HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
   
 
  Shocker TV Hell
Year: 1989
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Michael Murphy, Peter Berg, Mitch Pileggi, Sam Scarber, Cami Cooper, Richard Brooks, Ted Raimi, Virginia Morris, Emily Samuel, Vincent Guastaferro, Bruce Wagner, Janne Peters, Ernie Lively, Ricardo Guíterrez, Lindsay Parker, John Tesh, Timothy Leary
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: There is a serial killer on the loose who is killing families, but he has been wily enough not to leave any clues to his identity behind and the police are stumped. For high school football player Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg), this is irrelevant as all he cares about is his next game and being with his girlfriend Alison (Camille Cooper), as he is today, but distracted enough to run straight into the goalpost when showing off, knocking the wind out of him and leaving him in a daze. Alison takes him home and puts him to bed, but while he sleeps Jonathan has a dream about his foster mother and sister being murdered by the killer - he even sees his name written on the side of his van: Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi)...

After the Freddy Krueger franchise moved on without its creator, Wes Craven, he wrote and directed Shocker, an attempt to come up with a new franchise with a new, supernatural, wisecracking serial killer who could be seen in dreams and bend reality and... well, you get the idea, this was very much in the shadow of his past glories and as it turned out, audiences would simply rather have seen Freddy. Horace Pinker didn't catch on and there were few mourning his demise, but it wasn't that the character itself was derivative, there was a lax, undernourished nature to the film that didn't help either.

Although Craven having to resubmit the film to the ratings board to get an R rating a fair few times can't have helped, what good is an eighties horror movie without that visceral thrill? Shocker does feel like half strength Craven, and the lack of gore and, indeed, shocking moments doesn't contribute much but an air of missed opportunities, never mind that it rambles on for about fifteen minutes past the point where it should have been neatly wrapping things up. The gimmick here is electricity and halfway through the story Pinker is sent to the electric chair for his crimes - wouldn't it have been better to begin with such a scene?

Yet that's not what happens here, as there's a lengthy preamble to let us know that Jonathan's foster family have really been murdered (his dream came true), all except his foster father (Michael Murphy) who happens to be a police detective and is also trying to catch Pinker. Thanks to that dream, Jonathan gives him a tip and after no small measure of mayhem the killer is caught. But he's been making with that old black magic and once the switch is thrown the electricity lends him unexpected powers and Pinker is now able to inhabit the bodies of innocent people, which he uses to... chase after Jonathan.

We know when a Pinker-possessed stooge is in the area because they walk with his foot-dragging limp, and here a hitherto unexpected strain of humour erupts: specifically the ridiculous park sequence where Jonathan is chased by the villain in the bodies of a cop, a workman and most absurdly, a little girl who tries to run him over with a digger. So, this is a comedy now? Nope, because after that things revert to their former seriousness - or at least they do until the grand finale which presents the special effects bonanza of Berg and Pileggi leaping through the land of television, jumping out of T.V. sets and sort of but not really interacting with vintage clips. Oh, and Pileggi punches out a televangelist played by Timothy Leary of all people. This inabilty to settle on a satisfying tone is the least of Shocker's worries, it's really a bit of an underachiever, perfectly watchable but largely uninspiring. Music by William Goldstein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3214 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Wes Craven  (1939 - )

Intelligent American director, producer and writer, at his most effective when, perhaps paradoxically, he was at his most thoughtful. Controversial shocker Last House on the Left set him on a path of horror movies, the best of which are The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, New Nightmare and Scream (which revitalised the slasher genre).

Less impressive are Deadly Blessing, Swamp Thing, the ridiculous Hills Have Eyes Part II, Deadly Friend, Shocker, Vampire in Brooklyn, Cursed and the successful Scream sequels (the last of which was his final movie). Music of the Heart was a change of pace for Craven, but not a hit, though aeroplane thriller Red Eye was a successful attempt at something different; My Soul To Take, an attempt at more of the same, flopped. One of the pioneers of the American new wave of horror of the 1970s and 80s, he brought a true edge, wit and imagination to the genre.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: