Shocker (1989) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Johannes Roberts
Producers: Warren Chadwick, Wes Craven, Bob Engelman, Peter Foster, Shep Gordon, Barin Kumar, Marianne Maddalena
Writers: Wes Craven
Date Released: October 27, 1989
Michael Murphy as Lt. Don Parker
Peter Berg as Jonathan Parker
Camille Cooper as Alison Clemens
Mitch Pileggi as Horace Pinker
Richard Brooks as Rhino
Vincent Guasteferro as Pastori
Sam Scarber as Cooper
Ted Raimi as Pac Man
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a satanic serial killer, Horace Pinker, who killed a young man’s family and girlfriend. The young man, Jonathan, was able to help capture him and he was sent to the electric chair. But after a satanic ritual using electricity, he was able to use the his death penalty as a conduit of his evil powers. The killer can transfer to one body to another. He can also travel through electric currents and wirings. By cutting electricity, Jonathan was able to trap him inside the television.
As a serial killer movie, the murders were all bloody and gory. The most notable ones include the first murders in the killer’s hideout, the bathroom scene where there were blood all over the room, the bloody apparitions, and the attack of the massage chair.
The Grave Review
This movie was too long for its plot. The murders and the never-ending chase scenes were always repeated but they never had the time to explain the mysteries of the movie. One questionable part is why the killer is afraid of the girlfriend’s heart necklace which can be compared to vampires reacting to a crucifix. Another question is why the girlfriend was able to participate in chasing the killer and even had the power to flash a beam of white light from her body. Another one is why the remote control was able to control the actions of the killer instead of just pause and play.
There were also a lot of funny and sometimes ridiculous moments in the movie. The fact that the killer was limping and had problems with his leg but was able to run fast was impossible. The killer participated in numerous chases and reached the victims with unexplained speed.
There could’ve been a lot of jump scares in this movie too, if it weren’t for the metallic tinkling sound effects. It was overused in every scary scene. In terms of acting, there were times when Peter Berg looked annoying and fake. He even sounded monotonous most of the time. Good thing the killer was scary enough.
If there is a thing to love about this movie, it’s the visual effects. For a 1989 movie to be able to use the montage of events on TV and make it look like the killer and the victim were a part of them was funny but amazing.
The ending was open ended in the sense that there was just a power outage and the killer was trapped in a broken television. There could be a possibility that he can get out once the power goes back on.
Overall, Shocker (1989) is not the best Wes Craven’s movies but if you are a fan of Craven’s works, you should watch the film to develop your own view.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Shocker (1989) one and a half graves out of five graves.
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