User Reviews (77)

  • domino100320 December 2003
    8/10
    One of Craven's Most Wanted
    Warning: Spoilers
    ======POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!=====

    During the 80's, Wes Craven put out a couple of films that were either a hit (A Nightmare on Elm Street and Swamp Thing)or a miss (The Serpent And The Rainbow and Invitation To Hell), and some that fall in between (Deadly Friend and Deadly Blessing). "Shocker" falls into this area. The premise is pretty good: Horace Pinker (Pileggi)is an EXTREMELY vicious serial killer that has been caught by Jonathan Parker(Berg), who has a strange kind of link to Pinker, and whose family and girlfriend (Cooper)were killed by Pinker. Pinker is executed by electric chair, and that is where the story really comes to life. Seems that Pinker ends up with the ability to jump into bodies (Sort of reminds you of the movie, "The Hidden."), and is after Jonathan.

    Many things are not quite explained, such as Jonathan's psychic ability, and many things are not explored, such as what is behind Pinker's link to Jonathan and why he turned killer(They did for Freddy Krueger!). The film is not really that scary(Not by today's standards, anyway), although it has it's moments. Still worth a look if you want to look at 80's horror or are a Craven fan. Too bad they never made a sequel, although if they did, would Pileggi played Skinner on "The X Files?" I guess we'll never know!
  • ManBehindTheMask637 February 2011
    a good craven film...drags a bit at the end
    This is better than expected. Wes Craven tries to create another boogeyman in the character of Horace Pinker. Pinker is a serial killer who studies voodoo and kills entire families in their sleep. A young college football player named Jon (Peter Berg) develops a psychic link with Pinker. Jon begins an attempt to help the police catch the crazed killer. The first half of the film is realistic and intense, but the second half is based in the supernatural. Pinker gets the electric chair but becomes an evil entity that can transfer from body to body (mush like "Fallen" with Denzel Washington) and move through electricity. Once again Jon must use his link to stop the killer. Or is the killer to powerful to be stopped? There is some surprising gore and a pretty nifty plot twist. It's fun to watch a young Peter Berg in an earlier role but the film tend to drag a little. This film came near the end of the slasher craze and Craven was trying to cash in on it one more time. Craven was trying to make a point about televisions and the media, it was evident in the film. Overall, it was a solid and better than average slasher flick with a supernatural killer.
  • Lucien Lessard14 July 2005
    9/10
    One of Craven's best.
    Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) is been having dreams of a psychopath serial killer Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi). When Jonathan sees his step mother and his family are murder in his dream that turns into reality. Jonathan could also identity him with the help of his step-father (Micheal Murphy), who is a Police Detective. When his father finally caught Pinker. Pinker is sent to prison to the electric chair. But before Pinker dies, He is into the black magic. Pinker has the power to transfer his could into different human bodies for a brief moment at the time. Which Pinker is making more victims faster than ever. Making Jonathan more difficult to destroy Pinker.

    Written and Directed by Wes Craven (Scream Trilogy, Cursed, Red Eye) made an absolutely entertaining supernatural horror thriller. Craven for better or worse, he re-imagine his "A Nightmare on Elm Street" with a bigger budget and talented cast. Craven has some fresh ideals but also he uses some elements from Jack Sholder's The Hidden. Which The Hidden and Shocker were later borrow to the extremely flawed but watchable "Fallen" and the campy "Jason Goes to Hell:The Final Friday".

    This film has excellent use of Special Effects, this film was shot on a low budget. Shocker was shot in ten weeks, giving Craven enough time making the film look professional. This film is violent, it has some scares and it contains a memorable gross-out scene, which it was also later used in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol.1. Which it is the infamous lip biting stretching scene.

    DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and an good-Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound. The DVD only has an Original Theatrical Trailer and Production Notes as Extras. The film features an Heavy Metal soundtrack by Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Dangerous Toys and Others. The Heavy Metal soundtrack of the film is good. This horror film is well photographed by Jacques Haitkin (Wishmaster). The film has good performances by Berg, Pileggi and Murphy. The film also stars:Cami Cooper as Jonathan's Girlfriend and Victim of Pinker's, Richard Brooks and Ted Raimi. Peter Berg is now a filmmaker (also actor), he has directed the underrated "Very Bad Things", an enjoyable action adventure "The Rundown" and the true life football drama "Friday Night Lights". This is One of Craven's best and One of the most Underrated horror films of the 80's. Watch for Reporter turned Pinalist John Test in a bit role as a T.V. News Archorman. Look fast for Heather Langerkamp in the opening scene as a victim. (**** ½/*****).
  • lastliberal8 May 2007
    5/10
    Come on, boy, let's take a ride in my Volts Wagon.
    Now this was a weird idea; a serial killer (Mitch Pileggi, The X-Files) that feeds off electricity.

    His nemesis was a high school boy (Peter Berg, Collateral, Cop Land) who hit a goalpost and had dreams about his kills - including his own family and girlfriend (Camille Cooper). Wow!

    The body count rose as the killer had to move from body to body. Then comes the final battle, which I imagine would not ever be seen again as they chased through TV show after TV show. It was something to see.

    This was more action flick than horror, although it did have it's share of blood and gore.
  • Scott LeBrun2 September 2012
    6/10
    No more Mr. Nice Guy!
    Wes Cravens' "Shocker" is often one of the more derided in the directors' career, but in this own reviewers' humble opinion, it still manages to be pretty entertaining, even as it gets awfully silly and keeps wavering between a serious, sombre tone and an insane, over the top one. It doesn't help that it's too obvious that Craven was trying to create another Freddy Krueger in the form of raving maniac Horace Pinker, a savage psychopath played to foaming-at-the-mouth perfection by Mitch Pileggi, eventually to become better known for playing Skinner on 'The X-Files'.

    Pinker's on the loose, slaughtering whole families, but opposing him is college football star Jonathan Parker (a remarkably sincere Peter Berg), a nice guy who was raised by a police lieutenant (Michael Murphy). Jonathan and Horace, who are connected in a way that the younger man doesn't anticipate, are also psychically linked, and Jonathan is able to give the cops his name and place of business and before too long the killer is caught and executed.

    But the story doesn't end there, as Pinker, in league with Satan, "survives" the electric chair and lives on to overtake various unlucky people and control their bodies, including, in the movies' most memorable sequence, a little girl. How can one hold in their laughter watching this blonde haired moppet curse like a sailor, and try to operate a bulldozer?

    Ultimately, the movie is a little too absurd for its own good, but damn if it doesn't have some good atmosphere, show off some amusing ideas, and go overboard on the bloodshed. One particular murder scene is just drenched in the red stuff. One of the methods used to combat Horace is pure corn, involving Jonathans' love for girlfriend Alison (Camille Cooper) and an all-important locket. The best stuff is the wonderfully ridiculous climax in which a rampaging Horace and Jonathan run amok through TV programming (they end up in an episode of 'Leave it to Beaver' where Jonathan pleads for the Beavers' help). This does show some invention, and the special effects are effectively cheesy. (One has to love the "You got it, baby!" moment.)

    The cast is extremely game throughout this thing; also popping up are Ted Raimi as an assistant coach, Vincent Guastaferro ("Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI") as a victimized cop, Heather Langenkamp in a tiny, non-speaking cameo as a murder victim, Richard Brooks ('Law and Order') as football player Rhino, Ernie Lively as the warden, rock guitarist Kane Roberts also doing the cameo thing as a road worker, and Cravens' kids Jessica and Jonathan in bits. The heavy metal soundtrack adds to the fun.

    Overall, this may not be something this reviewer would necessarily consider "good", but it's still something of a hoot, and may keep some people watching out of sheer disbelief.

    Six out of 10.
  • noneabve194711 June 2009
    8/10
    I Saw This at the Perfect Time
    Warning: Spoilers
    Honestly loved this....mostly for the musical soundtrack and Peleggi's over-the-top acting. I had just come back from many years of living in Micronesia with vacations in SE Asia and I was trying to catch up on "trashy" music and cinema. This fit the bill and Wes Craven is an artist.

    To digress slightly, seeing cinema is weird in foreign countries. It gives one a good idea of a peoples slant on morality and perspectives. Case in point: I saw Re-Animator in a theater on Mabini St. For those unaware, that is the middle of the "go-go", prostitute, lady-boy, underage sex business. But watching Re-animator there, any scenes of nipples or other nudity or depiction of sexual activity was censored out with green bars or blobs....but the gore was there in all technocolor....including Dr.Hill being beheaded by a shovel. Go figure.

    I digress. Shocker was one of those original ideas. Admit it. How many new "monsters" have been created in the last 50yrs?? Not many, and a guy that can travel thru wires and virtual reality is sumthin new!! Peleggi has a field day!!!....LOL
  • Rayvyn18 February 2001
    Good action movie!
    Shocker is one of my favorite serial killer movies. At first glance it might look like a standard hack and slash movie though it has some of those elements, it isn't. There is some originality to this movie and the characters aren't your run of the mill dumb high school students. Oh, they're in high school, they're just not dumb. The "Shocker" played well by Mitch Pileggi of X-Files fame is a lot better than Freddie Kreuger or Jason Vorhees. He has a reason for killing that I won't give away. Not all of the students are killed if you can believe it and the ones that make it deserve to. There is a very good scene involving the killer and hero as they fight across multiple TV channels that I've never seen done before this movie. There is comedy in this movie but not much. It is not a "scary" horror movie. It is more of an action move that is done well. Catch it or rent it if you can.

    Rayvyn
  • Scarecrow-886 January 2007
    2/10
    Shocker
    Warning: Spoilers
    A serial killer of families, Horace Pinker(Mitch Pileggi, really overexerting himself), makes a deal with a demon or evil spirit or something for which provides him with an opportunity to travel from human body to human body thanks to some sort of electrical current spawning from a botched execution in the Chair. He has one main goal, other than killing as many families as possible, and that is to kill his son, Jonathan(Peter Berg, whose face remains frozen in a state of cluelessness for most of the picture when he isn't constantly running from the killer). He already brutally murdered Jonathan's mother and lover Alison..he even kills the guy's football coach and pal(Ted Raimi, Sam's bro). Michael Murphy(why is he in a movie like this?)portrays Don, Jonathan's foster father and cop trying to nab Pinker and then worried about his son Jonathan sore afraid he's losing his mental faculties as well with all this talk of Pinker flowing through the bodies of different people and electrical outlets. Jonathan's pretty lucky Pinker couldn't shoot if his life depended on it because he wastes two different guns trying to plug him. Once Pinker has become this electrical traveling journeyman, only one thing can stop him from taking over a host shell until the lifeforce is sucked dry..strong willpower or a specific heart-shaped necklace worn by Jonathan's beloved victim of Pinker. Soon, Pinker and Jonathan battle inside the television switching from program to program until his football buddies shut off the main power to the city closing the gateway of electrical travel.

    Really, really awful Wes Craven vehicle is bad beyond mere mortal words. It has lots of special effects in it, but the story-telling is so insipid, uninspired, and reckless you never fully know how the hell Pinker could accomplish such a feat. The film is crippled by ineptitude thanks to the premise's overall goofiness. What also hurts is the fact that Alison's ghost seems to fight Pinker..how? The necklace that seems to weaken Pinker and how Alison just communicates away with Jonathan..these elements just compile to create an unmitigated disaster. By far one of Craven's worst films..if one didn't know Craven's other films, probably couldn't believe there isn't an amateur in the director's chair calling the shots. I mean the film never makes much sense and creates situations for it characters as it goes. What a disaster.
  • xfearbefore6 April 2009
    7/10
    Unintentional Comedic Gold
    Warning: Spoilers
    I've never actually felt the need to write a review in all my years surfing IMDb, but I felt there really wasn't any review for this movie that gives it the justice it deserves.

    If you're a fan of insanely illogical and hilarious B-movies, this my friend's is for you. Fans of 80s crap-laugh-fests like "Night of the Creeps", "Blood Diner" and "Troll 2" will truly love this movie.

    Where to begin with all of the unintentional humor in this film? Let's start with the fact that none of the plot makes any coherent sense, whatsoever. Let's just run down some of the things that will leave you scratching your head in confusion and laughter.

    1. Why is Peter Berg a Psychic? Did that serve any purpose in the actual plot itself? 2. How exactly does this serial killer manage to massacre over THIRTY families in what appears to be a very small town. Seriously, how the hell do you get away with murdering 30 families in the same town? And why would anyone ever stay in that town? 3. The police in this movie are probably the dumbest I've ever seen in a movie. Upon finding the killer in a house in the beginning of the film, all 8 or so cops storm up the stairs chasing the man as he escapes from the roof. Seriously, no one thought to maybe keep one guy outside the building, ya know, IN CASE HE TRIES TO ESCAPE? Also, why aren't the police following Peter Berg's character this entire movie? Literally everyone he comes into contact with gets murdered by the killer, and these cops don't have time to even check up on the kid once after his entire family and girlfriend have been slaughtered? Worst (or best) of all is the scene in with Peter Berg's character is chasing the killer's soul which is jumping from body to body through a park. Despite the fact that bullet after bullet after bullet is shot, and several dead bodies lay in the middle of a public park, the police are nowhere to be found. (This scene is especially hilarious when Berg begins violently shaking an 8 year old girl who's body the soul has jumped into) 4. How the hell does Mitch Pileggi's character attain his "shocking" powers? The only attempt at an explanation given is just a vague comment that he liked to practice black magic. We're given maybe 20 seconds explanation of this, and then it's never mentioned again.

    You get where I'm going with this? Me and my buddy were in stitches this entire movie, whether it be the stereotypically laughable 80s "metal" soundtrack, or the small things like why and how the entire football team has matching black trench coats with their schools initials on them (what school issues black trench coats? The comedy here practically writes itself).

    If you're a lover of bad movies, as in "so bad you cry with laughter", then check this out, IMMEDIATELY. Almost on par with Troll 2 as the worst and funniest movie ever.
  • djderka29 February 2012
    7/10
    Morphing can be dangerous
    I found this gem on late night cable, maybe one of the HBO's or thisTV (out of Indianapolis), and I was nicely surprised.

    I was going to listen to it and work on my computer in the other room, but couldn't leave the couch, because it is very visual and astute. The killer uses "energy" from electricity and television, a wry comment of society.

    Wes strides the very delicate line of humor/horror and he does it very well. Films seem to be either SCARY MOVIE (spoof) or SCREAM, (horror). But to have you scared, and then to inject humor is hard. Here you are afraid of the serial killer morphing around, than laughing when he morphs into a little dangerous girl with a protective mom. It kind of reminded me of Night of the Creeps, where slimy worms, keep transferring to other bodies, including a very hot blonde.

    You all know the plot by now, so check out this gem, especially the end when Wes takes dead aim at media images.

    I am anxious to get the uncut version so see why he had to submit it 13 times to the "approval board" to get a release rating.
  • dx4lifexpac19 February 2000
    10/10
    wes craven does it again
    i love this movie so much it's one of the best horror films i ever saw. Wes Craven proves he's the best in the horror genre once again. there were plenty of scenes that scared me. my eyes were glued to the t.v the whole time i was watching it. and shocker is very original. a great movie. i'm so glad that Wes Craven is finally getting his respect after all these years. shocker is full of suspense and a few scares i give it 8/10. WES CRAVEN IS GOD OF HORROR
  • steel_indigo19 November 2013
    8/10
    Action, supernatural serial killer, some comedic moments
    Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this movie when it first came out and most people I knew did like the movie. It was unlike any other horror movie I had seen. The only problem I had with it was casting. I didn't like Peter Berg and even though he made a good attempt he was not lead material. Possibly if someone else had been cast in that part the movie would have done a lot better. It seems some missed the fact that Jonathan hit his head really hard while at practice in the first part of the movie. Afterward that is when he started having dreams and a psychic connection to the killer. You didn't see the police as much because the movie focused around Jonathan. Why, they give you a clue near the beginning of the movie about him being a foster child who was found beaten up and raised by the detective in the movie that has a melt down due to his family being killed. The connection, he raised the killers son. I didn't care much for that actor either. The link is because of the head injury and the fact that Pinker is Jonathan's real father. The touch of the supernatural made sense since it was a Wes Craven movie. It was totally his style of movie making so if you aren't a Wes Craven fan you might not like the movie. The body jumping was interesting, and the television scenes where they hop through show after show priceless. The body jumping was later copied in the movie The First Power, which came out a year later. I remember coming home from the movie thinking it wasn't the best movie ever made but I was entertained and thought Pileggi did a fine job in his part. I don't like him that well as a heavy but he did the part justice. The scenes with the lead character's girlfriend were really eerie and a part of the movie I liked the best. She was the aspect of good stepping in to protect her boyfriend from the evil influence of the killer. It isn't a movie to win awards but just to be entertained. If you like Wes Craven's style of movie making and campy horror you should like this one.
  • Nick708013 October 2013
    10/10
    Review of an awesome film
    Warning: Spoilers
    Probably one of the craziest movies Wes Craven ever made, and one of the craziest movies ever.

    Now, i like many critically acclaimed movies that got bunch of awards and stuff, but i also love wild movies such as Shocker. This is one of those movies that i can always watch and never get bored by it. It's hard to list everything that i like about it; Heavy metal soundtrack, serial killer with a limp, bunch of hallucinations and nightmares throughout, final fight between hero and villain in TV world... It's just one hell of a movie.

    There is some gore, but instead of being torture porn like Saw or Hostel movies, it has its limits with violence and juicer scenes and it doesn't hurt the movie but actually helps a lot, cause you can watch it without feeling sick by on screen carnage and still have fun with it even if you are 100% gore hound.

    Story? Watch the movie and try to tell its story; In first part we have slasher that goes around neighborhood killing entire families, our main hero is actually son of the villain but he doesn't knows it at first (no sht), he has dreams about murders that his daddy commits, daddy kills son's new family and girlfriend, gets caught,burned to crisp and resurrects as electrical ghost not even minute after, then in second part of the movie we have main villain entering other people's bodies and goes after hero, hero starts seeing ghosts of his dead girlfriend and other people that villain killed, villain gets bored with his new ability and returns to his old hobby of killing families but this time by going through TV sets, hero goes after him and fights him through the bunch of different channels of the TV world while "Demon Bell" is playing in background and in the end traps him in TV and walks away into the night.

    Yep, that pretty much says it all.

    Acting and directing; Well,pretty much O.K. But then again, if somebody's gonna take this movie seriously then they will be very critical about these two things.

    Horror and scary scenes; Quite a lot, and they work.

    Soundtrack...Best part of the movie. Songs are awesome, my favorites are "Shocker" that opens the movie, "Love Temptation" that plays after funeral of Jonathan's family, "Demon Bell" that plays in the craziest and funniest scene in the movie-the TV world fight, and two ending songs, "Sword And Stone" and "Timeless Love". "Awakening" i also like but mostly just first part of it, i personally think that it would fit well with the scene where Jonathan is searching for necklace of his dead girlfriend through the lake. I don't know when or is it actually played in the movie though.

    Score; Also excellent. Both scary and sad in places when it's supposed to be. My favorite part of it is in scene where Jonathan dreams his dead girlfriend coming out of the lake and later when they kiss. Say what you want about Wes Craven, but he always could get few things right in (most of) his movies, and getting a score that would get desired reaction from audience is one thing that his movies always had. Just check out scores for Nightmare On Elm Street, Deadly Friend, Shocker and Scream.

    Problems with movie; Not much, except maybe the fact that MPAA have cut out some gorier parts, but it's not that noticeable when watching the movie so it doesn't bother me that much. Still, uncut version would be nice.

    Does this movie deserves better release and special edition? Hell yeah it does!

    My final opinion; Fun as hell movie, one my favorites of the era and from director, with one kick ass soundtrack that makes it even better.
  • Lee Eisenberg11 March 2007
    10/10
    quite fascinating as only Wes Craven could do it
    I found "Shocker" to be one of Wes Craven's most fascinating movies. It portrays serial killer Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi, aka Walter Skinner on "The X Files") who, when he gets executed, sends his soul through the electrical circuit so that it possesses one person after another. And only teenager Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) knows what's going on. Naturally, it all leads to a showdown.

    What I really liked about this movie was how - like "Scream" - it sort of understands that it's an exercise in camp, and so it deliberately gets as comical as it wants. Hell, the very premise is outlandish (the movie "Fallen" basically ripped it off). They waste no effort in portraying any crazy predicament that they can think of. I recommend it. Also starring Michael Murphy.
  • knucklesblowthrower21 August 2002
    And they said jumping into TVs was uncool!
    Warning: Spoilers
    This was a really good movie, but many people often overlook what my mom and I thought was the best scene of the entire movie: the scene where The Shocker and the "good guy" enter the TV. I'm telling you, that is one of the funniest scenes in a horror movie ever. Some people might be like: horror movies aren't supposed to be funny. Quit whining, cause this one is. When the people on Entertainment Tonight start talking about people complaining about The Shocker and the other guy fighting on different channels and the fight spills onto the ET set, when The Shocker knocks the other guy down then steps in front of the camera and says, "And that's the way it is!" Hilarious! That was so funny! The first time I saw Shocker that was the scene I remembered better than any other. It was like, "Can this be any funnier?" Let's not forget that Wes Craven was known just as well for his comedic genius as for his ingenuity with horror scenes. Give the man a break, cause when it comes down to it, Wes Craven will always be one of THE true horror movie geniuses. In the immortal (in more ways than one) words of The Shocker, "And that's the way it is!"
  • The_Void18 July 2006
    4/10
    A shocker indeed
    If you're going to release a film called 'Shocker', you're taking a big risk as saying that its rubbish becomes easy, and for Wes Craven; it's a risk that didn't pay off. Craven has had a number of deserving successes before he made this shocker, with films like The Last House on the Left and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but this film represents a huge hole in the man's list of directorial credits. Personally, I don't rate Craven too highly anyway; and that's mostly because of films like this. The director has certainly made a lot more rubbish than he has stuff worth seeing, and it's unfortunate that a career which started off so promisingly ended up making bottom of the barrel stuff. Anyway, the plot is actually rather promising and it follows a similar idea to the one that made A Nightmare on Elm Street such a success. The film features a homicidal repairman who enjoys killing people right up to when he is caught by police. Naturally, he sentenced to death by electric chair; but the authorities didn't count on him making a bargain with Satan, and after a silly sequence involving a TV - our killer is back!

    Perhaps the most annoying thing about this film is the running time. For a film with a retarded plot like this, it's unnecessarily long and while Craven does have a few good ideas; there's not nearly enough to fill nigh on two hours. After the stupid scene where the killer electrocutes himself, I honestly didn't think I'd make it all the way to the end; but the film does pick up a little after that with a body swapping sequence that, while derivative of several other films, actually works quite well. That part of the film lasts for about twenty minutes, and once it's over we're back to tedium. The final sequence, which is fitting, is also ridiculous as our two major characters find themselves in a TV. This part of the film features movies such as James Whale's classic Frankenstein, but it's a bit too silly and while the film is tongue in cheek all the way through; it just doesn't work. All this nonsense is topped off by a silly script that neither manages to build characters or provide entertaining dialogue and side-plots such as the one revolving around the ghost of the lead character's girlfriend provide nothing in the way of interest. Overall, I highly recommend skipping this film.
  • insertfunnyhere17 February 2007
    1/10
    Utter Crap
    I have seen hundreds of B horror flicks. So many that my soul is probably wounded because of it, and I have to say this one is utter crap. I could not even sit through it, and that is even with such a bad case of the Flu I can barely stand. Yet I did to turn this piece of crap off.

    Now I am not being super harsh here. I have seen every horrible film from Basket Case to Its Alive. Even when those films are bad, at least there is still something ironic in their awfulness. In Shocker everything was just very very lame. I like some Wes Craven films like The Elm Streets, and The People Under The Stairs. The Hills have Eyes was decent, but this one seems like it was written and directed by a disturbed 10 year old, who's imagination runs into cliché after cliché, accompanied by a pretty corny 1980's soundtrack ( and not in the good way).
  • monahantd24 November 2011
    9/10
    is what it is
    Wes Craven is a writer director of horror films who was not recognized for his genius until after his genius had already been exploited. "Last House on the Left" in it's original time.... UNHEARD OF!!!! GROUNDBREAKING!!!! "HIlls Have Eyes", SAME THING!!!! Sorry to any snobs out there who are actually bold enough to claim that "Nightmare On Elm Street" is ANYTHING but a perfect horror movie (you just want attention for intelligence that you don't have) "Shocker" for its time, premise, story, and(dare I?), acting... is great! Does it compare in effect to what he had already done up that point.... no. Does that make it a bad horror movie in the year it came out up against late sequels that were running their course... one of which being "Nightmare 5" which had a pen credit to Craven, no. In short... If you like Wes you'll like this... if you like horror of the time... you'll like this... WATCTH IT!!!
  • pulpnicktion20 March 2008
    10/10
    Shocker is Electrifying
    Personally I haven't met anyone who loves Shocker as much as me. In fact its one of my favorite films. Shocker has a great mix of horror, action, drama and a sense of humor. Its a fun movie.

    Shocker is about a psychopathic family killer named Horace Pinker. His occupation is a television repair man who practices voodoo. He murders the family of Johnathon Parker a high school football star. He saw what happened in his dream. With the help of his stepfather he tries to hunt down Pinker using his dreams.In addition to killing Johnathons family his brutally murder his girlfriend Allison as well. When Pinker is sentenced to die in the electric chair he becomes a powerful supernatural force in which he has the ability to possess people.

    I have seen people express much dislike for Shocker but it has gained a cult audience. Everyone has their own tastes and of course is entitled to their opinion. See Shocker and decide for yourself. Personally I love it.

    10 out of 10
  • Coventry18 September 2003
    2/10
    Craven makes a fool of himself here...
    Warning: Spoilers
    SMALL SPOILERS AHEAD

    Let me tell you a little secret...Wes Craven isn't the most talented horror director alive. Far from it actually, and this movie is the excellent proof. Craven is nothing but an overrated director who suffers too much from his own ego. He made two great milestones in the 70's which were outstanding ( Last House on The Left and The Hills have Eyes)and also the first Nightmare on Elm Street was more than decent. After that he only made average films and even a few unalloyed suckfests...Like Shocker !! By the way, I am aware that I left out Scream. It's a damn stupid film which doesn't make any sense, poorly acted and directed, filled with dumb plot twists and unfunny jokes and an overload of shameless references to classics. It's about a 'horrible' murderer who prepared himself to the electric chair so when they finally catch him and sentence him to death he's able to return through television and even through lampshades ! He also needs other bodies to crawl into when he wants to murder some more people...That results in some very goofy scenes. In the same year this piece of sh*t was brought out, there was a movie with a similar idea as well. House 3 aka the horror show involved an electric chair, a horrible serial killer and a return through electric impulses. This wasn't a highlight either but I still prefer that one because it didn't take itself so seriously...Also it had Brion James as the psycho and his death-ride was much more fun !

    Wes Craven even rips off his own movies here...Coming into contact with the maniac through a dream ??? Didn't Wes do this already ?

    Furthermore there are talking TV-sets and stuff...don't ask me why. And tons of other things that don't make sense ( why did the necklace had supernatural powers all of a sudden ). The acting is even worse. The lead character Jonathan is supposed to be a popular football player but he looks more like a dork to me...and above all, he can't act! The semi-metal soundtrack is really annoying and even a headbanger classic by Alice Cooper can't save it. I can point out a few more negative elements but I think you get the idea...Shocker is bad and certainly not recommended.
  • jcbutthead8618 March 2013
    10/10
    An Excellent,Underrated Horror Film. Wes Craven At His Best.
    Wes Craven's Shocker is one of the best Horror films of the late 80s and early 90s that deserves a second chance. A great mixture of Horror,Comedy,Wonderful direction, excellent soundtrack,great special effects and an unforgettable villain,Shocker is Wes Craven at his best an most underrated.

    Shocker tells the story of a college football player named Jonathan Parker(Peter Berg)who after a hard day of practice has a nightmare about a serial killer named Horace Pinker(Mitch Pileggi)who kills Jonathan's family and has been murdering families for months. Unfortunately,Jonathan's nightmare comes true. With Jonathan's help,Pinker captured by the police and sent to the electric chair and even though Pinker is electrocuted and dead,Pinker's soul is still loose thanks to black magic and electricity giving Pinker power to posses people's bodies and get revenge on Jonathan. Now Jonathan has to figure out how to stop Horace Pinker and get rid of Pinker once and for all.

    Wes Craven's Shocker was Craven's attempt to jump start another Horror film series that revolved around the character Horace Pinker that can rival Freddy Kruger and the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise,after Craven wasn't able to make money off the Elm Street films. Although Shocker made a profit at the box office,it wasn't enough to make a sequel or a series. But that doesn't stop Shocker from being the great, wonderful and Underrated Horror film that it is. The first ten minutes of the film set the tone for most of the film,giving us viewers a world where a city is on edge and Horace Pinker is murdering families during the night and the news and media shows us the horrifying images of Pinker's murders. While it is grounded in reality,Shocker also has nightmarish feel to it where the characters are not safe from Pinker's wrath and the way Craven shows violence in this film and his other films is brutal and harsh. What I also love about Shocker is the Comedy that Craven injects in the film especially when Pinker starts to possess people's bodies,because it's so over the top,insane and filled with maniacal energy and you think as a viewer that the film could not anymore crazier or insane. I also like the pot shots that Craven takes at the media and television where Craven makes fun of the media and their constant reporting on Pinker's whereabouts and that they're televisions always on and all over the place. You can say that Craven's exploration of the media was a precursor to his later films like New Nightmare and the Scream films. Horace Pinker is such a great memorable villain and is one of the most entertaining villains in a 1980s Horror film and is a classic invention from Wes Craven because Pinker is a killer who has a sadistic joy in killing people spitting out funny and insane one-liners and showing no remorse or feelings for what he does. Pinker is so over the top and off the wall you never knew what Pinker was going to do next and you can't talk him down. I believe that if Shocker was a box office hit Shocker would have gotten more sequels and Pinker could have been a major Horror icon and while Horace Pinker wouldn't necessarily be as big or huge as the big three 1980s Horror film icons(Freddy,Jason,Michael Myers),I think Horace Pinker would have been known and recognized by Horror fans. The violence and gore in this film is bloody and brutal and fits in with the film's tone,but you can tell the film's violence was cut(the film was originally rated X and had to be submitted 13 times to get an R rating). One of the main criticisms of Shocker is that it's too similar to the first A Nightmare On Elm Street and while they're maybe some similar styles and a few connections(same director,opening credits,dream sequences,main villains)both films are different and should not be compared. The final 15-20 minutes of the film are among the funniest scenes you will see in Horror film and is filled with such wild imagination and creativity. It is an ending that will stay after the film ends and is a classic Wes Craven ending.

    The acting from the cast is great. Mitch Pileggi is excellent as Horace Pinker,with Pileggi bringing a scary,over the top and funny brilliance to the role. Peter Berg is wonderful as Jonathan,the hero of the film with Berg bringing depth to the performance. Michael Murphy is effective and believable as Cop Donald Parker,Jonathan's Father. Cami Cooper does a good job as Alison,Jonathan's girlfriend and has a good chemistry with Berg. Sam Scarber(Cooper)and Richard Brooks(Rhino)give good performances as well. Also lookout for cameos by Ted Raimi(Packman),John Tesh(TV Newscastor),Heather Langenkamp(Murder Victim),Dr. Timothy Leary(Television Evangelist) and Wes Craven himself(Neighbor).

    Wes Craven's direction in the film is excellent with Craven using great camera angles,constantly moving the camera and giving the film a good visual style. Great direction,Craven.

    The score by William Goldstein is effective and creepy and fits with the films tone. Great score. The film also has a great soundtrack with songs by Megadeth(No More Mr Nice Guy),The Dudes Of Wrath (Shocker),Saraya(Timeless Love),Bonfire(Sword&Stone),Dangerous Toys(Demon Bell-The Ballad Of Horace Pinker)Iggy Pop(Love Transfusion)and Dead On(Different Breed). An excellent Hard-Rockin' Heavy Metal soundtrack.

    The special effects are well-done and work for the film and hold-up well years later.

    In final word,if you love Horror films or Wes Craven I highly suggest you check Shocker,a great,underrated Horror film that deserves a second chance and is Wes Craven at his best. Highly Recommended. 10/10.
  • Cobbler5 September 2000
    2/10
    An embarrassment to humanity.
    Man, when Wes Craven slums, he really falls HARD. This is an atrocious movie that rips off The Hidden and not to mention Craven's own Nightmare On Elm Street and tries to pass itself off as being original. Has Craven been hanging around Brian DePalma, the original ripoff artist??? There is so much plot here, it seems like the film is 5 hours long. There is no suspense, no terror, just a lot of unconvincing special effects, half-developed satire, and nonstop violence. Plot twists are unbelievable and there is no emotional investment in the characters whatsoever. This is a shameless bunch of hooey that Craven must've written in 9th grade. I much prefer The Hills Have Eyes or Nightmare on Elm Street instead. 2/10.
  • Leofwine_draca18 December 2016
    6/10
    Quirky horror re-tread is difficult not to enjoy
    Warning: Spoilers
    An uneven blend of horror and comedy, this film is definitely entertaining if not exactly good. Directed by Wes Craven, who has had years of experience behind him now, the film seems to have stolen from a number of sources - HOUSE, THE EVIL DEAD, and the director's own A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. However, the influences blend together into a pleasing film which is virtually a remake of NIGHTMARE, but with a different 'monster' and an opportunity for better special effects. The layout of the film is erratic. It starts off as a standard slasher film, before becoming an undead electrified killer on the loose film (shades of HOUSE 3 here) and then a strange weird film which is quite unlike anything I've seen before, where the opponents fight through the television sets. The final part of the film is by far the most original and the best bit.

    The acting is pretty much standard here, but all involved acquit themselves nicely with their roles and there are some interesting names to look out for. The main hero, played by Peter Berg (who reminds me of a young Bill Paxton) is pretty much adequate in his role, and is not given much to do except fight a lot and provide a character for the rest of the film to centre around. Interestingly the actor has now gone on to directing, namely VERY BAD THINGS and BATTLESHIP. However, the role of Horace Pinker was given to a then relatively unknown actor, Mitch Pileggi, who is better known these days as Assistant Director Walker Skinner from THE X-FILES! It was a big surprise to see good old Skinner ripping off people's fingers and generally being an all round bad guy, and it makes for entertaining viewing. In fact Pileggi's wild overacting makes the film worth watching, he's hilarious in his role.

    Added to this is a cameo from NIGHTMARE regular Heather Lagenkamp as a victim (what else?) and Ted Raimi as of Parker's friends. Raimi goes his usual way, getting killed in a most bloody fashion! Horace Pinker is pretty much a standard maniac bloke, stabbing people with a big knife, but halfway through the film he also starts spewing a ton of Freddy Krueger-inspired wisecracks, such as biting off a man's fingers and shouting "finger licking good!". As these lines are delivered by Pilegge with gusto I couldn't help laughing. The film also has some excellent special effects, especially when Pinker runs around in a fuzzy, electric-type form, and these are well worth watching for. The film is a derivative affair, but it's handled with pace, and there is a lot of action in it (just watch for the extended fight scene at the end, where the pair practice wrestling moves on each other!) and if you're in the right goofy mood then you'll probably enjoy it like I did. It's quite difficult not to enjoy really.
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