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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
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Blu-ray Review (1 disc)
Includes a slip cover and reversible sleeve with both the original and new artwork.
Cable Guy - An Interview with Actor Mitch Pileggi (17min) - The actor talks about how he started his career and his memories of working on Shocker.
Alison's Adventures - An Interview with Actress Cami Cooper (17min) - Talks about how she started in the business and why she eventually left.
It's Alive - An Interview with Producer Shep Gordon (11min) - Talks about his career as a producer.
No More Mr. Nice Guy - The Music of Shocker (26min) - All the main songs from the film are discussed in detail with original band members.
Vintage Making of feature - (8min) Behind the scenes
Audio Commentary with Director Wes Craven
Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Jacques Haitkin, Producer Robert Engleman and Composer William Goldstein.
Storyboard gallery of all major scenes
Also included are Trailers, Radio spots, TV spots and Still gallery.
The electrocution of a mass murderer turns into a kind of cosmic jump-start: Relentless mass murderer Horace Pinker is reborn as a wicked 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 is a stinker & 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 10-week college class on the subject, & 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.
Unfortunately 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.
Universal released SHOCKER theatrically in the Fall of 1989 and it grossed $16,554,699 at the box office, but unfortunately didn't do to well in the ratings, despite the fact that this was the most relentless Wes Craven flick since A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET which was theatrically released in the Fall of 1984.
As a matter of fact, this thriller takes me back to memory lane to when I was 17 years old & a Junior in high school since that's when this was released in the Fall of 1989.
SHOCKER also had some cameos and returning co-stars from previous Wes Craven flicks in it like
*Heather Langenkamp who played Nancy Thompson in the original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET which played Pinker's intended victim
*Director Wes Craven which portrayed the neighbor in this movie just like John Carpenter had a cameo appearance in his masterpiece horror flick THE FOG back in 1980.
*Wes Craven's daughter(Jessica Craven)which played the clerk
*Wes Craven's son(Jonathan Craven)played as the jogger & 1 of Pinker's possessed hosts
The plot of the film is about a psychotic, murdering TV repairman named Horace Pinker, who's on the loose in the suburban LA area. Lt. Don Parker has been assigned to investigate the murders and when he becomes too involved, Pinker hunts down Parker's wife, foster daughter, and foster son and kills them all. The only one unharmed is his other son, Jonathan Parker. Jonathan somehow becomes linked with Horace through his dreams and leads Don and other officers to to Horace's TV shop where a shootout occurs and Pinker escapes. As retribution, Pinker tracks down Jonathan's girlfriend, Allison and kills her. Another dream leads Jonathan, Don, and the police to Pinker again, who this time is in the midst of a kidnapping.
After Jonathan chases Pinker to a rooftop, Pinker prepares to kill Jonathan but is arrested and taken in by the police. Pinker is convicted and is sentenced to death via electric chair. Before his death, Pinker reveals to Jonathan that he is his biological son and that when Jonathan was a kid, he shot Pinker in his knee to try and stop him from killing his mother. After Pinker's execution, he comes back to life to the shock of everyone. What they don't know is that before he went to the chair, Pinker sold his soul to the Devil, allowing him to come back from the dead as an electrical spirit.
Once Pinker's spirit is on the loose, he begins possessing the bodies of and killing Jonathan's closest friends and associates. Jonathan must find a way to beat Pinker and send him to hell before he becomes Pinker's next victim.
As I said, I don't know why people negatively criticize this film so much. It's a thriller not a horror, so don't expect there to be a whole lot of jump scares or terrifying scenes. The film is nicely put together with an awesome soundtrack from some of the 80s most famous rock and metal bands. The first time I saw this movie which was back in the Summer of 2005, I immediately became a big fan of this movie. It may very well be my favorite Wes Craven film of all time----next to Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Wishmaster that is. The fact is, Shocker is one of Wes Craven's best films ever! It may not be a masterpiece, but it's up there though