Being a huge fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street from the moment it hit VHS, I was most definitely a Freddy fan rather than a Wes Craven devotee. I never worshipped any movies just because they were made by Craven. And for over 2 decades, I couldn’t even remember Shocker beyond it being an electric chair killer movie.
Upon rewatching the movie, there are several notable aspects. It’s a product of the 80s, which automatically gives it some likeability in my book (or rather, on my blog). There’s a wickedly gruesome face-eating scene that looks so real it made my lip hurt. And there’s an eerily prophetic pedophile priest reference that reminds us what a disgrace it is that nothing was done about this fairly transparent epidemic generations ago.
There’s also an awesome hard rock soundtrack featuring tracks by songwriter Desmond Child (gay dude—no shocker that he wrote tunes for Cher’s amazing pop rock albums in the 80s). Plus, Megadeth covers Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” Alice Cooper does a rap on one song (and has a “cameo” in the movie), and there are songs by the completely ignored 80s bands Dangerous Toys and Saraya, plus a track by Iggy Pop. There’s also the awesome “super group” title song featuring contributions by the likes of Jean Beauvoir (Plasmatics), Paul Stanley (Kiss), and Tommy Lee (Motley Crue).
Most importantly though—the brutish bald killer is fricking HOT. He has a name, but I like to just call him Shocker.
Man is this movie bad! It’s in no way a scary horror film. I know it’s trying to have a sense of humor, and at times it does, but at other times, I think it really means to be serious. Me and my hubby were still laughing out loud.
Amazingly, Shocker seems to be the inspiration for the body-jumping scenario in Jason Goes to Hell. See, Shocker actually enters people’s bodies to use them as his puppets (lucky people). The 1992 John Ritter classic Stay Tuned also appears to be inspired by Shocker, because the lead character chases Shocker through TV land and controls him with a television remote. I’m not kidding. Really. I’m not.
Shocker is a chaotic mess. It starts out feeling like a typical slasher. Then it has a Freddy-esque dream section. Then there are ghosts. And finally, Shocker finger fucks an electric socket and the movie becomes Pulse. The movie is also like one long chase scene! Our poor lead kid is relentlessly pursued by Shocker. He also falls for it EVERY time Shocker is in someone’s body and suddenly says in that somebody’s voice, “It’s me. He’s not in me anymore. I’m okay.” All I kept thinking was, why doesn’t Shocker just jump into this dumb kid and be done with it! Instead, Shocker hops into a satellite dish to go national (he literally says, “I’m going national!” before he hops into the satellite dish).
I won’t deny it. Shocker is ridiculous in an entertaining way. You also get an appearance by Ted Raimi as a character named Pac Man and a pre-piano man John Tesh as a newscaster. Plus, Heather Langenkamp is listed in the cast as “victim,” but good luck spotting her. It’s like trying to find Waldo. I never found her. If you do, contact me and tell me where she is! If she’s a corpse hidden under a sheet, I’ll be pissed.