Friday, August 17, 2012

DBH Re-Visits:Shocker(1989)

By Eric Polk-
I know, I know, I need to be getting in shape for the Creature Feature edition of this year's Facebook Halloween Horror Movie Madness Marathon  contest. But funny thing, I found myself back in 1989 this week right around the time the Berlin Wall was crumbling along with the power of the horror movie slasher genre. After nearly a decade-long run, the era was fading into a sad Dream Child's Revenge in Manhattan phase.

Leave to it Wes Craven to attempt to give the dying of the scary movie light a recharge(literally). Enter Shocker, a story about a serial killer named Horace Pinker who after a brutal murder spree finally rides the lightning(sorry Metallica fans). Problem is, unlike John Coffey, Mr.Pinker survives thanks to a black magic spell.

See,when he is executed, he does not actually die but instead becomes pure electricity, and is able to possess others (it is unknown if the possessed hosts live or die after Pinker leaves their body since some of them were shown to be lying motionless after being released) to continue his murderous ways. It's up to Jonathan Parker who not only witness the murder of his adopted mother, sister, brother, and girlfriend at Pinker's hands, but also develops a strange connection to Pinker through his dreams(where have we seen this before)

Eventually, Jonathan, with the aid of Alison's "spirit", devises a scheme to bring Pinker back into the real world and accidentally discovers that Pinker, as with all energy sources, is bound by the laws of the real world and uses this limitation to defeat him. Pinker threatens Jonathan that he will find a way out of his "prison".

Good premise, but it's silly in its execution. Horace Pinker tries so hard to be Freddy Kruger minus the gloves but instead is what the man of your dreams became which each successive Nightmare sequel. Bad puns, no suspense. While acted quite well, the movie itself isn't at all scary, it's more horror entertainment which isn't a bad thing especially with a rockin' late-80s soundtrack featuring Megadeth's cover of No More Mr. Nice Guy. Overall, worth a watch if you're in it for entertainment or background noise.


[Retro-Zombie] said...

it is awful... good, stupid fun. if any one movie needs a remake, this is it.

Richard of DM said...

Misguided though it may be (especially the Krugerness), Shocker won me over as a kid and was one of my favorites that year. I too revisited it recently and loved it. Peter Berg is still the scariest thing about that movie though. He creeps me out.