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Horace Pinker

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Horace Pinker
Shocker character
First appearanceShocker (1989)
Created byWes Craven
Portrayed byMitch Pileggi
Full nameHorace Pinker
ClassificationSerial killer

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Horace Pinker is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the dark comedy-horror film Shocker (1989) and the novelization of the same name. He was created by writer and director Wes Craven and portrayed by Mitch Pileggi. The character was Craven's second endeavor at creating a supernatural villain. Upon the release of the film, Pinker received numerous comparisons to Craven's popular darkly comedic villain, Freddy Krueger.

Concept and creation[edit]

The character was writer and director Wes Craven's second endeavor at creating a supernatural antagonist. At the time of the release of Shocker (1989), he met numerous comparisons to the villain of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Freddy Krueger; another creation of Craven. Craven conceptualized Pinker following a three-year lawsuit filed against him that alleged he stole the Freddy Krueger character from another filmmaker. Craven denied claims of wanting to make another Freddy and said he just enjoyed creating Freudian likened villains and pitting regular people against them.[1]


Michael Wilmington (Los Angeles Times), who gave the film a favorable review, attests to similarities to the Krueger villain saying "Pinker — like Craven's earlier villain, Freddy Krueger of the Nightmare on Elm Street series — is a monster you can't get away from." Wilmington also likened the character to the Devil.[2]


The character is noticeable for his considerably darkly comedic tone which is something that had started to become popular with horror film antagonists in the late 1980s.

"...is to create another super-villain to charm and alarm audiences weaned on Freddy's wisecracks, much of the film's storyline is blow-by-blow repetition of Craven's own now-seminal A Nightmare on Elm Street. Both films open in the filthy workshop of a mass murderer and involve the creation of a distinctive weapon. In Freddy's case, that weapon is a glove with razor blades; in Horace Pinker's case the weapon is an array of TV sets which ostensibly receive transmission straight from Hell! Like Freddy, Horace is also physically distinctive, and therefore set apart from the rest of humanity."

Described as a gothic figure.


  1. Murray, Steve. "Inside the Mind of Director Wes Craven". The Atlanta Constitution. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  2. Wilmington, Michael. "'Shocker' not just another nightmare". The Courier-News. Retrieved 21 January 2021.

Category:Male horror film villains

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