Wes Craven wraps up the 80s with a solid film!
Directed By: Wes Craven (The Hills Have Eyes)
In the year 1989 the 80’s were just about over but the spirit of the 80’s for the time were still going. Director Wes Craven unhappy with what his signature movie A Nightmare On Elm Street had become due to New Line decided to try to start a new franchise with a new killer. That new franchise was suppose to be Shocker, a movie with many Elm Street similarities. However, it was not to be. Shocker bombed and a sequel was never made. But I must admit, I was always a fan of Shocker and I still am.
Johnathan Parker awakes from a nightmare where the current serial killer that is running loose in his town murders his foster family. Sadly, it’s not a dream as his policemen foster father calls him to inform him of the bad news, what he dreamed had really happened. Helping his father and the cops track down this mad man named Horace Pinker, all seems well once he’s caught and sent to the chair. But the terror isn’t over a Pinker uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on Johnathan.
Like I said above the movie does indeed at times look a lot like A Nightmare on Elm Street. It has the creepy feel, it has the cool effects, and it has a killer that seems to pop off one liners here and there while doing horrible things. While the film isn’t anywhere near the original Nightmare in terms of quality, it is better than some in the series that would follow. The very sequels Wes made this movie in the spite of.
The gore in here as well. At times the screen literally looks like a blood bath and word is minutes of gore had to cut to avoid an X rating when the film came out. While the electric effects and other things (like Johnathan’s comfy chair) may sure look dated now days, the gore is one thing that never goes out of style on the screen in my humble opinion. One could also go as far as to say the first 40 minutes of the movie plays off like a good thriller before jumping more into the over the top horror stuff.
Now that’s not to say the film doesn’t have some laugh out loud bad moments. Without saying too much I have to question why in one scene Johnathan is just fine and dandy with a ghost who is helping him being in the room right next to him, going as far as to talk to him. Then the next time Johnathan sees the very same ghost he tries to run?? Dude?? What gives?? I’ve never gotten that part and I don’t think I ever will but it’s nothing too major, just weird.
While I do like the gore and feel of this movie very much, after all it still had that classic Wes Craven feel that was somewhat lost when the 90s got here. I think there is a lot of things that get a little overly silly once they get to the part where Pinker and Johnathan are doing battle through the TV. When I was a kid I loved but now since I’m older it’s just not the same. Not that it hurt it that much in the end because I think the film stills holds up well today and is more than worth a watch.
It may have been 89′ but the vibe of the 80’s is very much here from the metal music to the look of the whole movie. I’d still recommend watching Shocker to anyone and anyone. While you might not be as fond and nostalgic with it as I am, I believe you’ll still get a suspenseful at times film, that does pack a small jab.
The Rating (7/10)