ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Shocker (1989)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Wes Craven

Starring:
Peter Berg/Jonathan
Mitch Pileggi/Horace Pinker
Camille Cooper/Alison
Michael Murphy/Lt Parker
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Crazy bald headed TV repairman Horace Pinker (Pileggi) loves murdering families, it’s his hobby. He’s doing great in his past-time until football jock Jonathan (Berg) dreams about the murders and somehow materializes himself at the scenes. He gets into Pinker’s face, puts an end to his rampage and our beloved murderer winds up in the electric chair. But death is not the end for Pinker, having tinkered with TV voodoo, he comes back stronger than ever, able to travel through electricity and people. Revenge is sweet and he likes it served cold…dig in…
THE LOWDOWN
Craven kicked himself in the ass for selling the rights to "Elm Street" and lost out on lots of money. Shocker was his attempt at creating another "killer" franchise so he could cash in. Unfortunately for him the movie tanked. But is the movie any good? It does have a great villain that would eat Freddy for breakfast. Before Horace hits the chair he’s one bad mother, with his shaved head, his great tan and his no bull attitude he’s a man you don’t want to mess with. The movie has fun visual effects (specially the TV traveling finale) and a few good ideas (Horace jumping from body to body shamelessly copied in the movie "Fallen"). Unfortunately the movie is plagued by a very weak script with horrendous dialogue, dream sequences that are not needed, a love conquers all attitude (corny) and a ridiculous way of defeating the shock boy. Once Pinker comes back from the dead, he becomes a wise cracking, supernatural clown that doesn’t scare you anymore but makes you laugh instead…Craven goes "Elm Street" on steroids. Instead of trying to give "Elm Street" a bigger, badder brother he should have followed through with the dark, chilly tone he sets up in the first fifteen minutes and make an original movie. With that said, the whole thing works as a well shot, rock and roll, fun cheese horror flick with lots of jokes, cool heavy metal tunes, funny one liners and Horace Pinker rocking the house! Lets fry this one…
GORE
A nice throat slit, a few stabbings but the highlight is when Pinker gives head…that’s all I’ll say.
ACTING
Sorry to say that the only person that comes out of this alive is Mitch Pileggi (Pinker), his no holds barred performance as the rabid murderer is scary and all over the place. Pileggi gives his all and we lap it all up…thanks buddy. Peter Berg (Jonathan) did okay, it showed it was a first break, I am happy to say that today Mr. Berg has become a fine actor, (and director, loved Very Bad Things) experience did him good. I’m sure Camille Cooper is a decent actress but the lines she has to deliver make her look awful. Michael Murphy (Lt Parker) fared well.
T & A
Nothing for the boys but the ladies will be happy to know that Berg takes off his shirt and yes, you can wash your underwear on his abs.
DIRECTING
The movie looks good and I applaud Craven for filming most of the film in the daytime…gutsy. Craven shows lots of promise in the beginning: the opening scene with it’s hard rock tune and intercutting between the killer and the violence on the TV screens, the edgy scene when the cops invade Pinker’s habitat, being stalked one by one, surrounded by TV sets featuring human remains and the eerie lake scenes. Too bad he lets it all that go once Pinker comes back from the grave.
SOUNDTRACK
A soundtrack helmed by music supervisor extraordinaire "Desmond Child", filled with hard pumpin' heavy metal tracks. We get some Megadeth, Iggy Pop and yes that’s Paul Stanley (KISS) chanting the song at the opening credits. On the soundtrack (not in the movie) there’s a rap song featuring Alice Cooper and Mitch Pileggi (as Pinker) kickin' it together…fun stuff.
BOTTOM LINE
This movie tries too hard to be another Elm Street. From the similar beginning, the dream sequences, the killer with a trademark wardrobe (in this case an orange prison uniform), the use of ordinary things in extraordinary ways (Elm Street it’s the phone, this one…a Lazy Boy) and a wisecracking phantom. But the movie still entertains, has a few nifty kills, a couple of creative effects and Pileggi’s performance is worth the trip alone. And more importantly the whole thing is a blast to watch! So go ahead, shock yourself silly!
BULL'S EYE
When Mitch Pileggi auditioned for Craven and producer Marianne Madalena, he entered the room totally in character and just about cleared the office. He scared producer Marianne half to death. She started moving to the opposite corner of the room while he was auditioning her face covered in fear. You go Pileggi!

Heather Langencamp (Nancy in Elm Street) makes an appearance as one of the victims.

Jessica Craven (his daughter) plays a counter person and also played a nurse in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.
Strikeback
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