Shocker (film)

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Shocker
Shockerposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Warren Chadwick
Wes Craven
Bob Engelman
Peter Foster
Shep Gordon
Barin Kumar
Marianne Maddalena
Written by Wes Craven
Starring Michael Murphy
Peter Berg
Cami Cooper
Mitch Pileggi
Music by Michael Bruce
Alice Cooper
William Goldstein
Cinematography Jacques Haitkin
Edited by Andy Blumenthal
Production
company
Alive Films
Carolco Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates 27 October 1989 (USA)
Running time 109 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5 million
Box office $16,554,699 (USA)

Shocker (also known as Wes Craven's Shocker) is a 1989 American horror film written and directed by Wes Craven. It stars Michael Murphy, Peter Berg and Mitch Pileggi as the evil antagonist Horace Pinker.

Both Wes Craven and Universal had hoped for the film to launch a franchise (Craven had particularly wanted to create a new series since he felt he had not been given due profits from New Line Cinema resulting from the Nightmare on Elm Street series).[citation needed] However, due to the middling commercial performance and poor reception of the film,[citation needed] no sequel was made.

Plot[edit]

A serial killer is on the loose in a Los Angeles suburb, and a television repairman with a pronounced limp named Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi) becomes the prime suspect. When the investigating detective, Lt. Don Parker (Michael Murphy), gets too close, Pinker murders Parker's wife, foster daughter, and foster son. However, his other foster son Jonathan (Peter Berg) develops a strange connection to Pinker through his dreams and leads Parker to Pinker's rundown shop. In a shootout in which several officers are killed, Pinker manages to escape. He targets Jonathan's girlfriend Allison (Camille Cooper) in retribution.

Another dream leads Lt. Parker and the police to Pinker, who is in the midst of a kidnapping. This time, just as Pinker is about to kill Jonathan, he is arrested. Pinker is quickly convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Prior to his execution, Pinker reveals that Jonathan is, in fact, his son, and that as a boy, Jonathan had shot him in the knee while trying to stop the murder of his mother. But what they do not realize is that Pinker has made a "deal with the devil". 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. He soon possesses Lt. Don Parker. Parker uses his strength to fight off Pinker, who escapes into a T.V. dish. Jonathan and his friends try to find a way to fight him.

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, and traps Pinker in a television. Pinker threatens Jonathan that he will find a way out of his "prison". The film ends when Alison's voice tells Jonathan to take care of himself, while Jonathan's neighborhood suffers a blackout, trapping Pinker in the television.

Cast[edit]

Cameos[edit]

Release[edit]

According to Wes Craven, the film was severely cut for an R-rating. It took around 13 submissions to the MPAA to receive an "R" instead of an "X". Some of the scenes that were cut include; Pinker spitting out fingers that he bit off from prison guard, longer and more graphic electrocution of Pinker and longer scene of possessed coach stabbing his own hand. Uncut version was never released and it's highly wanted by fans.

The film was released theatrically in the United States by Universal Pictures in October 1989. It grossed $16,554,699 at the box office.[1] Shocker received mostly negative reviews from critics and holds an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 12 reviews.

The film was released on DVD by Universal Studios in 1999.[2] It was subsequently re-released by the studio in 2007 as a double feature alongside Craven's The People Under the Stairs.[3]

Music[edit]

Original musical contributions were made by Alice Cooper (who would later play Freddy Krueger's abusive foster father, Mr. Underwood, in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare), Megadeth who covered Alice Cooper's 1973 hit "No More Mr. Nice Guy." The movie's "title song" was recorded by The Dudes Of Wrath, which was composed of KISS' Paul Stanley and producer Desmond Child both on vocals, Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell and Guy Mann-Dude on guitars, Whitesnake's Rudy Sarzo on bass guitar, and Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee on drums. Also backing vocals by Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Kane Roberts. The soundtrack was released on Capitol/SBK Records in 1989.

Soundtrack listing:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shocker". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  2. ^ "Shocker (DVD)". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  3. ^ "People Under The Stairs, The / Shocker (Double Feature)". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 

External links[edit]