Shocker title

Tag line : Mass murderer Horace pinker was put to death. Then he really got mad.

ShockerAfter a series of rather naff films ("Deadly Friend", "Chiller" and "Hills Have Eyes 2" immediately springing to mind), Wes Craven got back on track with this rather enjoyable supernatural slasher farce.

A serial killer has been stalking the otherwise peaceful LA suburbs, killing entire families in their homes, and yet leaving no trace, or clue to his identity. At the same time, high school student Jonathon Parker (Peter Berg from Chicago Hope) is being troubled with nightmares about the killer. He thinks nothing of it at first, until he realises that the murders are taking place exactly how he sees them in his dreams.

With Jonathon's foresight the police manage to track down the killer, a TV repairman named Horace Pinker (played by a pre X-Files Mitch Pilleggi), to his hideout and apprehend him. Subsequently sentenced to death by electric chair, Jonathon and the police believe Pinker's reign of terror to be over. But of course, a determined killer never lets a minor detail like death stop him and fairly soon the killings start again.

It turns out that Horace can now leap into other peoples bodies and continue his work, leading to some highly amusing scenes in a public park when the foul mouthed killer leaps into the body of a young girl. Not only this, but he can also move in and out of electrical systems. Improbable perhaps, but in filmic terms it's bloody good fun. Anyway, determined to stop Pinker once and for all Jonathon, aided by the spirit of his dead girlfriend, attempts to trap pinker in his old family home, leading to a hilarious final confrontation when they both end up diving into the televison and running amok through the various channels.

A good blend of horror and dark humour along with a kicking hard rock soundtrack make this a thoroughly enjoyable film. X-Files fans will undoubtedly be interested to see Mitch Pilleggi playing a foul mouthed bad guy for once. Look out for Ted Raimi (from Xena), Heather Langenkamp (from Nightmare on Elm Street) and guitarist Kane Roberts who all have guest appearances in the film.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "No more Mr Nice guy".

  • One of the films selling points was it's hard rock soundtrack. At a promotional press conference for the film Dave Mustaine (lead singer from Megadeth) was "executed" on stage in the electric chair by Alice Cooper.

  • The films budget was $5,000,000.

  • Peter Berg also starred in the Stallone film "Copland", and the erotic thriller "Last Seduction". He is undoubtedly best known for his role as Dr William Kronk in the TV medical drama "Chicago Hope".

  • Mitch Pilleggi went on to star as FBI boss Walter Skinner in "The X-Files". He also appeared in Wes Craven's "Vampire in Brooklyn", as well as having minor role in "Return of the Living Dead 2".

  • Apparently, much had to be cut out of the film in order to secure an R rating with the US censors board. In all, the director had to submit the film 13 times before they would rate it.

  • Ted Raimi, who plays the part of "Pac Man", is the brother of horror director Sam Raimi (of Evil Dead fame). He has starred in numerous horror films, "Maniac Cop 3", "Army of Darkness", "Candyman" and "Wishmaster".

  • Filming was completed in just ten weeks.

  • Heather Langenkamp, who played "Nancy" in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films, has a minor role as one of Pinker's victims.

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