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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most recent customer reviews
WES CRAVEN REALLY MISSED WITH THIS ONE. I WATCHED IT AND IT REALLY DIDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME. I THOUGHT IT WAS KIND OF STUPID AND SHUT IT OFF IN THE MIDDLE.Published on Jan. 10 2001
I have taped this movie because i'm a Horror fan. I loved the parts when the killer gets electricuted and then he turns into a ghost who can go into peoples body and control them. Read morePublished on March 14 1999
Very creative and good special effects but this film gets shot down with a bad script and dull storylinePublished on Feb. 16 1999
The movie itself blows, but the funny part is when horace is arrested and taunts Peter Berg. Berg responds with some gibberish that i can't make out, but it sounds hilarious. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 1999
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