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“Well, she warned Horace to stop staring at her chest”
Once again, Wes fails to impress with his 1989 Nightmare on Elm Street knock-off called “Shocker.”
While showing off some Deon Sanders style moves during football practice, future Heisman trophy winner Jonathan Parker hits his head on a goal post harder than a K.O. punch from Mike Tyson and suddenly without any explanation at all becomes a crime-solving clairvoyant. Could it be one of those famous Craven plot holes? Or, maybe Jonboy suffered temporary amnesia after hitting his head… Anyway, Jonathan uses a kind of psychic GPS in his dreams to track down and help catch a serial killer who’s been eluding the entire police department in his hometown.
Later that evening, Horace arrives at the “big house” for the prison BBQ they’re having in his honor the next morning. Man, that was fast. No trial, no courthouse hearing or any kind of legal proceedings… Even suspected witches in Salem got a trial. And we all know how those witch trials usually turned out ( the ol’ burned at the stake routine), but at least they got a trial. Well, time is running out for Pinker just like retail chain Circuit City and he better do something fast before he becomes fuel for that big furnace down below because he sure isn’t visiting that big antenna in the sky. So, Horace does what any Death Row inmate who’s about to be executed would do, he decides to catch up on his soaps which seems harmless enough, right? However, when the prison guards arrive to escort Horace to his date with death they see him getting the shock of his life from a television set. Could it be a Poltergeist from the netherworld who got angry after finding out he really wasn’t Carol Anne? Is it a possible suicide attempt? Or, did he get caught stealing cable from cable provider Comcraptic? Hey, wait a second… Why is he kneeling in front of what appears to be a makeshift altar with buring candles and several open books scattered on the floor? Hmmm… I’m not really sure what’s going on here, but something doesn’t seem right.
So, after finishing up his farewell tour and grabbing a quick bite to eat (two fingers and a lip) from the guards, Horace gets strapped in and prepares for ignition. And just as the festivities are about to get under way, Pinker reveals a truly shocking revelation like something from one of his favorite daytime soaps. That he is…”Dun, da, Dun” Jonathan’s father. Sadly, though the heart-warming reunion doesn’t last very long as the executioner pulls the lever and Horace rides the lightning which causes his body to convulse like a bobble head figure sitting on a rodeo bull during an earthquake. Not surprisingly, in true horror movie fashion it appears that the execution attempt has failed after only a few seconds. Immediately, the prison doctor goes to check his vital signs. Little does she know that Horace was only warming up and is about to do his own version of Shock n’ Awe. He quickly knocks the doc out and then vanishes under a shocktacular cover of electrical flashes and thick smoke like a ninja who has watched one too many David Copperfield television specials. But, before you can say free jelly doughnuts, every available law enforcement officer at the prison charges into the execution chamber room looking for the deep-fried demon. When Pinker is finally discovered, he bursts into flames and leaves behind an extra crispy meat suit in a scene that’ll remind you of Freddy’s exit at the end of Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Apparently, hothead Horace couldn’t handle being in the hot seat.
Thanks to some black magic shenanigans via a telecast from the Darkside, Pinker has returned from the dead after a short commercial break. Now, you didn’t really think that Horace was using those candles and books for aromatherapy or mediation, did you? We soon find out that during the confusion of the botched execution, Horace possessed the injured prison doctor and left the “Slammer” undetected as she was put in the back of a police car and taken to a hospital for treatment. While chilling out in the doc’s body and recharging his batteries, Pinker/Doc suddenly lurches forward, killing the other officer who’s riding shotgun, and then forces Officer Pastori to crash into a fuel tanker which causes a huge Michael Bay style explosion that nearly knocked me out of my seat. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for emergency and law enforcement personnel on the scene to find Pastori alive, not too far away from the smoldering wreckage. Amazingly, he has sustained very little physical damage to his body, not even a flash burn. It’s a good thing that he remembered to put on his fire retardant gel that morning before leaving for work because you never know when an electrically charged up psycho is going to take over your body and crash the car your driving into a tanker filled with flammable fuel. Soon, the movie short-circuits into supernatural silliness as Pinker body-jacks (an idea he got after watching the Hidden) bodies left and right in his quest to re-connect with Jonathan and make up for all of those missed birthdays and holidays. Will Father and Son meet again? To be continued…
Well, I would be “Sleepless on Lost Highway” if I left you guys and gals with a cliffhanger like that. So, here it is… Father Horace and Son Jonathan do reunite for a final time in a clever EFX sequence that has them battling it out WWE style (but I won’t say who gets canceled) as they channel surf through old television reruns that plays like a kid with ADD who got their hands on a TV remote after drinking a six pack of Jolt Cola. And while this TV Land action spectacle won’t make your heart race with suspense, it will give you a good laugh, and showed that Wes did have a brief creative spark during the filming process. The rest of the visual effects are so bad that if the effects saw their own reflections, they would immediately pull the plug on themselves. Also, don’t expect any scares in this one. The only way you would jump during any part of this movie is if you accidentally sat on a “live wire.”
And since Craven doesn’t give us any memorable screen exits or T & A, (not even a pair of perky nipples poking through a t-shirt) the best part of this movie is without a doubt the soundtrack that has bands like Megadeth who do a respectable cover of Alice Cooper’s rock classic, “No More Mr. Nice Guy. So, if you’re a fan of music from the 80’s seek out a copy of this high voltage, bang your head until snaps off soundtrack. If you want to see Craven when his movies were a nightmare scarier or a scream louder than the competition, then check out horror gems like “Last House on the Left”, “The Hills Have Eyes”(original) or his mainstream horror classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
In the end Wes just carried too much cinematic baggage from his earlier efforts into this production which prevented Shocker from being it’s own movie.
– 1 Seriously wet dream
– 1 Plug n’ Slay serial killer
– 1 Mother and Daughter demonic possession
– 1 Foul-mouthed kid
– 2 Kicks in the gnads
– 1 Botched execution
– 1 Power of love punch
– 1 Faked heart attack
Rated 2.0 out of 10
Check out the trailer for Shocker