Blu-Ray Review: Shocker: Collector's Edition | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Shocker: Collector’s Edition

Studio: Scream! Factory

Sep 11, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

A prolific serial killer (The X-Files’ Mitch Pileggi) cuts a bloody trail across suburban Los Angeles until a local teenager named Jonathan (Peter Berg) helps bring him to justice via a mysterious psychic connection which allows him to predict where the killer will strike next. Because his mother and girlfriend were both victims of the evil Horace Pinker, Jonathan insists on being present at his execution by electric chair. Before he is put to death, Pinker invokes a devilish rite which allows him to survive his execution and become an evil spirit made of pure electricity which can leap from body to body and travel through the city’s power grid. He wants revenge on Jonathan—who may be the only person who can possibly stop him.

Any horror fan seeing Shocker for the first time probably won’t be able to help but think of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven’s 1984 horror classic. Craven made Shocker five years later, and while it shares a few weirdly specific superficial elements—including a piece of murderous, supernatural furniture—it also flashes much of the director’s trademark creativity. The primary gimmick is quite silly—a serial killer made of electricity—but it allows for a few inventive scenarios, particularly Pinker’s body-hopping and an extended sequence where he is actually absorbed into the broadcast TV programming. Shocker is more over-the-top goofy than scary, but it’s a good deal of fun and the special effects hold up pretty well after a quarter century.

This new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray comes packed with extra features, including two audio commentaries (one with Wes Craven) and interviews with stars Pileggi, Cami Cooper, and producer Shep Gordon. (The latter was the subject of the great 2014 documentary Supermensch.) There’s also a documentary on Shocker’s music, which sheds light on the era when heavy metal horror soundtracks that were especially common in the late ‘80s. (Schocker’s soundtrack included Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, and Megadeth, the latter of which’s cover of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” serves as the movie’s theme—and its tagline.) Round those out with two vintage Making Of featurettes, a handful of original radio and TV spots, a trailer, and storyboard and still galleries and you’ve got a great package that should more than satisfy fans of the late horror maestro. Shocker is worth your consideration with October looming on the horizon.

Author rating: 6/10

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