What The Film?! is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.
If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email email@example.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.
This Week’s movie: 1989′s Shocker
The other day at work, a fellow waiter was talking about Shocker. He was describing how the killer would walk with a limp and demonstrated this by limping out to one of the tables. At this time, a waitress who was not in anyway a part of the conversation prior saw him limping and said “Oh, hey, Shocker”. It was that moment that her seeing him limp and immediately associate it with the movie, that moment of “This clearly can’t be anything else other than Shocker”, that’s what made me seek out this movie. I remember seeing it on the Sci/Fi channel as a child, but I don’t remember anything about it. That’s a good sign, right?
Shocker was written and directed by Horror crackerjack Wes Craven in an attempt to create a new horror franchise (as he felt he wasn’t getting enough royalties from the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels). Now, I want you to think all the Horror movies that have been released since 1989 and how many of them blossomed into a franchise? Two, maybe three? Scream, Paranormal Activity, and Saw seem to be the only ones that really pulled in any decent amount of money. Creating a new franchise is really difficult, it’s even hard to create a franchise out of an already known name.
The movie opens with a hard rock guitar riff soundtrack as we’re introduced to Horace Pinker, our movie’s villain. The opening of your movie is supposed to set a tone and lure your audience into a movie, this is why Die Another Day‘s opening sequence failed, because it was the best part of the movie. A new’s report narrates over this, letting the audience know that Horace is brilliant, able to murder entire families without leaving any evidence behind despite having a limp that causes him to drag his foot at all time. Shocker’s opening sequence fails because pinched harmonics are always hilarious.
We’re then introduced to Jonathan, a cocky high school football player who after running into a goal post in a football game, now has a psychic connection to Horace. Yes, really. Horace promptly murders Jonathan’s family except for his father, a police officer investigating the murders. Through Jonathan’s psychic visions, he leads the police to Horace’s home. “I can feel it” he tells the police “he’s in there”. The police find the building to be empty and decide to leave, this is when Horace decides to start killing the cops, because he’s a brilliant person who is good at avoiding detection. Horace kills everyone except for Jonathan and his dad, escaping in his van, laughing hilariously to himself.
Horace immediately kills Jonathan’s girlfriend, who is hunted down as the news narrates what the police found at his lair earlier. “Evidence of black magic and voodoo”, they say, because apparently news anchors are allowed to hear every possible detail of a crime scene in this weird universe. Jonathan comes home to find his bathroom filled with more blood than a human body could possibly hold. No police officers tried to stop him walking into the house or even the bathroom. “Jonathan, don’t go in there” several police officers tell him with the most casual tones possible.
Despite having around two or three gallons more than are possible removed from her body, she still looks well enough to have an open casket funeral. Jonathan decides to hunt Horace down himself through his psychic connection. He catches him in the act, where he tries to escape over roof, pushing a ladder off a rooftop to the streets below. “No!” Jonathan casually remarks, as if he were just offered some food he didn’t want. (There’s a theme in this movie and it’s repeated over and under acting). Horace is arrested and the police allow him to taunt and speak to Jonathan, because the police here are ridiculous. “I want to see him die” Jonathan pleads to his father, “Me too, I’ll get box seats” he replies back.
While at the execution, Horace is put in the electric chair and then disappears into fire after being electrocuted, just after he tells Jonathan that he is his real birth father and Jonathan was the cause for his limp which then explains the psychic connection. Wait, no, it doesn’t, what the hell. And now it turns out that Horace can jump from body to body, possessing anyone he wants. He continues murdering. Jonathan knows for sure that its Horace, despite the fact that he saw his dead body on fire.
That night, Jonathan’s dead girlfriend visits him as a ghost, telling him that Horace must be stopped. Jonathan wakes up, realizing that it was a dream (OR WAS IT) as Horace shows up to his house, possessing the body of a police officer. He chases Jonathan from his home into a park as Jonathan taunts him for picking the wrong body for running. He’s not two minutes into knowing Horace can do that and he already is making jokes about the situation. Jonathan is amazing at adapting. “Yes” he must think, looking at the retardation occurring around him, “This is my new reality”.
The rest of the movie consists of Horace possessing Jonathan’s friends and trying to kill Jonathan. In one weird sequence, he possesses the football coach and is stopped by Jonathan’s ghost-girlfriend. She leans in to Jonathan and tells him that she has something incredibly important to tell him and that he must listen closely and continues to milk it as long as possible without saying anything at all before Horace interrupts. Dramatic! You never discover what she was trying to say for the rest of the movie.
Jonathan finally gets an idea of what he can do to finally stop Horace, he retrieves his girlfriend’s necklace from the bottom of the lake, and decides to relax in a massage chair because time isn’t a factor for him. Horace possesses the massage chair and tries to kill him before transforming into his real body to attack Jonathan. Jonathan gets him to stop by holding the necklace up to him, as if it were a cross to a vampire. Horace dives into the Television and Jonathan follows him for no apparent reason, leading into a sequence where they’re poorly compositioned into old movies, news clips, and television shows. It’s at this time that Jonathan can control Horace with a TV remote, jerking him around the room as if he had the gravity gun from Half Life. Jonathan puts the necklace onto a camera and dives into it, traveling into his bedroom through the TV. Jonathan leaves his home, walks triumphantly into the street, looking to the sky as the credits roll because apparently that’s an ending.
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