This Day in Horror History: Happy Birthday Mitch Pileggi

We loved him as Assistant Director Walter Skinner in The X Files TV series and movies, horror fans loved Mitch Pileggi’s turn as Horace Pinker in Wes Craven’s vastly underrated Shocker! If it’s been a while, or if you’ve yet to experience the cult sleeper for yourself, check out the trailer and synopsis below to see what all the “buzz” is about!

After being captured for a series of gruesome murders, Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi), a television repairman, faces execution by the electric chair — but a deal with the devil allows him to come back as electricity. Once he changes into his new form, Pinker goes after the detective that brought him down, Lt. Don Parker (Michael Murphy), as well as Parker’s adopted son, Jonathan (Peter Berg). However, Jonathan’s mysterious connection to Pinker through dreams might help track the killer’s moves.

In addition to The X Files and Shocker, Pileggi has popped up in Basic Instinct, Vampire in Brooklyn, and Polaroid. We’ve also seen him in the TV shows Supernatural and American Horror Story.

Pileggi was working as a defense contractor in Isfahan, Iran, about two weeks before Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was deposed, in 1979. Due to strained relations between Iran and the United States, the company he worked for was evacuating the employees on a Pan American flight. Pileggi said in a 2008 radio interview that for some reason, possibly for a supernormal reason, he booked his own flight with Swiss Air, on the plane that would be the last out of the country for many days. They were supposed to land in Baghdad, Iraq, but a thunderstorm prevented any landings, so the pilot flew them to Athens, Greece. Pileggi said, “I think we got there on fumes.” (Source)

According to Wes Craven, Shocker was severely cut for an R-rating. It took around 13 submissions to the MPAA to receive an R instead of an X rating. Some of the scenes that were cut include; Pinker spitting out fingers that he bit off from prison guard, longer and more graphic electrocution of Pinker and longer scene of possessed coach stabbing his own hand. (Source)

Mitch Pileggi was born on this day in 1952 and, today, all of us here at Dread Central wish him a very Happy Birthday!



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