Shocker (1989)

casting card


Plot: After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Idea


Story: Shocker starts as we see high school football player Jonathan Parker (Berg) a young man that could have anything in the game but is easily distracted by the woman and Alison (Cooper) being the most notable. As Jonathan doesn’t go home he learns the terrible news his mother and sisters are killed by serial killer Horace Pinker (Pileggi) who is mocking his father LT Don Parker (Murphy) the man on his tale.

When Jonathan continues to learn of the whereabouts of Horace through dreams he helps the police finally capture him but not before losing Alison at the hands of the killer. After his execution doesn’t go well he continues to kill from beyond the grave with the Parker family being his main target.

Shocker brings us another twist that only Wes Craven can bring to the horror, while parts of this are just another take on Nightmare on Elm Street with the killer coming back from beyond the grave the side of the story that isn’t all work for the film. What if we did have a killer that could jump between bodies while trying to kill people well that is what this offers. It would be too hard not to see the moments that are the same to Nightmare though which is the reason this doesn’t get the love that one does.


Actor Review


Michael Murphy: LT Don Parker has been on the trail of the killer for his whole spree and becomes the target once the killer takes out his family. He has to work with his son to find the killer and bring him to justice, but he simply won’t die. Michael is good in this role as your generic cop like figure.

Peter Berg: Jonathan Parker is a young high school football player with all the potential in the world, when his family are killed by the killer he has dream about the man and what his next kill will be making it possible to finally track the man down. When the killer is executed he finds himself the target of the man. Peter is good in this role as the leading character trying to make

Cami Cooper: Alison is the girlfriend of Jonathan who helps him after a sporting injury which is why he wasn’t there when his family was killed. She becomes one of the victims in an attempt at revenge against Jonathan after he learns of Horace’s location. Cami is solid but doesn’t get enough screen time for supporting lead.

Mitch Pileggi: Horace Pinker is a serial killer that has been killing families for years and now he has targeted the office after him. Once he gets caught he shows the powers he has come to control as he continues to kill from beyond the grave. Mitch makes for an intense but never too menacing villain but one you would be afraid to run into.

Support Cast: Shocker has a supporting cast which are mostly victims for the killer to take out with only a few making more than a couple of scenes.

Director Review: Wes CravenWes gives us a horror that does come off original with good elements being used throughout.


Comedy: Shocker has elements of comedy but I do think this works better as a serious film.

Horror: Shocker has a good mix of horror being used with a serial killer and one that doesn’t just stay dead.

Thriller: Shocker tries to keep us on edge through the whole film but doesn’t quite pull us to the edge.

Settings: Shocker doesn’t create any iconic settings which I feel is something Craven is always great at.
Special Effects
: Shocker has effects I feel were good at the time but have dated as the times have moved on.

Suggestion: Shocker is one I feel all the Craven fans will enjoy even if it isn’t his best. (Craven Fans)


Best Part: The concept is very interesting.

Worst Part: The special effects have dated.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Mass murderer Horace pinker was put to death. Then he really got mad.

Trivia: Was originally intended to be the beginning of a three part trilogy much like “A Nightmare on Elm street” but after the lukewarm box office reception the idea was dropped. 


Overall: Solid addition to the Craven film collection that isn’t his best but showed his skills.





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