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  • Shocker
    • Shocker
    • Runtime:109 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-17 12:19:37
    • Director: Wes Craven
    • Genres: Comedy, Horror, Thriller
    • Studio:


A horrible movie that is the epitome of bad film making. This is simply
the worst movie I have ever watched. And it is not one of those "so bad
it's good" and you have to see it. It is just plain bad. The violence
is useless and the for a horror film it just fails to do anything
useful or unique.

Watch this movie and you will either not make it through the entire
thing, turning it off about half way in, or you will suffer through it
and realize these are two hours you will never get back.

Obviously the budget on this wasn't huge as Craven has commented before
on going after unknown actors because they were cheaper. Well, it

But budget aside, the real issue here is the story. It's not scary so
much as depressing. The pointless killing is…well, pointless.

It's a shame too, because Craven's films, especially 1980's Craven
films were by and large great. Even when the budget was small. Not the
case here. Stay away, stay away, stay away!!!

If you want a good 80's horror film by Wes Craven try Nightmare on Elm
Street I or II and don't go to sleep. Avoid Shocker at all costs. You
won't be sorry.


*** This review may contain 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

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


I only recently discovered this 1989 Wes Craven feature and even though
it's cheap(cost only $5 million to make), I actually thought this was
an alright film.

It follows a serial killer with a limp named Horace Pinker(Mitch
Pileggi), who is terrorizing Los Angeles. Jonathan Parker(a young Peter
Berg) is a high school football hero and one day after an accident, he
manages to actually encounter Pinker. Soon Jonathan helps his dad, Lt.
Don Parker(Michael Murphy), find and capture Pinker, who's sentenced to
death via the electric chair. But Pinker made a deal with the devil and
when he gets fried he becomes pure electricity. Pinker can now use this
power to transport from various human bodies to continue killing. You
can tell when Pinker's invaded a body, via a limp from the possessed.
Only Jonathan, along with help from the spirit of his dead girlfriend
Allison(Camille Cooper), can stop Pinker and his murderous ways for

This movie actually made me laugh, and not completely in a bad way.
It's more a horror/comedy than just pure horror. Pinker is a brute, but
he pops out silly one-liners, like "Finger lickin' good!" after biting
a guard's finger off and that well known quote, "No more Mr. Nice
Guy!". I also really enjoyed the last 20 minutes, when Jonathan and
Pinker actually battle inside various T.V. shows and films like
"Frankenstein" and "Leave It To Beaver". But it's also so horribly
written, it's kinda funny. The biggest disappointment is that due to
the small budget, the effects were mostly terrible, except for a few
spots in the channel surfing battle. The soundtrack for the film is
pretty good, with a cover of Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy"
being the most known.

There's a remake on the horizon and that actually sounds interesting,
because of the advance in special effects technology. But the original
still kept me entertained from mostly start to finish, even if it was
poorly wrote and done very cheap.



*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wes Craven is probably one of the best movie makers in his field, in
his genre. Horror does not have any kind of secret for him. But this
undeniable quality kills the novelty a horror film is supposed to have
in order to go beyond plain technical or even semiological excellence.
And that is just the point here. We can recognize all the films that
Wes Craven has made, and from each of which he has selected a little
tidbit here and a small tiny piece there and then he has knitted
everything together, with some loose moments here and there for the
seams to be visible and people to recognize the borrowings. And he even
managed to get some samples from films by other authors, Stephen King
for example and his Green Line. But that is just the shortcoming of the
film. It is nothing but knitted together borrowings and there is no new
element, no new stuff, no new level of horror. It is déjà vu. The fear
of television that invades our life, that manipulates our minds, that
violates our virginity, all that is not enough to represent a new
discourse. Because it is not. I am afraid this genre leads to
repetition and Wes Craven take the sane decision Stephen King has
taken, even if he took his time to take it, is the decision to retire
one day and just stop always doing the same thing. And don't believe
you can change styles. Anne Rice tried that but her life of Jesus is
not convincing at all. Vampires are her real stuff. Messiahs are not
exactly her cup of tea or should I say her glass of wine. In other
words I don't think Wes Craven has reached a new level of extreme
superb-ness. Just a well-crafted thriller and horror film. Nothing
more, entertainment for sure, but nothing to put aside as the
masterpiece you must not forget to take when you leave for the desert
island to which we are all convicted to go after six, seven or eight
decades of life. The Green Mile yes, Scream yes, a couple of others
too, but not this one. It is not one of the five unforgettable ones.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University
Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines, CEGID

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