Monday, September 7, 2020

Is PINOCCHIO'S REVENGE Actually About Revenge?

Today, I decided to write about one of my favorite puppet movies!

So today, we'll visit one of my favorite gloriously cheesy killer puppet movies: Pinocchio's Revenge, from one of my favorite directors Kevin Tenney!

"Evil comes in all shapes and sizes.
- Barry (Ron Canada) a.k.a the mysterious black man who knows everything 

I have no problem admitting that I absolutely L-O-V-E killer doll movies, especially the ones from the 90s! I watched this film when it was first released on October 7th, 1996. As a 9-year-old horror queen in the making, I sat in fascination at a butchering Disney character. Now, because I love owning physical copies of movies, I'm to proud parent of the DVD, thanks to Grindhouse Video Tampa

Synopsis: A suburban defense lawyer mistakenly gives her troubled daughter, Zoe, a wooden puppet belonging to a deceased serial killer. The toy fills the void of friendship in Zoe's life, but Zoe begins to act increasingly strange and violent.

The film follows Jennifer, a mom and public defender who has a busy life. It's been a pretty rough year for her, especially after her divorce. While trying to balance her career and love life with her new boyfriend David, Jennifer also has full custody over her young daughter Zoe, who appears to have anxiety and abandonment issues. Zoe sees a therapist on a weekly basis to discuss her issues. With one of Jennifer's clients on death row for multiple murders (one including his son), Jennifer is desperately trying to save a man she feels is wrongly convicted.

Without giving away too much, I'll reveal that a serial killer's spirit inhabits a Pinocchio doll. This doll begins wreaking havoc on Jennifer and Zoe. Injuries and deaths tally up before Zoe relentlessly claims Pinocchio is the cause. Jennifer struggles believing her daughter because-- you know... It wouldn't be a slasher, thriller killer puppet movie with a touch of whodunit drama without parental denial.

Something cool about this film is the first half, where you never see the doll move. Up to a point, you begin to wonder: Are these sinister acts coming from the doll or Zoe? It could possibly be Zoe because she already has issues before the puppet comes into her life. Perhaps, she resents her mom for "making" her dad go away. Then again, there could be the feeling of neglect since her mother works often and dates. There's even a peculiar scene where Zoe listens to her mother sexing with a new boyfriend. Not too sure why the mom is knocking boots at decibels high enough to keep her daughter from night night time, but whatever! Anyway, the murders throughout the film target  people who take away time from Jennifer's role as Zoe's mom. Maybe Pinocchio is an outlet for Zoe's aggression.

On another note is the title: Pinocchio's Revenge, I'm confused why "revenge" is in the title because there isn't actually a revenge. I watched this movie countless times and throughout it all, there's little rational behind why Pinocchio is committing these crimes.

Pinocchio's Revenge is not the greatest horror movie; yet, it's still well made and highly enjoyable. Based on the cover and title, it may seem like it's going to be completely 90s cheese. Now while there are thin layers of cheese, I experience an overwhelming gravity of heartfelt storytelling. Most people I recommend this movie to think they will hate it but come out pleasantly surprised.

If you manage to find a copy, I recommend you grab it. This is one of the best straight-to-video horrors.

Pinocchio's Revenge trailer: 

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