Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PINOCCHIO'S REVENGE: 4.0 out of 5 stars

If it's B horror you're seeking, look no further than an elf playing a puppet's body double, September 2, 2008

Whenever we, Sid the Elf, are in doubt about a movie to select for our B viewing we always tend to lean towards the fabled Golden Era of horror B. This is the time period from 1986-1996 that rarely disappoints. Our selection this time was Pinocchio's Revenge. This film was made in 1996, so it is right on the cusp time-wise. And judging by the cover, we knew this was a terrible film, so we were a little worried that it might have a little Jack Frost in it. By this we mean that the people in charge of the production knew the movie was irredeemable, so they threw in some comedy in the way of corny one-liners just to hedge their bets. But we lucked out when this flick actually tried to be good and scary. Of course it wasn't, so the only comedy came from us ripping it apart at a rate even we aren't usually capable of. Perfect. The result was the very essence of horror B. There aren't even any recognizable actors in this one except for Randolph, the butler from Wedding Crashers and Asian Reporter Trisha Takinawa.

Pinocchio's Revenge is a pretty self-explanatory title. The film centers around a doll who is devoid of all reason, all logic. In fact, it compels a man to become a mass child murderer. His lawyer suspects that the Pinocchio doll the killer made for his son is ultimately responsible for the murders, but can't prove it. So she mistakingly brings the doll home. Pretty big error, wouldn't you burn that thing asap? To make matters worse, she piles it on to her daughter's birthday presents, then lets the little girl keep it. By this point, you're hoping you see Pinocchio flogging Mom within the next 5 minutes. From here, the writing is on the wall. Pinocchio starts corrupting the girl, and she starts acting strange. She gets into a fight at school which is just pure cinematic genius. And all these bizarre accidents start happening, including a bus running the girl over. But don't worry, she bounced right back up and walked away without an explanation as to how. So, the little girl ices her classmate and her mom's boyfriend. But was it her or Pinocchio? That's what is in question at the end. What is not in question, however, is that this movie is the true essence of B.

The fact that they only had enough budget to have one scene in which the puppet's mouth moved seals the deal. Then throw in the Journey to the West level acting from the foreign chick that Pinocchio watched shower, and you go up another star for atrocious acting as well as a totally gratuitous nude scene. Also, when the puppet's eyes moved in a decidedly Short Studd manner we couldn't believe it. We were actually on the fence of 2 1/2 to 3 stars at one point during this flick. But, then it happened. They showed Pinocchio running across the street. It was the spitting image of Sid chasing a chick down with a pink turkey baster. That's an instant 4-star effort. But, after a little research, we found out that it wasn't the late, great L DeJ in his final role as we guessed. It was Verne Troyer. Yep, a good 3 years before his role as Mini-me and about 10 years before his legendary Surreal Life stint, he was a stunt double for an inanimate object. Too bad they had him running instead of riding around on that little scooter of his.

If you are looking for some scares and legitimate creepiness, this is not the movie for you. But, if it's an hour and a half of mocking something that your 8 year old could have come up with you enjoy like us, Pinocchio's Revenge is perfect for you. It fits the definition of unintentional comedy to a "T" therefore, it is an obvious choice for a Sid the Elf recommendation. It is also a nominee, and maybe the favorite, for the 2008 Woody Award for Best Surprise.

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