Tag Archives: serial killer

The Horror Show (aka House III) (1989) | James Isaac



After viciously murdering over 110 people, the serial killer known as ‘Meat Cleaver Max’ Jenke (Brion James) gets the death penalty, sentenced to fry in the electric chair. Max doesn’t go easily, staying alive for nearly ten minutes as they zap him with everything they have before expiring. However, something happens in the process of electrocution that allows Jenke to live on as a supernatural entity of electricity – one that seeks revenge on the cop that arrested him, Lucas McCarthy (Lance Henriksen). McCarthy suffers from PTSD, forced into a leave of absence while seeing a psychologist until well enough to return as a detective. However, despite seeing Jenke executed with his own eyes, McCarthy sees him everywhere – in his dreams, on his TV, and popping up whenever he’s out and about. Either Jenke truly is a supernatural being taking up residence in McCarthy’s furnace, or McCarthy’s delusional and putting his family in grave danger.

Erratum: Once again, I refer to composer Harry Manfredini as Henry Manfredini, likely because of the composer Henry Mancini.


Shocker (1989) | Wes Craven



A college football star named Jonathan (Peter Berg) experiences horrifically vivid hallucinations following a concussive collision with a goal post. His first vision depicts the murder of his foster mother and siblings. When he awakes, he finds that his dream actually happened. He’s an eyewitness, but wasn’t physically there, leaving the cops skeptical. Jonathan realizes his visions are a telepathic link to the murderer, Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), which he uses to thwart the next murder in the Midwestern town of Maryville before he kills again. Pinker gets caught and his verdict is death by electrocution. Before Pinker sits in the electric chair, he makes a Faustian deal his jail cell to a television set that allows him to live on after the experience as an entity of electricity that can channel into any electrical network, including people’s bodies, the power grid, and anything plugged into a wall socket, including televisions from coast to coast. After he reveals himself to b Jonathan’s biological father, Pinker makes a violent escape, only this time, he can be anywhere – or anyone – and only his son’s psychic powers might be able to stop his rampage. Wes Craven writes and directs.


The Hidden (1987) | Jack Sholder



Michael Nouri stars as LAPD detective Tom Beck, who takes down a bank robber gone berserk in one of the bloodiest shootouts in department history.  What Beck doesn’t know is that the culprit is actually being controlled by a parasite within his body that loves danger, money, speeding, and good ol’ rock-n-roll, and it can’t be killed by normal means, and moves from host to host whenever the body it is in is about to expire.  Enter FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle MacLachlan), on assignment from Seattle to help apprehend the perpetrator(s) on a killing spree the likes of which have the LA cops stymied.  Gallagher seems to hold the key as to why normally good people are going bad all of a sudden, but he’s not letting on why. Jack Sholder directs.


Road Games (1981) | Richard Franklin



Road Games (aka Roadgames) is a Hitchcockian suspense-thriller set primarily out on the open roads running through the Australian outback. Jamie Lee Curtis is Pamela, who, along with independent truck driver Pat Quid (Stacy Keach) and his pet dingo Boswell, tries to get to the bottom of a story which might connect a series of killings which have surfaced around Australia to a mysterious driver of a creepy looking van that’s on the road with them, as Quid attempts to deliver a rig full of pork to Perth, which is undergoing a meat shortage at the time due to butchers going on strike. As the trucker drives on toward his destination, he gets into greater danger, including stirring up the locals into thinking the serial killer they’ve been hearing about on the radio might be Quid himself. A self-described student of Hitchcock, Richard Franklin, directs, from a script by Everett De Roche. Quentin Tarantino claims it is one of his all-time favorite Australian films.