aka Wes Craven’s Shocker
109 min., 1989
Written by Wes Craven
Directed by Wes Craven
My rating: ★★★
A surprise or two and Mitch Pileggi.
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The movie begins with some guy limping around a room and working on some TVs. We then switch to our main character; Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) practicing football but his mind is on his girlfriend, Alison (Cami Cooper). While showing off he ends up running into the goal post and Alison ends up taking him home. While walking he sees his old house with a van in front of it with the name Pinker on it. He ends up going in after Alison disappears. Once inside he sees his foster brother dead with three broken fingers, then he hears his mother screaming upstairs. He races up there and sees a man with a knife attacking his mom and foster sister. The man approaches him and asks what he is going to do, which causes Jonathan to jump at the man. That’s when he wakes up from a bad nightmare and the phone rings. Apparently his family was just killed in the exact manner that he saw. After finally catching the man, Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), he is to be put to death. The guards come to get him, but he is performing a strange ritual with his TV wherein he gets shocked. He is finally led to the electric chair and the switch is pulled. Is he really dead or has the chair now given him even more power than before?
This is probably the biggest problem with the movie. The acting is just really terrible. The only exception is Mitch Pileggi, but then again he is always really great. He attacks the role with the conviction of a real killer and when he looks pissed you really feel it. Peter Berg is extremely uneven in his performance and most of the time it seems that he doesn’t really know how to express the emotions that the lines call for and let’s not forget that his voice is always very nasally.
Another problem with the movie is the overall effects. They aren’t the worst that have ever graced the screen, but then again they haven’t aged all that well. There are tons of really bad blue screen scenes that are really painful to watch, but then you have the jumping from TVs which actually works really well.
There is some fun to be found in the movie, but the bad far outweighs the good. Again Mitch Pileggi pulls in a phenomenal performance, but the others are very forgettable. The script is also very forgettable with few memorable lines and very forgettable characters. The plot is pretty cool, but it feels like it was the first draft of A Nightmare On Elm Street that no one liked so it was tossed under the bed to be forgotten about forever, which is where it should have stayed. This is just a very poorly done movie with almost nothing to be seen. Then again, what happens to Alison is actually pretty cool, but it’s not enough to save the movie. If you do decide to watch this movie pay attention to the cameos that run wild through the movie which includes Ted Raimi and Heather Langenkamp among others.Have You Read...?