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I simply can't understand, why did everybody vote this movie so bad? Personally, I liked it more than every one of the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" series. I know that the Nightmares have a better story (at least the 1st one), more gore and a better villain. Good old Fred Krueger is far more interesting that Horace Pinker, I can't argue with that. But "Shocker" has all the action and humor that misses on "A Nightmare on Elm Street". The characters are quite interesting, specially the lovely Cami Cooper's Alison. Great action and fight scenes, pretty good gags, touching romance, creative TV fiction and horror, less gory but with some good suspense makes "Shocker" a great movie to see, but without linking to the Nightmare series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
======POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!=====
During the 80's, Wes Craven put out a couple of films that were either a hit (A Nightmare on Elm Street and Swamp Thing)or a miss (The Serpent And The Rainbow and Invitation To Hell), and some that fall in between (Deadly Friend and Deadly Blessing). "Shocker" falls into this area. The premise is pretty good: Horace Pinker (Pileggi)is an EXTREMELY vicious serial killer that has been caught by Jonathan Parker(Berg), who has a strange kind of link to Pinker, and whose family and girlfriend (Cooper)were killed by Pinker. Pinker is executed by electric chair, and that is where the story really comes to life. Seems that Pinker ends up with the ability to jump into bodies (Sort of reminds you of the movie, "The Hidden."), and is after Jonathan.
Many things are not quite explained, such as Jonathan's psychic ability, and many things are not explored, such as what is behind Pinker's link to Jonathan and why he turned killer(They did for Freddy Krueger!). The film is not really that scary(Not by today's standards, anyway), although it has it's moments. Still worth a look if you want to look at 80's horror or are a Craven fan. Too bad they never made a sequel, although if they did, would Pileggi played Skinner on "The X Files?" I guess we'll never know!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A serial killer of families, Horace Pinker(Mitch Pileggi, really
overexerting himself), makes a deal with a demon or evil spirit or
something for which provides him with an opportunity to travel from
human body to human body thanks to some sort of electrical current
spawning from a botched execution in the Chair. He has one main goal,
other than killing as many families as possible, and that is to kill
his son, Jonathan(Peter Berg, whose face remains frozen in a state of
cluelessness for most of the picture when he isn't constantly running
from the killer). He already brutally murdered Jonathan's mother and
lover Alison..he even kills the guy's football coach and pal(Ted Raimi,
Sam's bro). Michael Murphy(why is he in a movie like this?)portrays
Don, Jonathan's foster father and cop trying to nab Pinker and then
worried about his son Jonathan sore afraid he's losing his mental
faculties as well with all this talk of Pinker flowing through the
bodies of different people and electrical outlets. Jonathan's pretty
lucky Pinker couldn't shoot if his life depended on it because he
wastes two different guns trying to plug him. Once Pinker has become
this electrical traveling journeyman, only one thing can stop him from
taking over a host shell until the lifeforce is sucked dry..strong
willpower or a specific heart-shaped necklace worn by Jonathan's
beloved victim of Pinker. Soon, Pinker and Jonathan battle inside the
television switching from program to program until his football buddies
shut off the main power to the city closing the gateway of electrical
Really, really awful Wes Craven vehicle is bad beyond mere mortal words. It has lots of special effects in it, but the story-telling is so insipid, uninspired, and reckless you never fully know how the hell Pinker could accomplish such a feat. The film is crippled by ineptitude thanks to the premise's overall goofiness. What also hurts is the fact that Alison's ghost seems to fight Pinker..how? The necklace that seems to weaken Pinker and how Alison just communicates away with Jonathan..these elements just compile to create an unmitigated disaster. By far one of Craven's worst films..if one didn't know Craven's other films, probably couldn't believe there isn't an amateur in the director's chair calling the shots. I mean the film never makes much sense and creates situations for it characters as it goes. What a disaster.
Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) is been having dreams of a psychopath
serial killer Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi). When Jonathan sees his
step mother and his family are murder in his dream that turns into
reality. Jonathan could also identity him with the help of his
step-father (Micheal Murphy), who is a Police Detective. When his
father finally caught Pinker. Pinker is sent to prison to the electric
chair. But before Pinker dies, He is into the black magic. Pinker has
the power to transfer his could into different human bodies for a brief
moment at the time. Which Pinker is making more victims faster than
ever. Making Jonathan more difficult to destroy Pinker.
Written and Directed by Wes Craven (Scream Trilogy, Cursed, Red Eye) made an absolutely entertaining supernatural horror thriller. Craven for better or worse, he re-imagine his "A Nightmare on Elm Street" with a bigger budget and talented cast. Craven has some fresh ideals but also he uses some elements from Jack Sholder's The Hidden. Which The Hidden and Shocker were later borrow to the extremely flawed but watchable "Fallen" and the campy "Jason Goes to Hell:The Final Friday".
This film has excellent use of Special Effects, this film was shot on a low budget. Shocker was shot in ten weeks, giving Craven enough time making the film look professional. This film is violent, it has some scares and it contains a memorable gross-out scene, which it was also later used in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol.1. Which it is the infamous lip biting stretching scene.
DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and an good-Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound. The DVD only has an Original Theatrical Trailer and Production Notes as Extras. The film features an Heavy Metal soundtrack by Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Dangerous Toys and Others. The Heavy Metal soundtrack of the film is good. This horror film is well photographed by Jacques Haitkin (Wishmaster). The film has good performances by Berg, Pileggi and Murphy. The film also stars:Cami Cooper as Jonathan's Girlfriend and Victim of Pinker's, Richard Brooks and Ted Raimi. Peter Berg is now a filmmaker (also actor), he has directed the underrated "Very Bad Things", an enjoyable action adventure "The Rundown" and the true life football drama "Friday Night Lights". This is One of Craven's best and One of the most Underrated horror films of the 80's. Watch for Reporter turned Pinalist John Test in a bit role as a T.V. News Archorman. Look fast for Heather Langerkamp in the opening scene as a victim. (**** ½/*****).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've never actually felt the need to write a review in all my years
surfing IMDb, but I felt there really wasn't any review for this movie
that gives it the justice it deserves.
If you're a fan of insanely illogical and hilarious B-movies, this my friend's is for you. Fans of 80s crap-laugh-fests like "Night of the Creeps", "Blood Diner" and "Troll 2" will truly love this movie.
Where to begin with all of the unintentional humor in this film? Let's start with the fact that none of the plot makes any coherent sense, whatsoever. Let's just run down some of the things that will leave you scratching your head in confusion and laughter.
1. Why is Peter Berg a Psychic? Did that serve any purpose in the actual plot itself? 2. How exactly does this serial killer manage to massacre over THIRTY families in what appears to be a very small town. Seriously, how the hell do you get away with murdering 30 families in the same town? And why would anyone ever stay in that town? 3. The police in this movie are probably the dumbest I've ever seen in a movie. Upon finding the killer in a house in the beginning of the film, all 8 or so cops storm up the stairs chasing the man as he escapes from the roof. Seriously, no one thought to maybe keep one guy outside the building, ya know, IN CASE HE TRIES TO ESCAPE? Also, why aren't the police following Peter Berg's character this entire movie? Literally everyone he comes into contact with gets murdered by the killer, and these cops don't have time to even check up on the kid once after his entire family and girlfriend have been slaughtered? Worst (or best) of all is the scene in with Peter Berg's character is chasing the killer's soul which is jumping from body to body through a park. Despite the fact that bullet after bullet after bullet is shot, and several dead bodies lay in the middle of a public park, the police are nowhere to be found. (This scene is especially hilarious when Berg begins violently shaking an 8 year old girl who's body the soul has jumped into) 4. How the hell does Mitch Pileggi's character attain his "shocking" powers? The only attempt at an explanation given is just a vague comment that he liked to practice black magic. We're given maybe 20 seconds explanation of this, and then it's never mentioned again.
You get where I'm going with this? Me and my buddy were in stitches this entire movie, whether it be the stereotypically laughable 80s "metal" soundtrack, or the small things like why and how the entire football team has matching black trench coats with their schools initials on them (what school issues black trench coats? The comedy here practically writes itself).
If you're a lover of bad movies, as in "so bad you cry with laughter", then check this out, IMMEDIATELY. Almost on par with Troll 2 as the worst and funniest movie ever.
Now this was a weird idea; a serial killer (Mitch Pileggi, The X-Files)
that feeds off electricity.
His nemesis was a high school boy (Peter Berg, Collateral, Cop Land) who hit a goalpost and had dreams about his kills - including his own family and girlfriend (Camille Cooper). Wow!
The body count rose as the killer had to move from body to body. Then comes the final battle, which I imagine would not ever be seen again as they chased through TV show after TV show. It was something to see.
This was more action flick than horror, although it did have it's share of blood and gore.
Shocker is one of my favorite serial killer movies. At first glance it
might look like a standard hack and slash movie though it has some of those
elements, it isn't. There is some originality to this movie and the
characters aren't your run of the mill dumb high school students. Oh,
they're in high school, they're just not dumb. The "Shocker" played well by
Mitch Pileggi of X-Files fame is a lot better than Freddie Kreuger or Jason
Vorhees. He has a reason for killing that I won't give away. Not all of the
students are killed if you can believe it and the ones that make it deserve
to. There is a very good scene involving the killer and hero as they fight
across multiple TV channels that I've never seen done before this movie.
There is comedy in this movie but not much. It is not a "scary" horror
movie. It is more of an action move that is done well. Catch it or rent it
if you can.
I found this gem on late night cable, maybe one of the HBO's or thisTV
(out of Indianapolis), and I was nicely surprised.
I was going to listen to it and work on my computer in the other room, but couldn't leave the couch, because it is very visual and astute. The killer uses "energy" from electricity and television, a wry comment of society.
Wes strides the very delicate line of humor/horror and he does it very well. Films seem to be either SCARY MOVIE (spoof) or SCREAM, (horror). But to have you scared, and then to inject humor is hard. Here you are afraid of the serial killer morphing around, than laughing when he morphs into a little dangerous girl with a protective mom. It kind of reminded me of Night of the Creeps, where slimy worms, keep transferring to other bodies, including a very hot blonde.
You all know the plot by now, so check out this gem, especially the end when Wes takes dead aim at media images.
I am anxious to get the uncut version so see why he had to submit it 13 times to the "approval board" to get a release rating.
This is better than expected. Wes Craven tries to create another boogeyman in the character of Horace Pinker. Pinker is a serial killer who studies voodoo and kills entire families in their sleep. A young college football player named Jon (Peter Berg) develops a psychic link with Pinker. Jon begins an attempt to help the police catch the crazed killer. The first half of the film is realistic and intense, but the second half is based in the supernatural. Pinker gets the electric chair but becomes an evil entity that can transfer from body to body (mush like "Fallen" with Denzel Washington) and move through electricity. Once again Jon must use his link to stop the killer. Or is the killer to powerful to be stopped? There is some surprising gore and a pretty nifty plot twist. It's fun to watch a young Peter Berg in an earlier role but the film tend to drag a little. This film came near the end of the slasher craze and Craven was trying to cash in on it one more time. Craven was trying to make a point about televisions and the media, it was evident in the film. Overall, it was a solid and better than average slasher flick with a supernatural killer.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Honestly loved this....mostly for the musical soundtrack and Peleggi's
over-the-top acting. I had just come back from many years of living in
Micronesia with vacations in SE Asia and I was trying to catch up on
"trashy" music and cinema. This fit the bill and Wes Craven is an
To digress slightly, seeing cinema is weird in foreign countries. It gives one a good idea of a peoples slant on morality and perspectives. Case in point: I saw Re-Animator in a theater on Mabini St. For those unaware, that is the middle of the "go-go", prostitute, lady-boy, underage sex business. But watching Re-animator there, any scenes of nipples or other nudity or depiction of sexual activity was censored out with green bars or blobs....but the gore was there in all technocolor....including Dr.Hill being beheaded by a shovel. Go figure.
I digress. Shocker was one of those original ideas. Admit it. How many new "monsters" have been created in the last 50yrs?? Not many, and a guy that can travel thru wires and virtual reality is sumthin new!! Peleggi has a field day!!!....LOL
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