In the end, the name remained.
The Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards awarded the CSC Award Best Cinematography in Theatrical Feature to Mark Irwin.
There was an alternate ending that never made the cut, that involved Johnny Smith surviving being gunned down and his girlfriend suffering a knife attack in the hospital. He was to also slip back into a coma and die.
At the beginning of the movie, Johnny read a poem, which is actually the end of “The Raven” , penned by the great Edgar Allan Poe.
The film and the novel written by Stephen King were based loosely on the life of a well-known psychic named Peter Hurkos, who claimed that his psychic powers didn’t start until he fell off of a ladder and hit his head as a result. He has since passed away in 1988, but led a colorful life. He was a member of the Dutch Resistance during the Second World War against the Nazis and was sent to prison in Buchenwald for his efforts. In later years, he would gain the assistance of a businessman named Henry Belk and a parapsychologist named Andrija Puharich. They helped him become a reputable entertainer who was rather effective when performing psychic shows before live and TV audiences. He has often been compared to Uri Geller.
At the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival, David Cronenberg won the Antennae II Award, Critics Award, and the Suspense Award. He was also nominated for the Grand Prize, but did not take that particular award home.
Originally, Cronenberg preferred Hal Holbrook to play the role of Sheriff Bannerman, but he was overruled by Dino De Laurentiis, who had never heard of the actor before.
The movie was produced in English and Russian.
“The Dead Zone” offers a runtime of 103 minutes.
Depending on what country you saw this movie at , you will encounter many different translations of the title. In Poland, it was known as “Strefa smierci” In Brazil, it was called “A Hora da Zona Morta;” Portugal called it “Zona de Perigo;” and “Zona mrtvih” in Serbia.