THE DEAD ZONE, d. David Cronenberg (1984)
Is The Dead Zone the most depressing film ever made? Every character in it is miserable and/or doomed, living in a squalid world of sex murders, dead kids, broken dreams, busted minds, bad decisions, impossible love, endless loss - and it snows all the time.
At the centre of it is Christopher Walken as the terminally unlucky Johnny Smith, a role that fits Walken's disconnected persona like a glove. After a freak accident with a milk tanker, Smith wakes from a five year coma to find that his girlfriend is married and his job has been filled - although, on the plus side, his previously quite boring hair is now as wild as hell. Oh, and he's picked up the ability to touch a person and see into their past - or their future - and he even has the power to change it.
This gift of clairvoyance seems like no gift at all to poor Johnny, and though it ends up saving the world, it doesn’t bring him any happiness, just death. It’s all terribly sad.
Let’s hope that there’s a Johnny Smith out there somewhere who’s shaken Donald Trump’s hand and is working on a way to sidestep the apocalypse.