Saturday, 3 March 2018

Shocker (1989)

Not Wes Craven's finest hour, Shocke
r feels like any one of the lame rip-offs of and sequels to his bona fide classic A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi) is a TV repairman who uses his job to complement his favourite pastime of killing families. High school football star Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) keeps dreaming about Pinker attacking his adoptive family. When this happens in real life, Parker helps get Pinker sent to the electric chair. Unfortunately, all this does is turn the killer into an electrically charged demon who can zap between bodies, possess the original owners and turn them evil. It hasn’t done much for Pinker’s mood either, as he now sets out to get revenge.

Pileggi's scenery chewing turn gives the film some energy (as does the funny cameo from Timothy Leary as a TV Preacher), and the extended fight scene through various TV channels showing everything from graphic war footage to Leave It to Beaver injects some much-needed life towards the end.

However, for most of its running time, Shocker is just a standard goofy, 80s slasher film with all the clich├ęs, such as unsympathetic characters, a soundtrack that alternates between hard rock and grating synths, and some cringe inducing wisecracks from the killer.