Reviewed by Mike Brannon
Rating: 8 Beans
here are some movies that are so bad that you wonder how on earth a screenwriter convinced an entire crew (producer, director, release company) that it should have been made.
Wes Craven of Elm Street Fame concocted this monstrosity of a movie, and the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. The villain, a limping serial killer named Horace Pinker, is executed by the electric chair, but instead of the voltage killing him, it grants him super powers to continue his rampage (remind anyone of William Castle's "The Tingler?") Pinker is another Freddy Krueger -- a supernatural boogeyman who sneers cliches left and right. Come on, Wes! Even YOU can be more original.
Peter Berg plays the son of the slain policeman who Pinker targets for revenge. Pinker uses his power that allows him to temporarily possess bodies by touching them. Get this -- Berg is tipped off that Pinker is inhabiting a body by the new host limping. Don't you think that, if a spirit possesses a fresh body, it would assume weaknesses of its old, long-gone body? Get real.
The movie never does get real, it just gets more and more surreal and awful as it goes on. In fact, the showdown has Berg and Pinker slugging it out on different TV channels, which is played off as one gag after the next (God, even Amazon Women on the Moon did that bit better). The movie ends making a big joke out of itself, but it doesn't work.
The wattage is pretty low on Shocker. The only real shocker is that a movie this terrible got released. I hope Craven never expands into a more challenging screenwriting genre... he can't even get horror right half the time.
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