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Shocker (1989)

Peter Berg , Mitch Pileggi , Wes Craven  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Berg, Mitch Pileggi, Michael Murphy, Cami Cooper, Theodore Raimi
  • Directors: Wes Craven
  • Writers: Wes Craven
  • Producers: Wes Craven, Marianne Maddalena, Barin Kumar
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783232101
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,123 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shocker" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Master of horror Wes Craven directs this exciting visual treat which introduces a diabolical mass murderer who harnesses electricity for unimaginable killing powers. About to be electrocuted for a catalog of heinous crimes, the unrepentant Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi) transforms into a terrifying energy source. Only young athlete Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg), with an uncanny connection to Pinker through bizarre dreams, can fight the powerful demon. The two dive in and out of television programs, chasing each other from channel to channel through stunning scenes of disaster, game shows and old reruns. A blend of dazzling special effects, jolting humor and an electrifying soundtrack, Shocker is an ironic tale of terror and madness in the video age.

    Wes Craven's horror pictures always have a few wild ideas knocking around inside them, and this 1989 slashfest is no exception. The electrocution of a mass murderer turns into a kind of cosmic jump-start: evil Horace Pinker is reborn as an elusive electronic phantom, capable of leaping from one body to another. (This trick is also used to good effect in The Hidden and Fallen.) Pinker's a stinker, and Craven was clearly trying to set up another franchise villain in the vein of his Nightmare on Elm Street champ, Freddy Krueger--perhaps a bit too baldly. However, amidst the mayhem, the film's real subject is the poisonous presence of mass media, as Pinker (played by The X-Files' Mitch Pileggi) insinuates himself as a free-floating spirit run amok in television itself. In its own pulp way, Shocker gets at the heart of media-culture inanity quicker than a ten-week college class on the subject, and although Craven occasionally lapses into generic bloodletting, he always snaps right back with some crazy angle on the TV nation. The hero is played by a young Peter Berg, the Chicago Hope star who would go on to direct his own shocker, Very Bad Things. Shocker failed to catch on with audiences (somewhere there's a warehouse full of unsold Horace Pinker action figures), but it's definitely worth a look for horror fans. --Robert Horton

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Truely one of Wes Craven's best films! August 11, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    I love the movie Shocker and feel it deserved a second chance. Though the serial killer character of Horace Pinker is not Freddy Krueger, he still is just as terrifying and the films is just as good as Craven's A Nightmare of Elm Steet(and definitely better than its sequels). Mitch Pileggi of X-Files gives a wonderfully scary performance as Tv repairman/serial killer Horace Pinker. I think it definitely deseres a look by Craven and just plain Horror fans alike. So in response to Mr. Horton's review above, I would love to get my hands on some Horace Pinker action figures. What a great idea!
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Electrifyingly good. May 29, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    Some people are disappointed with this, but I can't understand why. Alright, so Wes Craven had set out to create a new Freddy, but so what? The film is an excellent joining-together of interesting characters, imaginative special effects and a crackingly good script.
    A serial killer is stalking the city. After an accident on the rugby pitch a teenaged boy has a dream in which he finds that the maniac is none other than local TV repairman Horace Pinker. When Pinker is put to death on the electric chair, he is able to return to life through anything with electrical systems including the TV and the human body.
    Gripping, well-paced thriller. Horace Pinker himself is such a different character from Skinner in the X-Files that it's hard to believe it's the same actor. Pinker is certainly one of the better of the thousands of film psychopaths and this film is certainly a cut above most of the uninspiring Freddy sequels. A wonderfully dark and sombre soundtrack is the cherry on the proverbial bakewell.
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    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    By P. Krug
    Whenever I see a film that's lots of fun but reletivly obscure I feel kind of sad, in a way, as I feel such a film deserves better recognition. That's how I felt when I saw this film. It was Wes Craven's attempt to create a new horror movie franchise as he did with A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, with Horrace Pinker, a very Freddy Kruger-esque villian. Since everyone, even people who never watch horror movies, have heard of Freddy Kruger but Horrace Pinker is a much more obscure name, this film failed to catch on. That does make me sad, in a way, but then again if this movie had been a hit like ELM STREET was, they probably would have made a slew of sequels and Pinker would have become every bit as invincible as Freddy. I've always felt a sense of hopelessness when I'm watching a slasher movie series and the undead killer keeps coming back to life. Much as I do love this movie, I appreciate the fact that, from a story telling perspective, this is a stand-alone film.
    Ahem. Anyway, the plot: Horrace Pinker is a T.V. repairman by day, serial killer of whole families by night. He also walks with a limp (we find out later in the movie why that is). High school football player Jonathan seems unconnected to all this, until he has a dream where Pinker murders his family, and then finds out that it has really happened, leaving only Jon and his police leutenant foster dad left. Jonathan's dreams lead police to finding out the killer's identity, but that doesn't save Jon's girlfriend Allison, whom Pinker later kills. Finally Pinker is captured and sentanced to death by electric chair...and the film's second act begins. You see, Pinker practices black magic, and after his execution he becomes an evil spirit with the ability to jump into other people's bodies...
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Marvelous May 2, 1999
    Shocker should be viewed for what it is - plain, old-fashioned cheesy horror fun! This is a great DVD to take to a movie night, or to watch with your girlfriend - i reckon she'll be grabbing onto you for most of its duration! The problem is, most people seem to take this movie too seriously. I give it 5 stars for being cheesy, and for making me laugh... BIG TIME!!!
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars The Movie Isnt As The Name Says!!!! June 11, 2004
    Even with the title SHOCKER, it has nothing to do with the rating of the film! I like it. Sure, it's not the best thing Wes Craven has done, and it's very hard to scare me at all, and nothign about this film is scary to me, probably not to anyone else either. But I think it is a pretty cool movie.
    Horace Pinker I think his name is? Is played by the bauld guy from X-Files (Skinner) who is a phychopath, killing not just people but entire fammilys, and some how a kid is having dreams of seeing him doing the murders, and eventualy helps in the capture and arrest of Horace.
    But Horace has made a pact with the devil or somthing? and when Horace is sent to the electric chair, it dont kill him. Horace becomes a ....well, a spirit type/electrical/ghostly kind of monster who has the ability to jump into other peoples bodys! Which pre-dates that idea in "Jason goes to hell" But the cool stuff is the FX, there not super great, but there fun to watch as Horace is able to get into TV's and shows and things. I really think it's a pretty funny horror-ry/comedy.
    It probably wont be for all tastes, I really like the soundtrack in the movie too. bit of Hard Rock and Metal went pretty good with it. I'm not sure if i'd recomend it to you or not? If you havent seen it, and happen to see it , then I urge you to consider giving it a glance.... But I guess it depends on everyones personal likes and dislikes really.
    The bonus features are nothing to praise. Just some production notes, biographies, and trailers... be cool if there was some deleted scenes or somthing? even an Audio commentary maybe? But if you wanna see a slahery kind of flick that isnt just a mistery guy walking around cutting people up, and want to venture to a funny sort of wacko who becomes an electrical ghost type of guy, then give it a rent if you can find it?
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great deal on a great movie. Just as advertised. Thank you.
    Published 16 days ago by RJ
    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
    It's amazing! Wes Craven is the best.
    Published 2 months ago by Amaury Jorge Duarte Bezerra
    5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly My Favorite Wes Craven Movie!
    I really can't understand why some people insisted on giving this film a 1 or 2 out of 5 stars. It's mind boggling! Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Kane's Review
    5.0 out of 5 stars willam goldstein did shocker some justice
    This right here is the score to shocker 1989 it has some of the songs from the album put in the songs i have been trying to get this forever so if you like the movie with the score... Read more
    Published 7 months ago by thomas henry
    5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
    it showed up in the promised time and sounds great i've been looking for it for several years and it's a real treasure thank you for your business.
    Published 8 months ago by kennethminear
    3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch
    This is not the movie we meant to order, but it was pretty good. A little too long and scattered toward the end.
    Published 9 months ago by Brandie Parker
    5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Costumer
    Everything was easy and I received my movie really quick and it was in good condition and I was really happy with everything ..Thank You
    Published 10 months ago by Tina
    4.0 out of 5 stars No More Mr. Nice Guy
    From the director of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Wes Craven's horror pictures always have a few wild ideas knocking around inside them, and this 1989 slashfest is no exception. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by Taheen Lopez
    5.0 out of 5 stars What it is!!!
    What can I say? Its a dvd. It shipped fast and wasn't scratched. I am not a movie critic. What I like, others may not. Its a corny 80's horror flick.
    Published 12 months ago by Marti Reed
    5.0 out of 5 stars Really good movie
    I saw this movie many years ago and I thought it was very good, yet creepy at times. It was kind of scary now, but back then really terrified me. Read more
    Published 12 months ago by timmy
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