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Shocker

3.9 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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(Mar 16, 1999)
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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.

Amazon.com

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

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • 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
    • Dubbed: French
    • 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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783232101
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,783 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Shocker" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    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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    Comment 8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Shocker says "finger licking good" after he bites off the fingers of a security gurard. Now thats comedy!!!
    The Shocker gets the power to move his soul into different people's bodies. It becomes humorous when he goes into the bodies of a female doctor, and the body of a 10 year old girl. He also gets the power to tellepot through electric wires.
    This movie is good old-fashioned bloody horror, without the million dollar special effects that you see in movies nowadays.
    Comment 7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    By Gunslinger on September 18, 2004
    Format: DVD
    This movie was well worth the money i spent.The overall movie was great,the soundtrack is really good,and the picture quality looks really well for an 80's movie.Not much gore except for a couple of scenes,but still a great movie to own.The madman in this film,Horace Pinker played by (Mitch Pileggi)plays a great murderer.The highschool kid Johnathan Parker (Peter Berg), can be dull at times,but still doesnt do too bad. I've watched this movie a couple of times,and will probably watch it again in the future.If your thinking of getting it,its well worth your time and money.On a scale of 1-10,i would give it a 9.
    Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    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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    Format: DVD
    What a wonderful, pure Craven kind of movie. It aint perfect by any stretch--parts of it are down right silly--but its' got a strong heart and a powerful love story at its' center.

    Telling the story of unrepentant serial killer, Horace Pinker, played with manic delight by Mitch Pileggi, who is tracked down by clairvoyant football player Johnathan Parker, Shocker then follows post-execution Pinker as he becomes a being of indestructible electricity. Initially, he is able to inhabit any body that he touches, and then later, he learns to simply travel directly through the airwaves. In the meantime, he manages to kill Johnathan's girlfriend in a a bloody bathtub mess that recalls Craven's early, darker, more visceral side

    Alison, who is well-played by Cami Cooper, continues to visit Johnathan after she is killed, counseling him in all matters Horace, giving him tips for survival and helping him to combat what has now become an unstoppable being of pure evil. This is something I love most about Shocker, as Johnathan and Alison's relationship continues to grow after her death, culminating in a pretty strongly implied love-making sequence in the afterlife near the movies' end that is, well, beautiful. Seriously. A living person making love to his murdered girlfriend in some nebulous afterworld/limbo/dreamstate, It's certainly very gothic, something craven is all about.

    Peter Berg, the movie's Nancy if you will, is fascinating. He's kind of strange looking, like a plastic mannequin, and he's crazy dramatic and has a bizarre voice. He's sort of the classic craven male hero, not easy to peg, and like any craven protagonist, male or female, he's smart, perseveres, driven by love--and a bit of vengeance--and very much anti-victimization.
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    Format: DVD
    It's obvious that Wes Craven had high hopes for Horace Pinker to be another Freddy Krueger, but alas and alack, it didn't happen. Perhaps it's best. Although SHOCKER is a competent little thriller with some neat ideas, Pinker just isn't the kind of villain that could sustain as many films as the incomparable Freddy did. Mitch Pileggi does a great job as the bald-headed bad guy, but his shtick of being "electrified" would have been limited and eventually redundant. Taken on its own merits, though Craven delivers a well-done if not memorable 'shocker' in its own right. Peter Berg does a good job as the hero, and Michael Murphy is dependable as Berg's adopted father. Although the script is at times a little confusing and improbable, the entire effect is good for a few shocks and laughs.
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