Directed by Wes Craven
After "A Nightmare on Elm Street" became a cultural phenomenon, creator Wes Craven was encouraged to come up with yet another franchise.
His attempt—the OK "Shocker"—introduces the character of a wisecracking serial killer who, after being executed, carries on killing as a form of energy that possesses people, travels through electrical systems and inevitably starts killing people through their TVs. It was an all-right horror film, but not up to the excellence Craven would later show with "Scream." The weakest link in this movie might be that it has a male protagonist, something that often doesn't work in teen-slasher-style fear films.
Still, it is better than some of Craven's crappiest films, among them "Deadly Friend" and "The Hills Have Eyes 2." Mitch Pilleggi is effective as the Freddy Krueger stand-in: killer Horace Pinker. Craven was given a big budget and decent actors (including known character actor Murphy and then-teen heart-throb Peter Berg as his son), and was able to pull a picture off that had an effective Nightmare on Elm Street style, and was probably better than most of that film's sequels. But this was no classic either. The best scene is a chase through TV-land at the end (both our teen hero and the killer jump from TV show to TV show, interacting with characters along the way). You could see the social commentary Craven was already aiming at -- video as a source of violence -- a theme that would continue into "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" and especially the "Scream" films
-- Review by Lucius Gore