Thursday, May 16, 2019

5 things that would have made Shocker even cooler than it all ready is!

5 things that would have made Shocker even cooler than it all ready is!

Tonight at Staystillreviews we're taking in yet again one of our favorite guilty pleasure movies. 

Wes Craven's Shocker.

This was a film I remember my mother renting for me when I was little, and how the first time I watched it I actually got so mad that they killed the PacMan (Ted Raimi) character, that I actually shut the movie off and refused to finish until I watched it a few months later. This even at that age wasn't a scary movie despite the fact Wes Craven (aka the man responsible behind A Nightmare On Elm Street) had written and directed it. Somehow to me this was just a fun campy thrill ride of a movie. I clearly remember watching this film and The People Underneath The Stairs countless times growing up. To me these films were safe fun horror movies. The original Nightmare On Elm Street completely terrified me. It was so bad in fact, it took me YEARS to end up watching the actual film. Shocker on the other hand is just one of those movies that was always a go-to to watch. The movie sadly suffered from trying so badly to be Wes Craven's next major hit. It's so obvious that were turning to turn the killer in this into the next Freddy Krueger. I feel this film is exactly what it is. Cheesy, over the top, gory, and just a silly B movie. Still, I always think, had Craven done a few things differently...maybe, just maybe it could have become a terrifying new horror movie like he did with Elm Street just a few years before.

So tonight I'm going to pitch five things that could have made Shocker even cooler than it all ready is!

1) Stick to the original screenplay and made it much darker with no campy one-liners or humor.
- I just finished reading the novelization based off this book and I was actually really stunned at the graphic detail the author wrote when it came down to the murders. I have gotten the chance to read Craven's screenplay, and even though the film stuck extremely closely to the material, I feel if they had taken out all of the camp, humor, and cheesy one-liners from Pinker, and stuck with how brutal the murders were this really could have been an actual scary movie. I mean think about it. Freddy really didn't start with the one-liners until part 3/4. In the original film, he barley speaks, and the film is extremely unsettling due to how dark the story is. I feel had they taken out all of the silly stuff they could have really taken the chance to make this film memorable. Pinker's character is all ready very over the top, but I feel instead of making him crack jokes, and run around in his jump-suit zooming through channels, they should have stayed with one route and made it a dark one. I'm sure the heart of the film wouldn't be destroyed, but not be so cheesy!

2) Make Ted Raimi the lead.
- I know, I know. You readers are just rolling your eyes going "Sure, sure Stacy." But hear me out! I have nothing against Mr. Peter Berg. He did a fine job (still blows by mind he's a pretty big director now, every time I see his name in the credits before a film, I do "Hey, that's the dude from Shocker!" Wes Craven always wrote very strong characters. He made the ultimate "final" girl with Nancy in A Nightmare On Elm Street, as well as Sidney in Scream. I love that Shocker features a leading man (via The Evil Dead) I know the Jonathan character is supposed to be the football jock, who's world is turned upside down, but I think had they made Ted Raimi the lead, it would have been something different. Ted to basically everyone besides me is not what you would call "typical" the leading man material. But underneath the nerdy glasses, he's actually super good looking, and casting the nerdy guy would be going against the grain. I would have the Jonathan character play the assistant coach like his character PacMan was. Maybe write in that he had an injury (from his childhood trauma) that prevented him from ever playing sports, but all of his friends are on the football team. How he's this young college aged guy who is forced to fight against the killer once his past is revealed. This I feel would have helped the film 1000000%

Make Allison truly in her corpse state
- One thing I really loved from the novelization was how the writer wrote about Allison the first time she appears to Jonathan after her murder. (I love how due to poor editing, or the fact they just didn't care it appears that everything all happens within a week in this film. It's actually really laughable how fast Pinker is sent to the chair. It's like bam! Got caught, now he's on death row. Go figure! Anyways, I love how Allison appears the first time to Jonathan in the book. She isn't the bloody thing of beauty they make in the movie. They did the same thing with Wes Craven's Deadly Friend. Why is it so horrible to show women as corpses when they are supposed to play corpses?! Maybe it's just me? Well, I think it would have been complete nightmare fuel if they had the effects team make Allison up like she had been rotting in a grave, water logged, and decomposing. Graphic? You bet. I think the only time she should have appeared beautiful like an angel should have been in the dream scene at the end by the lake. Besides that I think it should have been tragic as well as frighting if Allison kept appearing bloody, skin wrinkled and rotting, and looking as if she had been living underwater for the last month or so. Too much? You bet your ass it would be!

Ditch the stupid channel surfing idea and stick to the jumping from body to body storyline.
- Remember that film from 1996 called Fallen with Denzel Washington? That was actually a really decent movie, but I'm sure I'm not alone when I said to myself watching it "Hey...haven't I seen a movie like this before?" Well, sorta. The whole dead killer jumping from body to body was done in 1989 with Shocker, but it wasn't the main overall idea. I feel this clever idea should have been front row and center. Show how frighting this idea is that the killer could be anyone. Instead of Pinker and Jonathan fighting in that cringeworthy montage of them jumping from channel from channel yes was amusing, but just seemed to be thrown in along with the kitchen sink. I mean for the love of everything, he even turned in a chair. I get the whole him traveling through electricty but man oh man. I think they should have picked one of these many ideas and just stuck with it. I think the coolest idea was the body jumping idea. This is something they truly could have played up and made the majority of the film. 

Leave it open ended for a sequel
Craven made countless underrated films, and Shocker is one of them. Still, instead of focusing on wanting to make the next big villain of slasher movies, I feel had they stick with darker tones of the film, and put Pinker more into the shadows, a clever enough ending (without the After School Special like speech Jonathan gives to Pinker while being frozen on television) should have made a better showdown between the two and perhaps in Dream Warrior fashion what if the good guy didn't win? Sounds depressing, but I think it could have been interesting if the whole time you think Jonathan is going to win and low and behold it reveals that maybe the killer wasn't defeated. What if he could return? Who would be next? I feel they could have gotten a few sequels in at least!


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

15 horror movies turning 30 this year!

15 horror movies turning 30 this year!
1989. I was one years old, and totally unaware that so many awesome movies were being released. Luckily I had a super cool mother, so several years later I discovered all these gems at the local video store. With 89 being the last year in a pretty killer decade known for horror, here are 15 movie titles that are turning 30 this year, and still remain classics after all this time!

- Several psychics that are mentally linked together, are called to a beautiful seaside hotel that's currently closed for construction by a fellow  colleague. When they arrive, they learn that he actually just committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. Deciding to all spend the night at the hotel and stay for the burial the following morning, they learn from his young widow that he was actually researching the works of a man who died in the late 1930's who apparently knew the secret to everlasting life. Unknown to the guests, the secret was experimented on several handmade wooden puppets, that have escaped from their hiding place for the last fifty years, and are currently being controlled by a dangerous presence. Here the psychics are targeted by these tiny creatures, being viscously attacked one by one...

- The night crew of a supermarket all learn that at the end of the month they will all be out of a job since the store is closing. Here, they are asked to stay late and mark everything down 50%. Durning that time one of the check-out girls are attacked by a dangerous ex-boyfriend, and an unseen stranger begins to stalk the employees, watching them from the parking-lot and eventually the inside of the store after finding a way inside. Here the stranger begins killing off the members of the night crew one by one in some of the most brutal and violent ways possible. 

- A young football player named Jonathan begins having vivid nightmares and visions of a crazed TV repair man who's been murdering families all over his small-town. After his own family is brutally murdered, he helps the police locate the murderer, and ends up watching him die after being put to death in the electric chair. Following the execution, Jonathan begins to suspect that maybe the killer really isn't dead. Here he learns the frightening truth, apparently the killer now has the power to jump from body to body, taking them over using electricity as his main source of "power". Here Jonathan watches as his loved ones and friends continue to get brutally murdered as he tries to figure out how to kill somebody who's all ready dead. 

Pet Sematary
- A doctor, his wife, and two young children move from Chicago to rural Maine. Right away the doctor notices two things. 1). There's constantly 18-wheelers speeding down the road, and 2). There's a path that goes into the woods behind the house that leads to the pet cemetery (spelled sematary by the local children) It isn't until his daughter's cat gets run over in the road while everyone is away for the Thanksgiving holiday, that he learns the terrifying truth of what's behind the pet sematary. A neighbor takes him there to burry the cat, which is actually an ancient burial ground, where if you bury your dead animals, they return...just not quite the same. It isn't until months following, that a family tragedy strikes, leaving the doctor to question "What happens if you bury a person there?"

- A warlock flees from the 17th to the 20th century with a witch-hunter in hot pursuit. Here a young sassy waitress teams up with the witch-hunter in order to stop a curse the warlock cast upon her that ages her twenty years each day. With time running out, the pair chase the warlock as he crosses the country, searching for split up pages of an ancient bible that spells out God's true name. If spoken aloud, all of creation will become undone.

- Bill Whitney, a handsome teenage who lives in Beverly Hills, has everything going for him. He's running for student council, he's popular, has a girlfriend that's crazy about him, on the basketball team, and lives in a very posh upscale neighborhood with his parents, and sister. Only, not everything is what it seems. Bill has never quite felt as if he belongs in his family. It isn't long before Bill and several other teenagers from the area begin to suspect that all of the wealthy residents of the neighborhood aren't human. In fact, they very well might be creatures beyond anyone's worst nightmares. 

Bride Of Re-Animator
- Eight months after the events of the first film, Doctor Herbert West and Dan Cain work as medics in the Peruvian Civil War. Here they are able to continue with West's experiments of re-animation. After returning to the states, and continuing working at the University, they find that West' reagent is the closest it will ever get to truly being a success. Here they decide to make the "perfect" woman using dead body parts from the morgue. Dr. Cain reveals he preserved his dead girlfriend's heart, and hopes to maybe, just maybe get a second chance at bringing her back.

- An American deep-sea mining colony stumbles upon a sunken Soviet vessel. There they find that the ship's sinking were caused by mysterious circumstances that aren't exactly clear. Bringing a trunk full of items, one of the crew members notice a flask of whiskey, and smuggle it onboard their vessel. Here several crew members partake in drinking the aged liquor, thinking nothing of it. It isn't long before a deadly virus begins to spread, causing the people that are affected to morph into man-eating alien creatures. Trapped due to a storm that's hit above the surface, the surviving members have to fight as the creature grows bigger, and bigger and bigger!

Sleepaway Camp 3
- Angela Baker is still on the loose, and murders a troubled teen from the city and takes on her identity and travels to Camp New Horizon, built on the grounds of the same camp she terrorized the year before. Here a group of teens, are split into groups (troubled kids from the city, and privileged kids from upper class homes) where they are given a councilor, and are supposed to partake in a series of bonding actives. Angela blends in, but begins to murder the teens in more outrageous ways whenever they prove to her that they aren't "nice". 

Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan 
- Jason rises from his watery grave, and hitches a ride on a boat after murdering two teens who were visiting Crystal Lake, and were on their way to a yacht carrying a whole class of graduating seniors, who are traveling to New York for their senior class trip. On board, Jason starts killing the teens one by one, before chasing them straight to the docks of Manhattan, and right into Times Square.

The Stepfather 2
- Surviving his injuries of the last film, Jerry spends nearly two years at a mental hospital before planning his escape. After murdering a business man, he takes all his cash, and starts a new identity in a small community where he poses as a therapist. Here he meets a beautiful single mother, and her charming son. It isn't long before Jerry starts to murder in order to cover up his tracks, and hopefully marry this new woman so he can have his "perfect" family once and for all. 

Amityville - The Evil Escapes
- A woman who's recently widowed with her three children is forced to move to the West coast and live with her mother until she gets back on her feet. Tensions are high, but things quickly get worse when her mother receives a gift from her sister on the East Coast from Amityville New York. It appears the famous house apparently finally had it's evil spirits cleared out, and the house is finally put on the market again, but everything inside is sold at a massive yard sale. Here the mother receives a huge lamp as a gift, and the second she plugs it in, strange things begin to happen. It isn't long before the youngest grandchildren becomes obsessed with the lamp, claiming the spirit of her dead father is living inside it. Now it's up to her mother, grandmother, and a priest who travels across the country to warn them before any more accidents and death take place.

The Phantom Of The Opera
- A beautiful young singer becomes the obsession of a horribly disfigured composer, who has plans for those who cross him. Here this classic gothic tale is re-told, with actor Robert Englund playing the title role right off the success of the Nightmare On Elm Street films.

Nick Knight
- Detective Nick Knight is investigating a series of murders in which the bodies are found drained of blood, but the most recent one doesn't fit the pattern. Instead, it involves the cure that Nick has been searching for. It's been decades and Nick is battling with a secret. Nick is a vampire, and his past is about to come back to settle a score that's been waiting hundreds of years to take place. Nick, desperate to try and see the sun, goes deeper into the dark back alleys of the city to figure out who's committing these horrible crimes? 

A Nightmare On Elm Street part 5 - The Dream Child.
- Alice from the pervious film is the happiest she's ever been. She's on the verge of graduating, and going on a summer long trip with her boyfriend Dan. All of this comes crashing down when she starts having vivid nightmares of a nun, locked away in a mental asylum. Bothered that this might be a sign of Freddy returning. It isn't until a tragic car accident kills Dan, that Alice learns she's pregnant, and that Freddy is in fact returning, using her child's unborn dreams to enter through and collect the souls of her friends all over again. 

Which are your favorites? Remember guys, let's party like it's 1989!