Starring: Mitch Pileggi, Michael Murphy, John Tesh
Director: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Released: October 27, 1989
MPAA Rating: R
This may surprise some people, but Shocker is one of my all time favorite movies from the late great Wes Craven.
I first got hooked on it during late night showings on basic cable back when I was growing up. The story is a little bit like Nightmare On Elm Street, in fact you might even call it a rip-off (but if anyone’s allowed to ripoff that movie, who else is it gonna be, right?). That said this movie rocked my socks growing up.
Anyway, onto the plot.
Horace Pinker (very punny title for the sick minded teenagers among us) is a psycho TV repairman (no TV repairman/installer in movies has ever not been psycho—see The Cable Guy for further proof) who loves murdering families whole-sale style, until he finally gets what he deserves and gets sent to the electric chair. Trouble is, the chair doesn’t quite finish him off, as the title implies, instead through some trippy horror movie voodoo instead of being sent straight to hell Pinker can now travel via electricity, and yes, through television sets to stalk his prey.
This movie works in two different ways. Before Horace becomes a supernatural wise-cracking monster (Ala Freddy) he is a downright frightening ordinary human menace, which gives the first part of the movie a more realistic chilling base for the wacky hi-jinx that follow.
Mitch Pileggi is great fun as Pinker, and the whole movie has a very heavy metal horror vibe to it, with groovy tunes throughout by Megadeth and various others.
This is straight up 80s horror movie canned cheese, but damn if it ain’t tasty nonetheless.