PULSE (1988) Reviews and overview



‘It traps you in your house… then pulls the plug’

Pulse is a 1988 science fiction horror film written and directed by Paul Golding.

The movie stars Cliff De Young (The Craft; Carnosaur 2; Doctor Giggles), Roxanne Hart, Joseph Lawrence (Isle of the Dead; Urban Legends: Final Cut), and Matthew Lawrence (Creature of Darkness; Monster Night; Big Monster on Campus).



A highly aggressive, paranormal intelligence thriving within the electrical grid system of Los Angeles, California is moving from house to house. It terrorises the occupants by taking control of the appliances, killing them or causing them to wreck the house in an effort to destroy it. Once this has been accomplished, it travels along the power lines to the next house, and the terror restarts.


Having thus wrecked one household in a quiet, suburban neighbourhood, the pulse finds itself in the home of a boy’s divorced father whom he is visiting. It gradually takes control of everything, injuring the stepmother, and trapping father and son, who must fight their way out…


” …when Golding does unleash his directorial punches – like the nasty shower scene where Roxanne Hart is nearly burned alive and a particularly well sustained climax, which has one outstanding seat-edge slow-motion scene as Cliff De Young avoids sliding onto a live floor literally only by the tips of his toes – the film is well worthwhile.” Moria


” …Pulse isn’t a bad movie. It’s just not a terribly interesting one. The directing is adequate but there just isn’t much here. I think the concept of “killer electricity” is just hard to pull off in a horror movie. In an era when we have movies with shots of masked boogeymen and monsters chasing down helpless victims…” Oh, the Horror!

“Imagine a 6th-season episode of Gimme a Break!, only replace Nell Carter with a malevolent fusebox, and you’re halfway to grasping the sheer banality of this (alleged) horror movie. 74% of the film consists of a pre-teen Joey Lawrence as he walks down hallways, peers into clothes dryers, stares at utility poles, and narrowly escapes death at the hands of a malicious garage door opener.” DVD Talk


“It must say something if after I saw this film–my entry into a glass shower was always met with an unusual fear. The thing with glass showers is that it improves upon the concept of seeing your murderer coming at you a la Psycho. But the fact that the glass door can seal itself shut is like a punch in the gut. Glass showers are supposed to luxurious!” The Horror Digest


Cast and characters:

  • Cliff De Young as Bill Rockland
  • Roxanne Hart as Ellen Rockland
  • Joey Lawrence as David Rockland
  • Matthew Lawrence as Stevie
  • Charles Tyner as Old Man Holger
  • Dennis Redfield as Pete
  • Robert Romanus as Paul
  • Myron Healey as Howard
  • Michael Rider as Foreman
  • Jean Sincere as Ruby
  • Terry Beaver as Policeman
  • Greg Norberg as Policeman
  • Tim Russ as Policeman

Fun Facts:

This Pulse should not be confused with the Japanese ghost movie Pulse (2001) or the US remake of the same title (2006).

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