Film Review: Shocker (1989)

Also known as: Shocker: No More Mr. Nice Guy (alternative title)
Release Date: October 27th, 1989
Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Wes Craven
Music by: William Goldstein
Cast: Michael Murphy, Peter Berg, Cami Cooper, Mitch Pileggi, Ted Raimi, Heather Langenkamp, Wes Craven, Kane Roberts, Dr. Timothy Leary, Jessica Craven, John Tesh

Alive Films, Carolco Pictures, Universal Pictures, 110 Minutes

Review:

“We can’t go killing people just to get Pinker out of their bodies.” – Jonathan Parker

As I’ve stated in other reviews, I’m really not a big fan of Wes Craven outside of A Nightmare On Elm Street. He was always in the same conversations with John Carpenter but his body of work is weak sauce in comparison, regardless of Elm Street being one of the best horror films of the decade.

Shocker is no different and because I’m not super keen on Craven, I had actually never seen it until now. In fact, I remember seeing the trailer for it when I was ten years-old and thinking it looked stupid as hell.

While I don’t mean to sound overly harsh, that’s kind of how I felt about a lot of Craven’s stuff when trailers would drop.

This movie was a total clusterfuck, It tried to do way too much with its story and didn’t really let anything settle into place before throwing more layers of papier-mâché onto the still wet pieces beneath.

At first its a slasher movie, then it becomes some weird ass shit where the killer travels through TVs, electricity, infrared waves and satellite dishes while the killer also travels in and out of other people’s bodies, so that you’re always guessing who the killer could be. So basically, there’s three concepts all wedged into one movie and Craven never really seems to fully commit to any of it.

Not to mention, the main kid that the killer wants to kill has some sort of psychic connection to the killer. Why? Who the fuck knows, man?!

The only real positive about the film is Mitch Pileggi, who plays the killer. Most people remember him for playing Skinner on The X-Files. It’s cool seeing him in this role, as his character is so over the top and batshit crazy that it’s a huge contrast to the character he’s become most famous for. Plus, I’ve always liked the hell out of Pileggi and this is worth a watch if you feel the same way. Without him, this movie would’ve been the worst in Craven’s filmography. He, at least, makes it palatable to a point.

Rating: 4/10