Shocker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shocker Reviews

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November 29, 2017
Solid take on a criminal on death row and the aftermath of something that could go wrong when you try and execute someone. This film has scary parts and some very bad '80s gags as well.
October 17, 2016
With all the elements Wes Craven tried to jam into the film, "Shocker" it should have been a dud. Instead, Craven cranks the performances and ridiculousness to Looney Toon levels and creates the perfect guilty pleasure "B" movie. This movie is overstuffed, over the top, and too much fun to hate. 4 stars
½ December 11, 2015
Not bad most of the way through, I just didn't like the tv stuff at the end. It's very similar to Fallen with Denzel Washington if you were into that flick. Lot of similarities between this and Craven's NOES series. Just wish it had a better final act.
November 15, 2015
Absolutely ridiculous and cheesy body-swap horror movie. Wes Craven attempts to make a new horror icon like Freddy, but for the MTV/video generation, but ultimately fails. So much of it makes zero sense, but still, it's so much fun. And holds tons of nostalgic value for me.
October 24, 2015
Mish mash of everything we've already seen from Wes Craven with bad pacing and shoddy effects.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2015
Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi) was meant to be the next evolution in Wes Craven's horror odyssey. A bald serial killer who worships at the throne of channel-surfing, Pileggi hops right on board the gargantuan overacting inherent in the role. In a sidenote, it's an amusing nuance that Pileggi had to mimic the limp of a prepubescent girl who was possessed by Pinker later in the film because she filmed her scene before he arrived on set. However, Shocker nosedived at the box office and Craven couldn't capitalize on another Freddy Krueger. For what it's worth, Shocker is a rollicking, albeit cynically synthesized horror-comedy. The boob-tube hypnosis and desensitization to cathode-ray-tube violence would've been a viable outlet for satire but Craven presumably abstains from social commentary for once. Craven plunders wholesale from his Nightmare on Elm Street template. The opening is precisely identical to his aforementioned franchise with a repair shop instead of a boiler room. The lines between reality and REM sleep are blurred. Pinker spews sound bytes that could've been pun-intended catchphrases ("Take a ride in my Volts-wagen"). Moreso than his other films, rationalization and logic hold no sway over the far-fetched writing in Shocker. Jonathan Parker (a vanilla Peter Berg) is a foster child who practically lives in an expensive suburban house all by himself like a Nickelodeon sitcom. A necklace imbued with the omnipotent power of "love" is the only object that can defeat the electrified Pinker. It might seem that I'm deriding this film but actually I wholeheartedly recommend it. The flickering, low-res pixel version of Pinker was quite innovative for the time. The showstopper is a gonzo sequence where Pinker and Jonathan hopscotch through different programs from a Leave it to Beaver to a John Tesh newscast to a televangelist set. Obviously, Shocker should be evaluated with a macabre sense of humor. The Dudes of Wrath and Alice Cooper soundtrack guarantees the film is a heavy-metal guilty pleasure for headbangers and any opportunity to hear a tongue-wagging Michael Murphy shriek "eat shit and die you little fucker" is a succulent treat. If nothing else, it is superior to both The First Power and The Horror Show which overlapped the same premise.
September 12, 2015
I have a fondness for schlocky 80s horror flicks and Wes took this one a notch above the typical fare. Sure, it's silly (and not in the same league as Nightmare or Scream) but it is enjoyable to watch.
September 8, 2015
its still one of my favorite Wes Craven movies R.I.P. Wes Craven
½ September 1, 2015
Wes Craven's new franchise attempt was a so-so effort, the films not bad but there's nothing overly great it's just average. The soundtrack is pretty cool.
½ June 5, 2015
Shocker is terribly silly and is "shockingly" bizarre, both in an engaging and utterly confusing way. Shit happens in this film without much explanation, so you just go along with the craze. That said, if you watch this as a cheesefest of a bad movie with silly moments and interesting ideas, it does work and entertain. A serial killer who murdered a boy's family and girlfriend gets sentenced to death, but lives through electricity (yep, just go along with it...), possessing others bodies, and even gets to the point where he can flip through television channels. I enjoyed it solely for implanting ideas that I've never seen, but just because a film does something new, doesn't automatically make it good. It's otherwise a bad film that has some laughable moments of silly special effects and bad acting. If you like Wes Craven's stuff, its in the same alley as other trash like Deadly Friend, but probably far more enjoyable then say later films like My Soul To Take.
½ April 19, 2015
reminded me of the superior horror pic 'videodrome'
½ April 18, 2015
This movie is so bad it's really frigin bad.
March 21, 2015
If Fallen and Virtuosity had a poorly written movie love child with special effects worse than Brainscan, this would be it. Terrible, but I was somehow still mildly entertained. Maybe it was the soundtrack?
½ January 21, 2015
Brutal serial killer is tracked by a local high school football star before and after he is electricuted in an electric chair. Often completely ridiculous and gets more so as it goes. Topping the list is a prison guard who decides to perform mouth-to-mouth resussitation on the apparently unconscious killer on his death row walk to the electric chair. Film starts off on a high note with the Paul Stanley-Desmond Child title track and goes down from there. Liked the high school football team's concussion protocol, which consisted of the question "are you ok?" - correct for the times.
½ December 28, 2014
One of Wes Cravens best movies.
December 20, 2014
This is one of those movies that I really wanted to be good when I was a kid, and my parents wouldn't let me see it, and I thought they wouldn't let me see it because it was going to be so twisted and fucked up that it would just fuck me up and turn me in to a fucking serial killer or something, then I fucking saw it and it was so painful to watch in all the wrong ways, and every now and then I see it for free on a streaming account and I think, "hey I wonder if this is as bad as I remember it," and it is, it fucking is, it is that fucking bad and yet I still try to watch it again, and it never fucking ends, just like this sentence. I only give it a half a star because the idea of an electric chair themed horror movie is great. Let's face it, who wants to die in the electric chair? Not me. That shit is scary. This movie on the other hand, is just bad.
October 23, 2014
A serial killer is caught after killing the family of the lead detective on his case. Sent to the electric chair, he returns from the dead by travelling through TV sets in order to further torment the remaining members of that family as well as kill others. I had bought this sound track 20 years ago because of the presence of a Megadeth song, but not watched it until now. Not as good as the similarly-themed "Horror Show" from the same year.
½ October 20, 2014
I watched a movie called The Horror Show the other day and it reminded me of this movie. I hadn't seen Shocker in ages though (and I don't think I had seen it all the way through previously) so I went back and watched this movie.

The good news: It's much better than The Horror Show.

The bad news: It's still not that good.

I feel like this review is a bit skewed. If I hadn't watched The Horror Show before, this movie might not seem quite as good. But I couldn't help but notice a much more slick direction, a more focused screenplay (though it does get a bit ridiculous), and better acting across the board.

Sure, this movie is cheesy, but I had fun. The movie didn't rush into the electricity angle and once it did it didn't seem too serious, so I didn't take it as serious as I have taken other movies. I liked how the movie took the first half to sort of establish the characters, even if a lot of murders and mayhem happened. It helped set up a lot of the crazier stuff that happens later (like jumping in and out of TVs).

The only big problem I had with the movie was that it was too long. 80 minutes would have been just fine, but it's about 20 minutes longer than it really needed to be. I liked some of the goofier stuff about this movie, and I never expected a classic (though Wes Craven seemed to be trying to recreate a Freddy Krueger character), so I enjoyed it regardless.

At the end of the day, at least it was better than The Horror Show (they came out the same year). I think viewers need to have a bit of an open mind and know which Wes Craven they're getting. This isn't Last House on the Left/Hills Have Eyes era Wes Craven. This was People Under the Stairs/Serpent and the Rainbow era Wes Craven. Know what you're getting in to and you'll be less "shocked". Oh, the terrible puns.
October 1, 2014
Substandard for Wes Craven with a really bad finish. Failed to create much 'buzz' or even a sequel. Would recommend Lyle Alzado's DESTROYER over this. Pinker goes from arrested to the electric chair seemingly overnight; swifter justice than Texas.
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