Shocker (1989)

Exectuive Produced, Written & Directed by: Wes Craven


Michael Murphy .... Lt. Don Parker
Peter Berg .... Jonathan Parker
Mitch Pileggi .... Horace Pinker
Sam Scarber .... Cooper
Camille Cooper .... Alison

Special Appearances:

Richard Brooks .... Rhino
Vincent Guastaferro .... Pastori
Ted Raimi .... Pac Man
John Tesh .... TV Newscaster
Kane Roberts .... Road Worker

Release Dates: Theatrical: October 27, 1989; Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1990

*Images courtesy at:








A football teenage jock Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) expericens most of his family members being slayed in his nightmares and then they really happen afterwards in which is caused by a TV repairman Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi) who limps with one of his legs while walking and then he kills his girlfriend Alison (Camille Cooper).
Jonathan's father named Lt. Don Parker (Michael Murphy) whom they don't see eye to eye tracks Horace down as Jonathan tells him where he's going next in his dreams and then he gets a death sentence which makes matters worst since Horace has been using Black Magic witchcraft by giving his soul to the devil to possess other people's bodies with an energy source, killing others and seeks revenge on Jonathan for getting the police to track him down.
However, in Jonathan's dreams the ghost of Allison brings him her necklace in order to try and capture Horace and put a stop to him in which he travels from one place to another with electricity through mainly TV sets in which this makes him very powerful.


Wes Craven tried to make a new type of A Nightmare On Elm Street flick with this dud which fell flat but it wasn't such a terrible film. It wasn't anyhwere as effective or scary but bringing on alot of dark comedy which tried hard to be funny along with the horror in it which was quite stale.
There's great cheesy special effects in the film which makes this one exciting to watch imagining a TV repair man going to a house and killing people in a neighborhood and one of the surviving victims having nightmare's on this killer on when he's going to show up next in which Craven tries to have a different twist with nightmares by instead of this dude being killed in his dreams he predicts the future in the dreams which only half works orignally.
There are some similarities with this killer killing residents like Krueger did but of course Krueger only killed children and Pinker kills families and other neighbors.
Great camera shots on Horace Pinker's foot limping as well as good close up shots on him fixing a TV with a sharp knife as well as good shots on the TV screen showing deadly looking wars and horror stuff.
Some good cheesy shots on Jonathan Parker on a highschool football field staring at Alison with a shot on her smiling at him and being distracted by falling into a post or other objects there which looked brutal when he crashes into them. There's also a good camera shot looking up on Rhino grinning and talking to him sarcastically showing some good timing.
A good dusky shot on both Jonathan and Alison walking home and haunting looking shots on children running by with other gloomy looking moments as well as them looking concerned at a home with a shot on a TV cable repair van out in front.
A good shot on a corpse lying there in a pool of blood inside the house with a good shot looking up on Jonathan looking shocked. Then there's a cheesy moment on his mother crying and screaming with Horace charging in with his knife and then Jonathan himself trying to stop him. Although the discussions seemed a bit corny on how it was done it looked a bit disturbing at the same time wondering if he will save his mother in time.
There's good ghostly figures too in the neighborhood during a dream sequence which has a nice Elm Street type of touch to it.
A great moment with Jonathan getting anxious towards his father detective by telling him who this killer is and insisting that he shows him which looked quite well done.
There's good dark shots with a sergeant trying to search for the killer in his TV repair shop and a nice surprise shot on a wall door opening with Horace grabbing him and pulling him in.
There's also a good camera shot on this maniac going out a window and limping on the ground with a good suspenseful camera shot closing in on
police officers with their backs turned.
There's a great shot on some bloody hand prints scrawled on the wall as well as a shot on Alison bloodied lying lifeless in a bathtub as well as Jonathan looking shocked and devastated as well as getting emoitonal and bringing all of this together very well.
There's great suspenseful shots on Horace running away on a top of a building and walking on a ladder to another building with good movements on all of this as well as him taking the ladder away when Jonathan is on his tail.
There's a terrific suspenseful shot on him running and jumping over the building to the next one which looked scary wondering if he would make it.
There's some cheesy choreography between the two of them duking it out on the top of the building with cheesy camera shots on all of this.
A good shot on Horace doing his own sort of black magic near a TV set with candles around him in his cell with good shots on two guards along with a priest freaking out on what is happening with good camera shots surrounding around them all.
Yet there's scene's like an execution one which was incredibly corny as Pinker is knocked unconcious after doing his own Black Magic ceremony with one of the guards doing CPR to try and revive him when he was going to get a death sentence anyhow which doesn't make sense as to why they'd want to revive him.
Good circling camera shots on the electric chair and the people planning it all out. Then there's a nice shot on Horace getting strapped in it with him giggling evilly and taunting the others watching.
A good moment with Jonathan walking into his bathroom and turning on some water along with a good creepy moment with Alison all bloodied up walking towards him and then he tries to back away along with a good shot looking down on his bed turning into water and him falling in.
Then there's possessions with Horace as a ghost going into other people's bodies which was a little too slapstick and not at all dark and terrifying. But again I think this was meant to be more funny than anything. It didn't work for me though.
At the same time there's nice gun chasing scene's with possessed policemen and the innocent teenager which brings on some good action in the storyline.
A nice moment with an officer knocking on a door and then shooting his way in along with a great chase between him and Jonathan but yet with all on how they interacted it looked a little corny too.
Good camera shot on this officer shooting his gun towards a jogger with him falling down and then crawling towards him along with a good camera shot rolling in on him.

There's some interesting shots on Jonathan towards a possessed little girl picking her up and she acts violent and vulgar towards him along with good shots on the mother hitting him. Alot of this looked quite tensed up.
A nice shot on supporting a possessed road worker taking a necklace away with one of his work tools and then heaving it in the air towards a lake.
A good powerful moment between Cooper trying to talk to Jonathan near the lake with him running into the lake not thinking straight trying to find the necklace along with Cooper himself trying to talk sense into him and then he gets violent about it all.
There's good dark misty shots on Jonathan in a lake looking for the necklace and Alison swimming up behind him with him getting scared and trying to swim away with her softly talking to him not to be afraid which looked peacefully done.
A good moment with Rhino getting emotional towards Jonathan about a situation and then going crazy with a nice shot on him breaking open a door trying to attack him.
Good shot on Don showing an evil grin towards Jonathan in a police car along with a nice surprising shot on Cooper smashing through the car window and letting him out telling him to run which looked well done. There's many good chasing scene's between Don showing some evil expressions and vulgar behavior towards Jonathan by trying to shoot him and he tries to reason with him showing some decent timing on the moments that it was taking on all of this. There's also good shots on them climbing up a radio tower along with Don haging onto a ledge and freaking out which looked suspenseful.
A good powerful moment with Alison coming up to Horace and getting tough towards him while holding her necklace.
There's also some great dynamic fun with Horace and Jonathan chasing after one another through the TV cables which was definetely worth watching which included some wars, sci-fi battles and an Alice Cooper stage act with him strangling a nurse. Yet they jump out of a TV with their battles which there's a family watching this which totally psychs you out too and Jonathan having the power against Pinker with a TV clicker. What more can you ask for to anyone who enjoys watching extreme horror volence on TV and getting it in real life?
Some good fighting scene's between Jonathan and Horace after they jump out of a TV with a couch potato couple watching them get into action. There's also a good shot looking up on Horace about to stab Jonathan with a knife and then him using the channel changer and pausing him in which this had a great touch on the two of them.
Bottom line is this film was so bad it's good as well as it being awfully cheesy and corny which isn't too scary but still well done with the effects and scenery surrounding all of this. Alot of people who worked for Alice Cooper were involved with this film as the movie seemed almost like a tribute to his stage antics. Yet watching one of his concerts is way more entertaining. If you're an Elm Street fan and want one as effective as this one was trying to be you will be extremely disappointed as this killer uses conrier jokes before he tries to kill his victims and uses a TV repair blade instead of finger bldes. The blade looks deadly but not as effective. A sequel never arose in which is kind of a good thing.

The acting is not too bad in which most of the cast members were better with their comedic performances than bringing out the horror into it. Michael Murphy (Lt. Don Parker) plays a good hard headed police chief in which he shows a great seriousness to his part in the film along with his stern behavior. He also shows alot of good aggressions when he needed to do so in it including shouting out in a rage standing up during someone's death sentence which looked highly energised. He was a true character actor.
Peter Berg
(Jonathan Parker) who plays his teenage football jock son seemed a bit clumsy with his work at first when he tries to act anxious to all that's happening at first but really gets into it in which he really shows a great rage with his anger and emotional behavior too. He was great by acting vengeful to top it off. He made his part necessary and a nice character to a slasher flick like this one.
Mitch Pileggi
(Horace Pinker) who played our main horror character showed some good timing with his obnoxious behavior as well as his dark comedic jokes too while about to do in his victims. He also had a great stocky look to him which made him look a bit intimidating too. However, he doesn't come across as creepy like Robert Englund would as Freddy Krueger since this character was suppsed to be a similar type of killer too. He seemed a bit corny at times but yet comes across as a brawly figure too so there's still points for this guy.
Sam Scarber
(Cooper) really showed a good hearted tough guy in the film with his guy next door attitude and really bringing it on with a good high energy level whenever he tries to help out with the terrors going on. He made his part incredibly effective and can be well remembered for his role in this film.
Camille Cooper
really had the beautiful looks and the nice soft voice in which she portrayed this part very well and does a gfood job acting like a ghost after she's killed showing a nice haunting appeal to her personality. She also knew how to act powerful too when she needed to be making her part a great key role to the film since we need a beautiful character in a slasher flick. She's not the daughter of shock legeng Alice Cooper.
Although that Vincent Guastaferro (Pastori) didn't have a big role in this film as an obnoxious Sheriff named Pastori I still thought that he should be mentioned here. He really brought out great goofy aggressions when he becomes possessed and often played these types of roles as an officer of some sort especially in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. He certainly really stands out with these types of roles and was a true comedic character actor.
John Tesh
(TV Newscaster) really did well as a TV news reporter since he has had experience hosting shows like Entertainment Tonight and just bringing it on with what he had to do in which he was just as convincing in this film.
We also have a cameo by body builder and heavy metal guitarist Kane Roberts (Road Worker) whom was once in Alice Cooper's band as a possessed road worker and certainly drew attention to his role in this one and seemed very necessary for his cameo in this film.

Many corpses are lying in a pool of blood
A girl is dead in a tub of blood
An officer's mouth is bitten
A guards finger is bitten off
Lots of bloody stabbings
Some cut throats

There's some fairly descent deep sounding classical music along with the odd bumping and grinding sounds. Plus there's some breezy sound effects too. There's also the odd high screechy violin music to top it all off. All of this was brought together by Michael Bruce, Alice Cooper and William Goldstein which these composers are legendary musicians.
The film had a bitchin' metal and hard rock soundtrack with a great opening song by a group of other artists like Paul Stanley & Desmond Child on vocals, Vivian Campbell on guitar, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Tommy Lee on drums called of course "Shocker". The song was terrifically well done for this time period and brings back memories of the hair band years.
Then there's an oldie cover tune by Megadeth during a scene of an electrocution with Alice Cooper's classic titled "No More Mr. Nice Guy" in which I think they totally ruined the song but it suits the scene.
Then there's the first song on the closing credits performed by Bonfire called "Sword & Stone" which adds a terrific touch for a closing credits on a slasher film.
There were other songtracks too by Iggy Pop, Dangerous Toys and Dead On but these three songs stood out the most in the film. All in all it's an excellent soundtrack.

Horace Pinker: [after being captured by the cops, Pinker taunts Jonathan] Oh by the way... she died real hard, ya know? Your girlfriend?
Jonathan Parker: [Pinker chuckles with glee and Jonathan tries to pounce on him as Lt. Parker restrains him] I'LL SEE YOU DEAD, YOU SON OF A BITCH!
Horace Pinker: So you like killin' too, huh squirt? It's in the blood... you and me, we're killers.
Horace Pinker: [taunting] Oh, ho, ho, ho! You're breakin' my fuckin' heart!

Lt. Don Parker: [tries to restrain an angry Jonathan, after Pinker is taken away, taunting him about Allison's death] Easy now! You want him gone? Let the state do it for you! He'll fry for sure... he's history!
Jonathan Parker: [whispers miserably] I wanna be there.
Lt. Don Parker: [puzzled] What?
Jonathan Parker: [turns to face him] If they give him the chair Don, I wanna be there.
Lt. Don Parker: Don't be crazy. It's over. Now let it go.
Jonathan Parker: [shakes his head] I wanna see him die, Don. I've earned it... I wanna see him die!
Lt. Don Parker: [thinks about it and nods his head] Yeah... yeah, maybe we've both earned it. I'll get box seats.

Horace Pinker: [after biting a guard's fingers] Finger lickin' good!

Guard Sergeant: [Pinker looks apparently dead] Fucker alive?
Priest #1: I don't know!
Horace Pinker: [Pinker suddenly recovers] Well I'm fine boys, just fine.
Horace Pinker: Let's get on with the killing.

Executioner: [Pinker's execution] Does the prisoner have any final words?
Horace Pinker: Yeah, as a matter of fact I do:
[narrows his eyes at Jonathan]
Horace Pinker: Your pitiful memories wiped it all out, didn't it? I was beatin' you real good when your mama tried to stop me with the gun.
Lt. Don Parker: [angrily] YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH, YOU FUCK!
Executioner: [calms him down] The prisoner has a right so speak.
Horace Pinker: [grinning evily] That's right. I was beatin' you real good when your mama tried to stop me with the gun that she brought into our happy home. You must've remembered it boy. Don't you remember the way she screamed? And how clever you were picking up that gun and shootin' me right through the fuckin' knee, you little peckerhead! Oh, such a big gun, just blastin' at your dear old dad with murder in your eyes. Like father, like son, huh?
[Pinker chuckles evilly as Jonathan is shocked to hear all of this and then narrows his eyes at the Executioner]
Horace Pinker: Well what are you waiting for, dickhead? You wanna fry me, then get it over with you bunch of fuckin' insects!
Executioner: [to one of the security guards] Well, you heard the man.

Jonathan Parker: Can't we just talk about this?
[a possessed Don Parker shoots at Jonathan]
Jonathan Parker: Guess not.

Jonathan Parker: [after freezing Pinker with a remote control in the t.v world] It's Showtime!
Horace Pinker: Hey! What the hell are you doing?
Jonathan Parker: [smiles cockily] You bought into t.v., Pinker. So now you're bound by it's rules.