- Awesome Music: The movie's rock music songs mostly by Desmond Child basically has Evil Is Cool tattooed in each one, especially Pinker's Villain Songs.
- Complete Monster: Horace Pinker is a psychotic mass murderer in a near-constant violent frenzy who butchers families for fun. He kills the main character Jonathan's mother, brother, and sister after his police detective father gets on Pinker's trail. He kills a handful of cops who try to capture him in his lair. He murders Jonathan's girlfriend in her bathroom. He mutilates two prison guards with his teeth as he's being led to the electric chair, where he reveals that Jonathan is in fact his own son and tried to stop him as Pinker murdered Jonathan's real mother when he was still a little kid. He makes a Deal with the Devil to become an undead being of electricity. He proceeds to possess person after person to continue trying to kill Jonathan, draining their life force completely before discarding his hosts, including a little girl. He possesses people close to Jon so he will be forced to kill his loved ones. All his screen time is spent trying to kill or hurt someone, insulting people, or taunting them with the people he's murdered.
- Evil Is Cool: Invoked by Craven in regards to Horace Pinker, who is a copycat of another Craven villain who is also this trope, Freddy Krueger. Whether it worked is another matter, given that Pinker is an even bigger Jerkass than Krueger without much humor to offset it.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Years later, the video game Persona 4 featured a Serial Killer obsessed with the TV.
- Actors Mitch Pileggi and Michael Murphy would later both act in Batman media adaptations. Pileggi would guest star in an episode of Batman Beyond and voice The Commissioner Gordon in The Batman, while Murphy would play the mayor of Gotham City in Batman Returns, sequel to Batman (1989) which was released the same year as this movie.
- Ham and Cheese: Pinker takes Evil Is Hammy and Laughably Evil and runs with it as much as he can. And this makes his actor's performance all the more enjoyable.
- Narm: Pinker is unable to possess one of Jonathan's friend because, according to him, said friend liked Jonathan too much to let him in. Later in the movie, he manages to possess Jonathan's father with no trouble at all, suggesting that his father apparently cares less about his son than his son's best friend did.
- Retroactive Recognition:
YMMV / Shocker