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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 May 2013
For years I could remember parts of this film but not which film it was.


All I could remember was a scene where a woman is drying her hair and the killer approaches her. For YEARS I was afraid to dry my hair thinking of the fact I couldn't hear anyone coming into the house. I know the chances are small but it was just a small thing that freaked me out for ages.

I think that is a sign of a good horror movie, a few scenes that are very memorable and stick in your mind, and parts of it that cause real fear for a few years in the future.

Anyway, after searching I found out this was the movie with that scene and purchased it. I think it's a brilliant horror movie and I enjoyed watching it, even the dreaded hairdryer scene! I would recommend it to all horror fans. It's something a bit different but still good.
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on 2 August 2013
U.S. Distributor Scream factory have released SHOCKER on blu-ray now
with an all new HD transfer in 1: 85:1 ratio
which does look beautiful, very nice sharp & clear picture quality no Doubt about it
SF have done an excellent Job with this new HD transfer
better than this Optimum dvd version
plus a new 5.1 master audio mix has been added, again better quality than the Dolby stereo mix
plus being a Scream factory blu-ray there's all new special features
the old Universal dvd had no extras
so these new extras are very exciting
CABLE GUY- new interview with Actor Mitch Pileggi who plays serial killer Horrace Pinker-17mins
ALISON'S ADVENTURE'S new interview with actress Cami cooper -17mins
IT'S ALIVE new interview with Producer Shep Gordon-12mins
which has interviews with some of the Musicians that contributed to the sound track
Vintage making of featurette recorded during the filming of shocker
this featurette includes an interview with Wes craven himself 8min 50sec
1st is the Wes craven commentary, the 2nd is a new commentary
with Director Photography Jacques Waitkins, music composer William Goldstein
plus the usual TV spots, radio spots, Stills Gallery, and original Trailer
so definitely time to upgrade and get this new blu-ray version which is region A locked actually
you can buy it for $20 on and get it shipped to the U.K.
all Scream factory blu-ray's are region A locked
so U.K. fans will need all regions player
1 star for this optimum dvd, 5 stars for this new blu-ray version
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on 21 April 2015
Ultimately disappointing effort from horror legend Wes Craven. Shocker feels like a vain and desperate attempt for Craven to get his name back with the big boys. Though 1989 when this was released spelt the death of serial killer movies anyway.

The problem for Craven is that he so wanted Shocker to be the next Nightmare on Elm Street and Horace Pinker the killer in the movie the next Freddy Krueger. He's obviously looked at the success of the Elm Street movies, the comedic toned ones and thought that he could replicate that. But this effort just seems forced.

Peter Berg plays a very unfortunate soul who sees his family sans his dad, his friends and his girlfriend all wiped out by a serial killer who is also a TV repair man. Berg has some sort of pro cog power where he can dream and get himself in the situation set up- and this is the problem it all feels too samey. Also once Pinker has died he can transform into different bodies, i'm sorry this was done well enough in THE HIDDEN, which came out before this movie.

There are some highlights though, namely Mitch Pileggi who plays Pinker- he seems to revel in this role and really hams it up. Berg as our hero isn't too bad, but the script is so poor his performance just seems flat. The finale which includes Pileggi and Berg jumping through television sets onto actual movies is quite fun, if poorly executed. The movie certainly has overtones of comedy- but it just isn't funny. Perhaps Craven needed this venture to somehow give us the modern classic SCREAM which would appear 7 years later.
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on 22 July 2015
God Awful attempt by Wes Craven to crank out another Franchise,which thank God Failed.This poorly Conceived Supernatural Killer flick is Just Freddy Getting You with Electricity instead of in Your Dreams.Thankfully someone pulled the plug on Horace.
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on 28 January 2015
In the extras,Wes Craven claims main
bad guy(pinker)was designed to
retire freddy krueger,HA! of course he will....
not. Shocker theme song performed by
DUDES OF WRATH, Demon Bell(the ballad
of Horace Pinker)performed by DANGEROUS TOYS.
That just says it all! By the by,i do and will always rate
Craven as a fantastic director.We all lapse, look at me,
i bought the film.
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on 22 September 2011
I'm not sure whether this was intended as a serious film or some kind of black comedy. It starts off very promisingly. A serial killer is on the loose, has so far evaded the police. After an accident during a game, local young American Footballer Jonathan Parker has an out-of-body experience in which he discovers the murderer is limping TV repairman Horace Pinker. Before long Jonathan's girlfriend has been murdered and he is determined to bring Pinker to justice.

There begin the problems. After his capture Pinker is sold to us as "the new Freddy", and his orange prison uniform is quite obviously intended as his marketable "outfit". In fact, the execution and Pinker's subsequent ability to travel by means of electrical energy means the film often feels like a parody of "House 3:The Horror Show", a film arguably inspired by Wes Craven's own Nightmare on Elm Street series. But whereas Freddy started out as a dark, menacing figure, Pinker is played for laughs throughout most of this film. His ability to appear on the TV in various old movies and TV shows means the whole thing descends into pop culture.

The film does have its good horror moments. Pinker's ability to hi-jack a human body means various members of the public including a cop, a little girl and even Jonathan's own father, are turned into rampaging monsters, and the scenes in which Jonathan's dead girlfriend returns as an angel-like figure are effective.

Overall, this is entertaining if you don't take it too seriously and it's at least a lot better than most of the later Freddy films.
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on 17 August 2011
Wes Craven is almost a household name and yet very few of his films are successful at much at all. Hills Have Eyes, Deadly Blessing and A Nightmare on Elm Street are all pretty successful horror films, though all have their flaws, while Hills Have Eyes 2, Nightmare 3, Shocker and The People Under The Stairs are all second-tier fun films, but have little to recommend as serious films and The Serpent & the Rainbow is a great film, until the last half an hour kills it unforgivably. His later teen horror stuff is exhorable but that's another story....

SHOCKER finds Wes cynically attempting to start a new Nightmare on Elm Street/Freddy-type franchise and, if it isn't a hell of a lot more successful than his attempt at making some money off of a Friday the 13th-type franchise (Hills Have Eyes 2), it's still a fun comedy-horror with enough baffling ideas in it to keep you awake.

Why I love SHOCKER, and also why you will hate it on first viewing is that unlike most other horror franchises, which start serious and then become progressively campy and silly, Shocker is already in that third-or-fourth-film-in-a-series mode, with a wisecracking villain, corny late '80s Desmond Child diet-metal soundtrack and malevolant reclining chairs. Let me put to you this way - Jason had to wait six films for a corny pop metal anthem, Freddy had three films (if Dokken's "Dream Warriors" counts, four if we only include the Fat Boys horrible rap single), Leatherface had to wait until 1990's LEATHERFACE and some others are STILL waiting for an AOR/hair-metal theme song. Horace Pinker, the balding nutter of SHOCKER, gets at least over the opening credits and another as he and the protagonist channel-surf INSIDE the TV.

The film pretty much fails as a thriller - it tries to have an electrical killer the way A Nightmare on Elm Street had a dream killer, yet cannot resist featuring dreams as a vital element of the plot -, as a horror film (is the TV that makes the deal with Pinker supposed to be THE DEVIL? if so, why does it talk like a 1970s ghetto pimp?) and ultimately an an (intended) comedy. The body jumping plot thread was semi-novel at the time (THE HIDDEN got there before SHOCKER, and probably others before that) but was done again and again in films like FALLEN and the ninth Friday the 13th film. Nostalgic chuckles will be had during the final confrontation which uses chroma-key to place the main characters in various older TV shows and video broadcasts (Craven pretty much brags during his audio commentary that the film must have influenced Forrest Gump in this regard! Oh dear, almost as pathetic and unlikely as his suggestion Terminator 2 stole the killer-walks-through-jail-bars scene from Nightmare!)

Ultimately, if you like late 80s horror-comedys, which are basically surreal teen films rather than serious statements or attempts at affecting the audience deeply, you will probably enjoy this film. Belongs on a double bill with the 1988 THE BLOB.
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on 20 December 2005
This is a great film that's serious and funny and is very fun to watch. If you're a fan of B-movies then you wont regret it. (I know I wont)
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on 13 December 2000
Horace Pinker is a sadistic mass murderer who kills for fun(you can tell) A football player named Jonathan teams up with his foster dad to nail the killer. When he dies, he gets transported into the electricity and goes on a rampage which results in an endless bloodbath with car chases, building chases and even a great chase through the T.V. I admit it gets very stupid near the end buts thats all the fun of it really!
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on 5 August 2010
Scream director Wes Craven used to make two kinds of films: brutal horrifying social critiques that were designed to provoke revulsion and debate (The Hills Have Eyes, Last House on the Left) or fantasy horrors with wisecracking serial killers (A Nightmare on Elm Street). This is one of the latter. Another daftly named serial killer, Horace Pinker, is slashing his way through families. After his foster family is iced by said madman, Jonathon Parker uses his psychic gifts to track the bad guy, only to have Horace escape and horrifyingly slice and dice his girlfriend. But it's once Horace has been electrocuted that things get out of control, as the insane killer has made a deal with the devil, and can now go anywhere he wants via electricity...
While Jonathan is played quite well by Peter Berg, I felt like Craven miscast the killer terribly. Played with camply over-the-top Freddy style villainy by X-Files star Mitch Pileggi, Pinker felt like he needed to be a huge muscular monster a-la Steve Austin, not the wimpy looking and camply over-acting Pileggi. As a result, for me, the killer was never scary. Also the cackling comedy wisecracks and bizarre fantasy of the plot clashed terribly with the gruesome gore near the beginning, making it a bizarrely tonally uncertain film. Was this supposed to be a comedy? Or a horror? It didn't work as a comedy-horror as it was too mean-spirited. Craven didn't quite get that balance perfect until Scream, but here it was at its most uneven. However, that said, the film has high points. Some of the violence is harsh, and there are playful bits of social commentary via TV sets. It's not a 'great' but it will enjoyably fill a few hours for any Craven fan.
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