Pulse (1988)

PG-13  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  4 March 1988 (USA)
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Reviews: 33 user | 15 critic

An intelligent pulse of electricity is moving from house to house. It terrorizes the occupants by taking control of the appliances, either killing them or causing them to wreck the house in... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Old Man
Myron Healey ...
Howard (as Myron D. Healy)
Terry Beaver ...
Greg Norberg ...


An intelligent pulse of electricity is moving from house to house. It terrorizes the occupants by taking control of the appliances, either killing them or causing them to wreck the house in an effort to destroy it. Then it travels along the power lines to the next house, and the terror restarts. Having thus wrecked one household in a quiet neighbourhood, the pulse finds itself in the home of a boy's divorced father whom he is visiting. It gradually takes control of everything, badly injures the stepmother, and traps father and son, who must fight their way out. Written by Cynan Rees <cynanrees@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It traps you in your own house... then pulls the plug. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Choque Mortal  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Joey Lawrence came in to read for the lead role, his parents suggested to writer/director Paul Golding that he should consider casting Lawrence's younger brother Matthew Lawrence in the smaller part of neighbor Stevie. Matthew was cast as Stevie after he nailed Stevie's curbside speech at his audition. See more »


When David first arrives at the house a mic is visible for a moment above him and Ellen. The mic then pulls away being hidden by an archway. See more »


Old man: I heard a man on TV one time say that paranoia, is just another word for heightened awareness
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the Columbia Pictures logo is shown before the movie starts, there's the rather distinct sound of a flame burst which is dubbed into the soundtrack as the torch on the Columbia logo ignites. This is a reference to the Pulse in the film taking control. See more »

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User Reviews

It's okay...
10 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The idea of a malevolent force living inside the local power lines (and thus, inside your home) is not a bad one. We can probably live with the plot, but what about the movie? The fact that we are treated to multiple shots of stuff like, oh I don't know, the thermostat (accompanied by tense music) to heighten our fear should give you the answer.

Apparently an electrical storm causes something to happen at a substation. Exactly what happens we will never know, because we pretty much see the lightning strike, then spend some time watching different film angles of power lines and equipment overlaid with the opening credits. I think that the lightning strike created "The Pulse," allowing it to travel over the wires finding a safe place to kill people, but do not quote me on that.

Enter Bill, Ellen, and David, the standard (fissionable) elements of a nuclear family. His dad's house might be in a well to do neighborhood, but Bill has installed all sorts of bars on the windows to prevent forced entry. Since the chances of a burglary in this film are probably nil, we can bet they will be unable to leave the cursed house at some point due to Bill's paranoid security measures.

Demonic forces (even ones with polarity) love to torment young children and the little wuss makes a perfect target, so how does it screw with David? By cracking gas mains, making the television go freaky, and eventually turning the home into a flaming death trap. It is all very silly to me, including the grass dying around the house. The current usually stays inside the wires or various appliances, why would plant matter start dying? Guess it just seemed like a "horrific" thing to happen.

If there was ever a movie the Amish would enjoy this is it ("See Jeremiah! Machines are the Devil's work! Now go outside and round up your six brothers for supper."), perhaps that was the audience targeted when it was produced? If so then someone in marketing got fired, probably beat up and then fired now that I think about it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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