Shocker may not be scary, but it is educational. For instance, did you know that fathers and sons regularly share an impenetrable psychic bond that manifests itself in dreams? And believe it or not, when spirits possess the bodies of living others, the deceased’s original physical disabilities (like a limp) carry over to their new hosts. Oh, and let’s not forget that average human beings are never surprised – much less alarmed – by the appearance of supernatural phenomenon, which is now considered as everyday as blue jeans and bad perms. These and other life lessons are graciously provided by Wes Craven’s 1989 horror film, a revisitation of the director’s favorite themes (alternate realities, parent-child dynamics, lunatics spouting one-liners) that pitifully attempts to replicate A Nightmare on Elm Street by means of a maniacal, partially burned serial killer who appears in teenagers’ slumbering thoughts. The psycho in question is TV repairman Horace Pinker (The X-Files’ Mitch Pileggi), whose murderous rampage is challenged by foster child and high school star quarterback Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg). Unfortunately for Parker, though, ol’ Horace is a black magic disciple who makes a pact with the television devil and becomes – upon frying in the electric chair – an electricity spirit who can jump back and forth between normal citizens. Revelations about Jonathan’s relationship to Horace are (like the cheese-metal score) predictable and dumb. In the stupidity department, however, such bombshells pale in comparison to the parade of ghosts who aid Jonathan in battle, a perplexing plot point involving the necklace of Jonathan’s dead girlfriend, and Craven’s inane anti-TV commentary, which begins with shots of Horace’s workplace (filled with sets tuned to death and destruction, oh my!), peaks with the killer receiving unholy communion from the boob tube via jumper cables, and ends with some lame virtual channel surfing that’s part The Ring, part Stay Tuned.
Do you remember a time in the '90s when pretty much every discount used-CD bin had 14 billion copies of the Shocker soundtrack?
Sing it with me: "No more Mr. Nice Guy..."
Posted by: Aaron Hillis | February 26, 2007 at 04:55 PM
Actually, I do.
God love Megadeth...
Posted by: Nick | February 28, 2007 at 12:53 PM
Mmmm yes, "Peace Sells." Megadeth, "Shocker"...are these the things you're indulging in with a newborn around? ;)
Posted by: rob | March 01, 2007 at 04:06 PM
Of course. What's better for a child's development than horror movies and heavy metal?
Posted by: Nick | March 01, 2007 at 04:58 PM