What if we told you that a criminal actually avoided the electric chair after being sentenced to death? He actually changed into something that the cops would never be able to capture in addition to surviving!
It sounds unfathomable, so in this video we will explore all aspects of this horrifying serial killer whose brutal methods of execution will leave you dumbfounded. It differs from other violent movies since it also includes psychological terror and some childhood trauma. So without further ado, let us watch the clip and discuss the movie Shocker.
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Exploring the fearsome journey of Shocker
In October 1989, Universal Pictures released the American slasher movie Shocker. Wes Craven, one of the best directors in horror film history, wrote and directed it. A man’s limping legs are first seen in the movie’s opening scene. He appears to be fumbling with some wires while wiping blood off a knife. A news story about a serial killer on the run is playing on a television monitor at a different location. A male serial murderer has reportedly been stalking the streets of Maryville, a Los Angeles suburb, for the past nine months.
He kills entire families as part of his method of operation, and so far he has avoided being apprehended. The next scene shows Jonathan Parker, a star college football player, hearing a scolding from his coach for not paying attention during the game. Peter Berg portrays Jonathan, and he is undeniably the hottest guy at his institution. When he successfully scores the ball during practice, he unintentionally runs into a goal post and suffers a severe head injury. However, he decides to go home with his girlfriend, Alison Clement, who is portrayed by Camille Cooper, and acts as though everything is fine.
As the couple is walking home, they end up on the street where Jonathan’s family lives. He was a foster child and now lives alone. The area is consumed by an eerie silence and Jonathan feels strange. He then spots a TV repair van outside his childhood house that says “Pinker’s TV Repair.” He tells Alison that it is odd that his family would be getting their TV fixed late at night, but when he turns around, he sees that Alison has just vanished from the street.
Jonathan walks toward the house and upon opening the front door, he sees his brother Bobby lying unconscious on the floor with blood coming out of his head. Then he hears screams from upstairs and rushes to find a man attacking his mother and little sister with a knife. The killer walks with a limp toward Jonathan and threatens him to try to do anything. Jonathan tries to stop the killer by jumping on top of him but somehow, he wakes up in his bedroom in his house.
He is terrified and does not realize where he is at the moment. His girlfriend, Alison Clement is lying next to him and tells him that after he whacked his head, she dropped him at his house and stayed to make sure he was okay. Suddenly, his phone rings, and on the other line is his father, Lieutenant Don Parker of the Maryville Police Department, played by Michael Murphy. Don and his wife found Jonathan beaten up and near death when he was just 7 years old. Together the couple raised three foster kids, Jonathan, Bobby, and little Sally.
Now, after talking to Don over the phone, Jonathan immediately goes to his family’s house with Alison. As it turns out someone killed Jonathan’s mother, his brother Bobby, and his sister Sally in cold blood inside their own house. The police don’t let Jonathan go inside the house because the crime scene is horrific to look at. His father Lieutenant Don is in a state of complete shock because this killer is the same serial killer that he has been investigating for the past nine months.
To this day, this unidentified serial killer has claimed the lives of over 30 people. After the funeral, Jonathan meets Don to tell him that he saw the murder in his dream exactly the way it happened. Now, obviously, to a normal person, this would just sound like a nightmare, especially when Jonathan did not even go inside the house after the murder. But Don is shocked when Jonathan describes every detail of the crime scene to him.
The fingers on Bobby’s right hand were broken and he was killed in the living room, while his mom and Sally were killed in Sally’s room. Since Jonathan actually saw the killer and his van in the dream, he takes Don and his investigative team to the place where this man works. The location is an old and run-down TV store, and so far, no trace of the murderer has been found. Suddenly, one of the police officers gets grabbed from behind a huge shelf that probably opens up to a hidden room.
While Don and the others are trying to look for the sergeant, they spot a lot of blood on the floor near the shelf. Meanwhile, the killer has disguised himself in the sergeant’s uniform and slips out of the back door of the garage. Two police officers are on standby and he slits their throats before they can do anything, and escapes in his van. Now, the next morning the face of the killer is all over the news and he is identified as Horace Pinker. Due to the news reports Horace is also aware that Jonathan identified him.
So, after Jonathan leaves the house for his football practice, Horace Pinker sneaks in and murders Jonathan’s girlfriend Alison. At college, Jonathan’s coach asks him to go home without breaking the sad news. His place is swarming with police officers and when he goes inside, he sees Alison’s dead body in the bathroom which is now covered in blood. On the mirror, there is a message that has been written in blood, which reads, “Jonathan Happy Birthday Horace Pinker.”
After Alison Clement’s funeral, Jonathan decides to do some of his own investigative work. Now, since in his dream he can see Horace Pinker and the place where he attacks, Jonathan falls asleep in order to confront the killer. And as he predicted, he is once again outside the house where Horace Pinker is planning his next murder. His friend Rhino wakes him up as soon as they have a location, and they rush to Maddalena and Wagner Avenue in their car.
Lieutenant Don follows his son’s car along with his team of police officers. When the police arrive outside the house, they hear a woman’s scream, and immediately rush inside to find Horace Pinker holding a knife to a woman’s throat. Horace then tries to escape through the terrace but Jonathan goes after him. He performs some James Bond level action by jumping from one roof to the next in order to get hold of Horace. The two then engage in a gruesome fight and Horace is just about to stab Jonathan when the police show up and arrest him.
Horace laughs and tells Jonathan that they are both killers. He is sentenced to the electric chair and both the father and the son arrive to bear witness to his execution. When the authorities go to Horace’s jail cell, they see that he has hooked himself up with electrical wires to a TV. It looks like some kind of a ritual and he is taking the electricity from the TV. Even though this should have killed him, he is very much alive. While sitting in the electric chair when he is asked for his final words, he reveals something that is going to give you goosebumps.
Horace Pinker looks at Jonathan and tells him that his brain wiped out an entire memory related to his childhood. He claims that he is actually Jonathan’s biological father. But we will find out later in the video how this could have been possible. Then, the authorities power up the electric chair, but Horace somehow survives despite his head being burned. He is still smiling and when the doctor goes inside to check, she gets electrocuted. Electric waves surge everywhere and Horace vanishes. But he was just hiding in plain sight, behind a door. Both Jonathan and Don watched as Horace’s body started burning on its own and turned to ash.
Despite watching his body burn, Jonathan believes that Horace is not dead. Two of the officers are taking that doctor to a hospital when she suddenly gets up and attacks both of them. This results in a car accident with one officer who survived. When Lieutenant Don and his officers arrive at the scene, Jonathan insists on finding the doctor but his father sends him home. Later, when Jonathan is packing his things to move out of the house, he is visited by an officer.
As it turns out, it is the same officer who survived the car accident and is now trying to shoot Jonathan. He runs for his life and the officer chases after him and manages to shoot him in one arm. It looks like Jonathan knows that Horace Pinker is actually inside that body. When the officer’s body starts to fail, Horace starts possessing several different bodies one by one. Jonathan manages to escape and figures out that Horace leaves the body of another person after he has used up the life inside of it.
When Jonathan goes back to his house, he finds out that Horace has now possessed the body of his coach. In the mirror of the bathroom, the coach was able to write “Stop him Jonathan please” before Pinker took over his body. He also killed Jonathan’s friend named Pac Man. Just when he is about to stab Jonathan, Alison’s spirit comes out of the washroom to rescue him. They try to rescue the coach by making Pinker leave his body but he ends up stabbing himself.
Alison’s spirit vanishes when Don walks into the house. Meanwhile, Pinker has managed to gain more power using the electricity socket at Jonathan’s house. Don finds the coach and Pac-Man’s dead bodies and is forced to arrest his foster son. Just then he gets a tiny shock from a lamp and Jonathan realizes that he is suddenly walking with a limp. This means that Pinker has now possessed Lieutenant Don’s body. Luckily, Jonathan’s friend Rhino comes to save him but the police grab him when he attacks Don.
Pinker in Don’s body then goes after Jonathan with the intent to kill. After a lot of struggles, Don is finally free from Pinker’s possession. Later, Jonathan is cleared of all murder charges that took place after Horace Pinker’s electrocution because when he was in the city jail, someone again murdered an innocent family and even left a threat to Jonathan Parker scrawled on the wall, signing the name Horace Pinker.
Jonathan then gathers his football team to help catch Pinker and asks them to cut off the city’s power at midnight. He also calls some people from the media to keep their cameras ready because he plans on delivering Horace Pinker red-handed. Back at his apartment, when he is resting on the barcalounger, it suddenly traps him. As it turns out, Pinker can possess things as well. He is able to jump out of several different electricity sockets in the house and tries to murder Jonathan. But Jonathan is able to get rid of him by using the pendant he had given to Alison for her birthday.
Pinker runs and dives into the television to get away from that pendant. And Jonathan uses the power in the pendant to follow him inside the tv channel. The two now appear to be fighting each other on different channels while in the television world. Jonathan is able to control the monster using a remote and beats him up. They are still inside the television, and Rhino and the other footballers cut the city’s power. However, Jonathan manages to escape through Alison’s pendant and jumps into the camera lenses, and comes out alive in his apartment. On the other hand, Horace Pinker is now trapped forever in that broken tv.
Horace Pinker – all about the supernatural serial killer!
The character of Horace Pinker is played by the wonderfully talented Mitch Pileggi. He perfectly brings out the horror of the serial killer on our screens. Horace Pinker has a dark past that he shares with the audience right before being electrocuted. When he sees, that Jonathan has come to watch his execution, it triggers old memories inside his brain and in the next moment, he shares the most horrific incident that changed Jonathan’s life forever.
When Jonathan was a child, Horace beat him pretty badly until his wife tried to stop him with a gun. Horace blamed her for bringing a gun into their happy home. So, he decided to kill her right in front of Jonathan. A poor 7-year-old kid wanted to save his mother from his monstrous father, so he immediately got hold of the gun and shot his father in the knee.
Now, we saw how Horace Pinker walks with a limp. Well, this is the story behind that limp. Ever since Horace came across Jonathan, he knew that this boy was his son. Perhaps that is why when he got arrested, he told Jonathan that they were both killers. Like father, like son. But luckily, Jonathan lives to prove him wrong.
Horace Pinker was a psychotic man and evil to his core. He pretends to be a TV repairman to show it as his front business, but in reality, he is only interested in killing innocent families. He sneaks inside his victim’s house without breaking any locks and makes sure to murder everyone inside the house. He does not leave any victims and that is why he went unidentified for a very long time.
After he started killing people, he became obsessed with performing black magic and satanic rituals. He would also perform countless animal sacrifices. In fact, when Lieutenant Don saw his TV shop for the first time, he described it as a “hell hole filled with evil instruments, strange symbols, and hundreds of mummified cats.” Now, it is also plausible that Jonathan was able to psychically connect with him through his dream because Horace is his biological father.
After being publicly identified as Horace Pinker, the news reporters started calling him either the Maryville slasher or the family slasher. In any case, he clearly continued to live up to that name. After being electrocuted, Horace gained numerous super powers which are beyond anyone’s imagination. He became capable of possessing people at will and traveling into his victims’ dreams. And to top it all off, he soon also gained the ability to travel as electric current into different electronics.
This explains how he was able to travel inside the television. The evil inside of him is visible through his actions. In fact, after biting off the fingers of a prison guard with his teeth, he said it was finger-licking good. As gross as it sounds, it is clear that along with being a serial killer Horace is definitely exceptionally good at torture as well.
Marvelous Verdict: Wes Craven’s underrated classic!
Shocker is a film truly worthy of its title because it actually leaves audiences in shock. With every new scene, it unfolds some new horrific mystery and keeps on leveling up. It is filled with unimaginable gore and blood, and none of it feels extra because the plot progresses with a lot of detail and precision.
Each story arc is uncovered to its full potential because of which the audience never feels lost in confusion even for a minute. In fact, even the smallest moments in the film ultimately serve a bigger purpose. For example, Alison’s heart-shaped pendant. When Jonathan gifted it to her as a birthday present, no one would have guessed that later in the film that very pendant would become a crucial part of Jonathan’s plan in defeating the supernatural serial killer.
What also makes this film such a success is how well the actors adapted to the needs of their characters. They constantly had to add their own personal touches because they wanted to bring out the supernatural as well as the psychological horror in the best way possible. In fact, when they were shooting the scene where Jonathan dives into the lake to retrieve Alison’s pendant, Peter Berg actually suffered hypothermia because the temperatures were extremely low. After the film was initially made, it actually had to go through a lot of cuts in order to get an R instead of an X rating. So, if this seemed too gory, imagine how much more terrifying the film probably was in the uncut version.
Well, the success of Shocker is standing proof that Wes Craven’s genius cannot be topped. The film brought a very innovative idea to the big screen with the return of Horace Pinker from the dead. There are so many emotions packed into one movie, from watching Jonathan suffer the truth about his biological father to overcoming evil and defeating the very thing that kept coming back to destroy his life. As for us fans, what might make our lives better would be getting more movies like this in the present. With such a brilliant star cast and a fantastic plot, Wes Craven seriously outdid himself.