After a series of unusual dreams, young football star Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) captures serial killer Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), a diabolical television repairman responsible for the deaths of several families. Pinker is sentenced to die in the electric chair, but the execution goes awry and more people are mysteriously killed. Jonathan realizes that Pinker has used black magic to transfer himself into electricity, able to travel through power lines into homes through television sets. Despite the skepticism of his police detective father (Michael Murphy), only Jonathan can track Pinker down and destroy him once and for all. Director Wes Craven combines his serial killer thriller with a dash of social criticism, satirizing the modern obsession with the media in ways similar to his later hit SCREAM. Horace Pinker is a tough slasher in the Freddy Krueger mode, making wisecracks between murders, making +SHOCKER a tense but funny horror movie, with appearances by John Tesh and Dr. Timothy Leary (as a televangelist) as well as a cameo by Craven himself. The film climaxes in a wild chase between Jonathan and Pinker through the dangerous television landscapes, a realm where anything can happen.
Mitch Pileggi - American Actor, THE X-FILES (Skinner)
Cami Cooper - American Actress/Shocker
Richard Brooks - American actor, THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS/JOHNNY B GOOD
Richard L. Brooks - American actor, THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS/JOHNNY B GOOD
Michael Murphy - Narrator, LAS VEGAS: AN UNCOVENTIONAL HISTORY (2005)
Peter Berg - American actor/director
Peter Winkler Berg - American actor/director
Wes Craven - Horror Writer/Director
Wesley Earl Craven - Horror Writer/Director
A barbarous mass murderer is executed in the electric chair, but his spirit remains oddly earthbound. With his soul now inexplicably tethered to the electricity that took his life, the killer enters the homes of new victims via the unblinking eye of their television set.
Theatrical release: October 27, 1989. Dr. Timothy Leary appears as a televangelist on a TV show called CASH FOR CHRIST. Director Wes Craven has a cameo as a neighbor near the end of the film. In addition, his son Jonathan and daughter Jennifer make brief appearances as a jogger and a waitress, respectively. The scene used in the theatrical trailer in which Horace Pinker says "No more Mr. Nice Guy" does not appear in the actual film. The building where Horace Pinker is captured is at the corner of Maddalena St. and Wagner Ave., a reference to Marianne Maddalena, the film's producer, and Bruce Wagner, who cowrote A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3. Megadeth's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" is used prominently in the film.
"...SHOCKER is crammed with dazzling bursts of macabre technique..." - 10/27/1989 Los Angeles Times, p.C6