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Shocker

At first glance (or at least for the first 40 minutes) Shocker seems a potential winner, an almost unbearably suspenseful, stylish and blood-drenched ride courtesy of writer-director Wes Craven's flair for action and sick humour.

At first glance (or at least for the first 40 minutes) Shocker seems a potential winner, an almost unbearably suspenseful, stylish and blood-drenched ride courtesy of writer-director Wes Craven’s flair for action and sick humour.

As it continues, however, the camp aspects simply give way to the ridiculous while failing to establish any rules to govern the mayhem. The result is plenty of unintentional laughs.

The obtuse story has Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), already a mass killer of several families, slaying the foster family of Jonathan (Peter Berg) and his police captain father (Michael Murphy). Jonathan ‘sees’ the events in a prescient dream that indicates he’s linked to the murderer.

That leads the police to Pinker’s door, and after a series of misadventures he’s caught and executed. But Horace lives on after the execution as a disembodied malevolent spirit who strikes out by possessing others.

Shocker

  • Production: Alive/Universal. Director Wes Craven; Producer Marianne Maddalena, Barin Kumar; Screenplay Wes Craven; Camera Jacques Haitkin; Editor Andy Blumental; Music William Goldstein; Art Director Cynthia Kay
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 110 MIN.
  • With: Michael Murphy Peter Begg Mitch Pileggi Cami Cooper Richard Brooks Dr Timothy Leary
  • Music By: