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A murderous TV repairman, Horace Pinker is killing people in a small town left, right and center. He eventually finds the home of Lt. Parker, who is investigating his crimes, and savagely murders Parker's wife, son and daughter. His other son, Jonathan has a strange connection to Pinker through his dreams, and he directs his father to Pinker's business, where a small group of officers enter. Pinker escapes in a horrific spree, killing four officers and then targeting Jonathan's girlfriend, Alison. Another dream leads Jonathan and his dad to a residence where they catch Pinker in in the act of kidnapping. Pinker is arrested after a fight with Jonathan and sentenced to die in the electric chair. When executed, Pinker - who supposedly had given his soul to the devil in exchange for the power to come back as an energy source - takes over people's bodies and continues committing murders, until Jonathan devises a plan to bring Pinker into the real world, and then cut off his power source... Written by
"We can't go killing people just to get Pinker out of their bodies".
Wes Craven's "Shocker" doesn't have much of a reputation, but I didn't mind it although I thought it just got too silly as it went along almost becoming a joke upon itself. However it does hark back to the surrealistic touches of Craven's "A Nightmare on Elm Street", as Craven recycles certain ideas (like the suburbia setting) and adds variations with no real narrative stringing them together. But with that in mind, I found it to be an mildly rousing, if unevenly confounded horror comedy with Craven's vivid direction (with characteristically free-flowing cinematography) and an amusing animated performance by Mitch Pileggi as a family serial killer who manages to survive the electric chair by body hopping to continue his vicious murder spree while also seeking vengeance against the teenager (a deadpan Peter Berg) that put him in the chair. I actually prefer it, before its gimmicky electricity angle kicks in and then it drags on for far too long. The story kind of reminded me of the similar themed "The Horror Show" (1989), but that one was much more serious. "Shocker" can be dark in spots (and surprisingly violent with its splatter), but its soften by its self-knowing dialogues (the killer's smart arse remarks), daft actions and goofy eccentricity. Some scenes are so ridiculous like something out of a cartoon, which can be its charm or Achilles heal. The special effects are clean and direct, while the score has a constant anxious drill to the cues. Performances are adequate with Michael Murphy showing up and there are some small parts for Ted Raimi and Heather Langenkamp. More so cheesy than electrifying, but unassuming entertainment nonetheless.
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