Before They Were Stars: Mitch Pileggi in “Shocker”

To celebrate Mitch Pileggi’s birthday today, I think it’s time to celebrate the failed attempt to turn him into a horror movie star. Before he was Walter Skinner on The X-Files, Pileggi’s most notable role was playing homicidial TV repairman Horace Pinker in the 1989 Wes Craven horror outing, Shocker. It’s obvious that Craven was hoping to turn the character of Horace Pinker into the next Freddy Krueger and launch an entire series of films about him, but Shocker turned out to be such a goofy, uneven mess that Mitch Pileggi would not follow in Robert Englund’s footsteps and become a horror icon. Pileggi was way too campy in the role, but in fairness, he did have to work with a screenplay that changed its tone every ten minutes or so. This clip represents the point when the film starts going off the rails as, after a dark and violent opening half hour, things get VERY silly once Pinker literally morphs into a force of electricity who can possess people and hide in household appliances. By the end of the film,

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