Newest Review: ... want to see this at some point; anyone else will probably want to stay well clear. Three stars out of five. The DVD is available f... more
A shockingly bad movie without a nightmare in sight
Member Name: blissman70
Advantages: good comical bits, (for a horror movie)
Disadvantages: bad plot, tacky acting, terrible horror
Director: Wes Craven
Producers: Barin Kumar, Marianne Maddalena and Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Stars: Mitch Pileggi, Peter Berg, Michael Murphy and Camille Cooper
Originally released in 1989, given an 18 certificate and going onto DVD ten years later, this hour and fifty minute movie bends the realms of electrical reality to bring out one hell of a fast paced movie.
Craven had tried to make this the first in a long running saga involving Horace Pinker, hoping to follow the success of his Nigthmare on Elm Street series, but this movie was the one and only, possibly the main reason why it became a bit of a cult classic.
Like most people out there I do like a good horror, especially with Cravens signature on it, such as 'The people under the stairs', 'The Hills Have eyes' and even the Elm Street comedies...sorry, horrors. So I was sure that this movie would be of the same calibre and I was quite happy to watch this when it first came out back in the late eighties. But as the plot began to unfold I realised that I may have made a bit of a mistake in my choice of viewing, causing my mind to suppress it for years, until a few months back when I came across a cheap DVD of it in a bargain bucket at my local shop.
So, knowing I had seen it but unable to remember if I enjoyed it I grabbed the copy and headed off home in the hope of relaxing in front of the box with a few beers and a half decent movie.
Unfortunately, as the plot unravelled once again, I soon realised why my mind had suppressed it for so nearly two decades.
** BRIEF PLOT...
After multiple murders, including police officers, women and even children, Serial killer Horace Pinker, (Mitch Pileggi) is finally caught by Detective Lieutenant Don Parker, (Michael Murphy), with the help of his son Jonathan, (Peter Berg), and is sent to the electric chair for his crimes.
But as Pinker has made his own deal with the devil he vows to return and seek revenge on those who brought him to justice, So as his body writhers as the electricity flows through him his soul becomes entangled in the electricity supply, allowing Pinker to keep to his word, with the power to possess anyone and everyone.
So, with Pinkers electrical soul on the loose, now even more dangerous than ever, Jonathon has to find a way to stop him, with the help of Allison, (Camille Cooper), his girlfriend, with a plan which is out of this world.
** IN CONCLUSION...
Unfortunately, the title of this movie really does say it all... it IS a shocker, and not in a good way either. It is not one of the best horror movies on the market by far and it is not a surprise that this was a one off, unlike the Elm Street sagas.
The opening scenes are quite good, maybe a little gripping in fact, showing some nice action and thrills as the hunt for the big bald serial killer progresses, looking like the movie could be one of Cravens better ones, but this action stops before it really gets going once Pinker is caught and brought to justice in the way only the U.S. know how, making the movie go down hill quicker than a greased gym shoe on a freshly polished slide.
In fact, I can safely say that the movie becomes so incredibly stupid that you may find yourself becoming slightly engrossed, almost mesmerised, in the hope of something scary actually happening. Unfortunately, this is not to be as the more the plot unravels the more utterly stupid it becomes.
There are many scenes, especially the 'chase' scenarios towards the end, which just seem to have been written by a child with a severs drug dependency, trying to force the viewing public to believe that this massive man mountain called Horace Pinker could end up being flushed around your local power station.
The comical chase scenes with Pinker and Berg as they find themselves appearing on several different television shows are the likes with which Matt Groaning would be proud of with Itchy and Scratchy.
Even the acting is a little 'iffy', although Pileggi does look the part as the psycho with an electric personality and lack of hair, but even his looks are no compensation for his rather tacky, wooden performance. But as for the rest, well, Murphy looks like he was rejected from a 1960's cop show, his acting still not improved. Berg comes across as a typical adrenalin fuelled youngster with a fear of nothing, apart from good acting maybe, and even Cooper, with her lovely smile, could not deflect the fact that her role in this 'pudding' of a movie was a bit of a let down, being a little on the cheesy side.
The special effects are beyond a joke, even for the late 80's, and there are many movies at the time with a lot better effects, such as the fly, the howling and even the Burbs, so why was this one so badly made?
In all, if you want to have a bit of a laugh with out frightening those around you then this is the movie for you, but if you want a good scary horror then avoid this like the plague, go for something more frightening, maybe something like Bob the builder or even the Teletubbies.
If you do want to get a copy of this movie, maybe to see if your taste in good horror movies differs to mine, then get over to amazon and get one for just over £7.
Storyboard vs. Film Scenes
Audio-commentary by director Wes Craven
Shocker by The Dudes of Wrath
Sword and Stone by Bonfire
No more Mr Nice Guy by Megadeth
Timeless Love by Saraya
Demon Bell/the balled of Horace pinker by Dangerous Toys
Love Transfusion by Iggy Pop
Different Breed by Dead On
NOTE: There is supposed to be a remake of this 1989 version which will be made in 2009 with Henry Rollins as Pinker... God help us all.
Summary: Where's Freddie Krueger when you need him..???