Today I've selected two films with remarkably similar themes. Nutso serial killer gets apprehended, executed, and comes back more powerful than ever before thanks to a Satanic pact.
I saw "The First Power" during its original theatrical run and I absolutely loved it. I won't test any limbs by calling it amazing or anything, but it's definitely likable and merits repeated drunken viewings. The plot is pretty simple: Lou Diamond Phillips nabs a psychotic Night Stalker-style serial murderer who exits the gas chamber in a far more powerful form. The extent of the killer's powers are never fully revealed or explained, but it's fun watching La Bamba chase a super human satanist around LA. Fine-ass Tracy Griffith also plays Phillips' psychic side kick during the second half of the film. The next year Phillips followed up with a very underrated psychological horror film, "Ambition" - a must-see for fans of Clancy Brown. I recommend the two as a double feature.
I suspect that Wes Craven's "Shocker" was likely spawned from the remnants of his "A Nightmare On Elm Street 4" script, which apparently contained a time traveling through dreams theme. Nightmare producer Robert Shaye rejected the concept because he thinks you and I are too stupid to grasp something so convoluted. That's not a lie, either. Shaye apparently considered his audience too low brow to really appreciate a sequel of actual substance. What a dick.
Here lovable mush mouth Peter Berg stars as Jonathan Parker, a man plagued by realistic dreams of a killer terrorizing his small town. When the killer finally strikes too close to home, Parker uses his dream power to nab killer Horace Pinker - a suitable villain in the Freddy mold, gleefully portrayed by the fantastic Mitch Pileggi.
Horace's execution by electric chair doesn't exactly go off without a hitch. In fact, shortly after his death, it would appear that Horace is back and leaping from body to body to carry on his murderous activities.
Not sure why we never got a sequel, as Horace is an absolutely entertaining character that I am sure many would have loved to have seen return. At any rate, this is a far better film than that candy colored "Nightmare 4" piece of crap that ultimately wound up getting made.
Check out the wicked MCA logo at the beginning of this trailer! It should have been permanent!