All of these movies hold up just as well as when I first saw most them in the theater.
What is the point of this set?
The Stephen King Collection is filled with three of (what I think) the best adaptations of his work. The films in the set are The Dead Zone, Pet Semetary, Silver Bullet and Graveyard Shift. What is the one clunker in the bunch? Well, despite my reservations about Pet Semetary when I first saw it, I found that it sat quite well with me this time around. Who knows, maybe I have gotten older and I just understand camp more? The only film in this collection that just didn't work for me was Graveyard Shift. I found it to be too moody and dull for my tastes, where as the other films seemed to move in a more a organic way.
It was a lot of fun rewatching The Dead Zone, Pet Semetary and Silver Bullet. The work that Christopher Walken does in The Dead Zone is pitch perfect. Even today, the the horror scenes still manage to scare me in how they present themselves. Lastly, Silver Bullet is just a good film. One of the most unsung performances in the history of horror movies would have to be that of Everett McGill as Reverend Lowe. That double performance has really held up over the years.
As this is a collection of older DVDs, I didn't go through each title as if it was brand new. That accounts for the lack of Special Feature coverage.
Widescreen - In this day and age when more and more movies are getting rereleased, it at least makes sense that the people creating these DVDs would do something to make the image stand out. While I think this set is created for little more than to pamper the bottom-line of Paramount, it sort of seems like a waste if they're not going to reintroduce these films in a better way. It isn't that the picture or anything else looks bad, it just seems like this set, other than the Stephen King connection, is a bit tenuous in how these films have been placed together.
The audio on all of these discs was solid. Getting a chance to screen them back to back really gave me an appreciation for the soundtracks of the horror films in the early 1980s/ early 1990s. Too many of the soundtracks in horror movies today sound too grand, whereas the scores of these movies work because they creep into those little areas where we as a viewer might feel safe. By doing that, the audio in some of these films doesn't give us anywhere to hide.
This slipcase cover is laid out simply enough as it presents all four films side by side, but it only uses a small amount of imagery from the films to get it's point across. The back cover gives us more information on the films, and this should help consumers decide just how worth their money this set is. The movies themselves are housed in slim cases with really nice looking artwork that compliments this digipack design. All in all, while this release might feel familiar, it is made to look as new as possible.
I remember when I first saw The Dead Zone in the movie theater. I was on the edge of my seat every step of the way. That was also during a time when my Mom was buying all the Stephen King books, and I was reading the first few pages. As I would read, I would form an idea about the characters in my head, then I would go and see the movie and be pleasantly surprised at how my imagination had prepared me for the film. While there were moments that my 11 year old brain found The Dead Zone to be a little hard to comprehend, revisiting it now in the Stephen King Collection has increased my appreciation for it.
If you don't own any of these films, I think the Stephen King Collection is a good place to start if you are trying to bulk up your collection. If you do own some of the films, you might be better served cherry-picking the floaters from the DVD bins.
The Dead Zone was released October 21, 1983.