by on Apr.20, 2010, under Daily Review

No more Mr Nice Guy!

I hadn’t seen this film since it’s release back in ’89 and my memories were not good. It’s a good job I’ve revisited it as it’s far better than I remember. Made on a shoe string budget, unknown cast, Craven attempts to recreate the magic and success he conjured with Elm Street and although the film has some strange plot direction it works and actually stands up better after 20 years than it’s more successful sister movie, Elm Street.

So the plot involves a crazy cable, TV repair man, Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi) who has a savage hobby, massacring young women. Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg) is the local jock, on the football team, who seems to have everything. Beautiful girlfriend, (Camille Cooper) nice house, even a cool waterbed (super 80’s) but in his mind, he’s disturbed by crazy visions of Pinker murdering folks. He can contact the psycho in his dreams and act and contact, but soon wakes up. It’s all a bit odd. So Pinker gets caught, preys to the got of cable shouting ‘Give it to me’. TV demon says ‘You got it baby!’ After the electric chair, Pinker survives, escapes and has the power of electric and other weirdness, including possession of other people.

I know, it sounds nuts, but it’s actually enjoyable. It looks and feels like a real ‘80’s TV film, but it’s vicious in dialogue and some nasty gore sequences. Craven films in a solid style with dream themes dropped in all over the place so the viewer is unsure what’s real and what’s not. But it’s the credence of Craven which propels this affair which could have easily fell flat.

Pileggi is the start of this film. Is performance is stunning and although he’s had a steady career mainly in US TV, he’s never had anything as meaty to get his teeth into since this role. Legendary. I’d like to say the same about Peter Berg who’s mainly lame throughout, interesting though, if this role went to Johnny Depp, (Who started in Elm Street) how different the film could have turned out.

It’s a crazy and fantastical horror flick, which can provoke some negativity, but stick with it and take it at face value as to what it is. It’s pretty damn good.


3 Comments for this entry

  • Deggsy

    Oh yes, you just made me dig up my old audio cassette of the soundtrack to this movie, with Megadeth, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper. Now if only I could find something to play it on.
    I agree with you wholeheartedly about thie movie being better than people might remember or have heard about, and it’s a shame that critics tend to dismiss it as a lame Freddy ripoff. I’m sure it started a whole slew of “executed killers back from the dead” movies, and Horace Pinker had more personality to him than Jason or Michael Myers.

  • Geoff

    Thanks Deggsy. Its good to hear from someone with good taste in films and music:)

  • 3amfright

    I loved this movie when I first saw it. The fact that he’s passing through tvs & stuff was just fantastic & this is such a different role from what Mitch Pileggi ended up doing with his years on tv even up till recently. And the effects?! Perfect 80s movie!

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