Episode 109: Shocker (1988)
Take all the good stuff you loved about A Nightmare on Elm Street, put it in a pile, and then light it on fire, THEN use all the stuff that you didn't love and make a piece of crap with an electric ghost and you still might have made a better film that Wes Craven provided in his flop Shocker (1988). We can't decide if it makes it better or worse that the man who gave us Freddy tried to burden us with Horace Pinker the serial-killer-turned-
Shocker (1988) Details
Quote of the Episode:
"This movie is brutal" - Scott
More Vengeful Prison Films
Everyone knows that the death penalty is far more expensive and arguably more inhumane than life imprisonment, even if their murder-boners try to say otherwise. For-profit prisons are an abomination, and your hosts are here to show you what happens in them with a documentary film from 1988 called DESTROYER! In this totally-real-not-fantasy film, a convicted murderer doesn't die by electric chair, but just gets really swole and sweaty. He also really likes eating human hair, so take that as you will. We've talked Shocker and The Horror Show, it's time for the third installment of our electricity killer series, let's get buzzed!
We talk semi-regularly about the diminishing returns of horror franchises, but rarely do we see one fall so far into nebulousness as the 1989 House "sequel," The Horror Show, starring Lance Henriksen! Lance is a hard-boiled cop dealing with PTSD after his partner dies while apprehending Meat Cleaver Max, so of course he spends his time choking his wife out and shooting his tv set. No one believes that his family is being haunted by Max's electrically-charged spirit, and we wonder multiple times if we're not just watching Shocker again. This is a real stinker (thanks Matt), but we make the most of it in typical HMN style, so bring your appetites for a random non-Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the fixins, including a ghostly psychopath's terrible goatee. Yum!
In true Horror Movie Night style, the guys are kicking off the holiday season with a film whose themes include (but are not limited to): prison, death penalty, alcoholism, bigotry, prison rape, trucker hats, and the ever-present electric ghost. That's right, we're talking Renny Harlin's 1988 diamond in the rough PRISON! If you ever wondered what Aragorn was doing before that idiot Frodo came along, or what Deebo was up to on Thursday, this is the movie for you. Burn your bedding but keep the trucker hat, cuz it's getting hot in solitary this week on Horror Movie Night!