It's pretty safe to say that Wes Craven got royally screwed. Back in 1984 he made a film that impacted the horror genre and Halloween forever, giving us Freddy Krueger--a monster as significant as any created during the golden years of Universal Films. His reward for his triumph? Producer Robert Shaye refused to pay him more money to do the sequel and kept every penny of Krueger's lucrative licensing deals. The chance to work on the sequel for Dream Warriors must have proven cold comfort, because in 1989 Craven attempted to catch lighting in a bottle one more time with a character he hoped would become just as popular as his "Bastard Son of 1000 Maniacs".
If Freddy's gimmick was his ability to enter his victims' dreams and kill them with their own worst nightmares, than this character too would not be bound to the mortal realm. He would not be a man, but a living energy capable of possessing the mind and body of anyone he contacted, including adorable little girls. If Freddy could be anything in our unconscious world, than he could be anyone in our everyday reality.
It should have worked
It really, really didn't.
I am, of course, talking about:
A serial killer who is turned into an electrical phantom due to a combination of black magic and the electric chair, Horace Pinker ranks among the most disappointing of wannabe franchise characters. The problem is simple, unlike Freddy Krueger, who's a scarred monster in a classy fedora with big scary metal claws, Horace is the dude from The X-Files in an orange prison jumpsuit. It's just not even remotely the same.
It might help if Shocker were a better movie, but its inconsistent tone and sense of desperation sink it without a trace. Aiming for horror comedy, Craven crafted a film that is never scary or funny. When you do feel the impulse to laugh it's genuinely hard to tell if you're doing so with the movie or at it.
Still, of all the potential costumes discussed thus far here at Vanity Fear, I believe Pinker is probably the one most people are going to be able to guess without explanation. Shocker may have sucked, but a lot of people saw it on home video in the late 80s and early 90s. Plus the name on the jumpsuit is a pretty big clue.
Let's take a look at the scores:
Difficulty to Create: 5/10 An orange prison jumpsuit shouldn't be too difficult to find. The only question is, do you shave your head or go with a bald cap instead?
Obscurity: 3/10 Like I said, as terrible as the movie is, a lot of people saw it back in the day.
Fun Factor: 1/10 I just don't see being Mitch Pileggi for a day as a rollicking good time.
Potential "Sexy" Version: 4/10 Unbutton the jumpsuit to reveal some serious cleavage and change the name to Hortense Pinker and it could work.
Might Be Confused With: Lex Luthor.
Total Score: 2/10 Dude, it's fucking Horace Pinker. Lame.