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Shocker (1989)

Shocker

Director:
Wes Craven

Starring:
Peter Berg, Mitch Pileggi, Ted Raimi, Sam Scarber, Richard Brooks, Michael Murphy

Other notable appearances:
Kane Roberts, Jonathan Craven

Running time:
109 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
A Nightmare on Elm Street, Toxic Avenger

 

Jonathan (Berg) is a star quarterback with a hot blonde girlfriend and his life ahead of him. That is until a serial killer murders his foster mother, foster sister and foster brother. When Jonathan tells his foster father, a police lieutenant (Murphy), that he dreamt about the murders as they were happening, the lieutenant looks into it and tracks down the killer, Horace Pinker, based on the dreams.

During Pinker’s (Pileggi) execution, he manages to transfer his spirit into electricity that he can use to possess people. As Pinker continues his life or homicide after death, can Jonathan cross the line needed to stop him?

Shocker is a very 80s films. The acting, the special effects, the cheesy one-liners and the weird reactions from characters. If you don’t generally enjoy 80s movies then it is highly unlikely that you will enjoy Shocker.

The acting is atrocious. There are overreactions that are much more noticeable due to the overdone reactions already written into the plot. Some of the looks of terror could easily be mistaken for constipation or a stubbed toe.

It was interesting to watch a very young Mitch Pileggi play a homicidal maniac. The future director of the FBI who watches over Mulder and Scully is great in the role of Horace Pinker. Pileggi plays it over the top and it fits perfectly with the overall theme of Shocker.

Despite its failings and being extremely dated, Shocker is a great idea for a film and still manages to entertain. Granted that a lot of the laughs might not have been intentional, the hilarity is there nonetheless. The intentional humour in the form of great one-liners brings the film up a notch too. Or down, depending on how you feel about cheesy one-liners.

The soundtrack for Shocker was very 80s and very awesome. I ended up looking up a few of the songs during the film to buy later.

As long as you’re not going to take it too seriously and willing to sit through a few yawn inducing patches, Shocker is an interesting plot with lots of laughs.

Rating: 3/5

“Come on, boy. Let’s take a ride in my volts-wagon.”

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