Monday, July 15, 2013

Pin: A Plastic Nightmare

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Honestly, they'll pretty much make a horror film about anything.

Pin: A Plastic Nightmare – 3 out of 5

My girlfriend is a huge horror nerd. She loves scary movies, monsters, zombies and she even makes little scary horror dolls that she sells online—the point I’m making is that spooky movies gives her a natural high in the same respect that comic book movies, Star Wars and Doctor Who gives me a raging Geek Boner. Recently, she read about a movie that is about a killer anatomy mannequin and she immediately requested I find it. So, after several days, many bribes, one escaped execution, three sexual favors I’m still trying to forget and one Chinese black market later, I found a DVD copy of the movie. Turns out it just came free when you buy 12 lbs. of monkey livers from the black market…but now I’m stuck with all these monkey livers.

**Warning: This review may contain some spoilers…and possibly some monkey livers. Seriously, I gotta move these monkey livers.**

"What are you doing, Dave?"
Pin is about two children; Leon and Ursula, and a strange relationship they have with an anatomy doll in their father’s doctor’s office. Their father (Terry O’Quinn) likes to use ventriloquism to make the doll talk (and make it 100 times more nightmare inducing) and, hence, creates a funnier and substantially less racist version of Jeff Dunham. As the kids get older, Leon (David Hewlett) doesn’t let go of his attachment to this doll named Pin. Soon, he subconsciously starts to make Pin speak and, ultimately, becomes a catalyst for his parents to die a tragic death. After his father sees the flames of insanity start to glow in his son, he takes away Pin only to end up dying in a car crash. Now Leon and Ursula (Cynthia Preston) are on their own with their family’s vast fortune. Leon becomes increasingly more protective of his sister and, without the need to work, Leon has plenty of time to grow even crazier (because his parents, at no point, told him Pin is just a piece of plastic and that the voices in his head aren't actually there--they probably skipped the part about Santa being not real, too) and he starts using Pin as an excuse to murder anyone who tries to get in his, or Pin’s, way.

Was there ever a time when Terry O'Quinn had a full head of hair?

Okay, adding fake skin, hair and giving Pin clothes only
made him that much harder to look at.
When I first read that this film was about a killer plastic, life-size doll, I immediate scoffed at the idea and become incredibly excited to see what kind amazingly moronic shit this film could come up with. However, I had to shut my mouth because the film is more Psycho and far less Chucky. The movie is never unsettling or horrifying; there are little scares to be had in this film but I did find it surprisingly interesting. Hewlett’s performance is terrific and he really makes his character come off like he’s been off his rocker and quickly rolling away from it in fits of hysterical, unsettling laughter for years. Basically, Hewlett is really good at being crazy in this movie.

For example, he held this pose, without blinking, for twenty minutes in the film.

Even though I got behind the story, this movie is still really fucking ridiculous. First off, no one EVER questions Leon’s attachment to Pin until Ursula gets a boyfriend and, even then, he is just polite and puts up with the insanity until Leon is out of the room and then, and only then, does he calmly say to the girl, “Yeah, we should probably get him to a psychiatric hospital.” He never calls the cops to let them know there is a dude who talks to a plastic anatomy doll and has a creepy, borderline incest-driven obsession with his sister. It is even established in the film that it’s common knowledge that Leon is a creep and does weird things…and yet, not a single person reacts in a normal way when they find out he talks through a doll. By the way, if you’re someone like Leon and are asking how is one suppose to react, the correct answer is full-on throat shrieking and running until you are safely in the next county.

" talk through a plastic dummy.  Yep, nothing weird about that.  Now, if you'll
excuse me, I think I left my house on fire."

Due to the fact the body count is low in this film, I think the filmmakers said, “Let’s add some truly fucked up shit.” And fucked up shit they added!

I already hinted on the semi-incest feel the movie gives between the characters of Ursula and Leon and, against better judgment, I’m going to elaborate. The movie shows these two growing up and it’s obvious they are close, however, as they age, their closeness gets…too close. Especially when the children start to hit puberty (the film shows this by having Ursula openly wondering how her breasts will look when she gets older and wonders how her own mother’s boobies look). Their father decides to teach them how birds and bees like to have sex with each in the most natural way possible…by using his ventriloquism and having the anatomically correct Pin tell them about sex.

"Okay kids, now Pin is going to tell you about the different sexual positions..."

I’m going to assume that this effed up way of parenting is the blame for Ursula’s promiscuous behavior because she grows up to be a little tramp that’ll have sex with anyone she can get her hands (and vagina) on. However, all this sex ends up costing her and she gets pregnant (who knew that could happen?). This entire sequence of the film has some of the most uncomfortable dialogue, close-up camera work and music that, if these two weren’t siblings, would have belonged in a romantic date movie. After this point, the character of Leon has an unstable and emotionally frightening attachment to his sister. Granted, this helps the character of Leon seem that much more unsettling but it doesn’t help Ursula be a sympathetic character as she is way, WAY too okay with it.

This is what Taylor Swift would look like in the 80s.

And speaking of sex…

This movie contains one of the most obvious attempts at being ridiculous I’ve ever seen. When Leon is a young boy, he seeks out the friendship of Pin after his mother is abusive towards him and he ends up seeing something that would make a human being wish the process of memory wiping from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was real. The scene in question involves the doctor’s nurse coming into the examination room when no one else is there and…how can I put this politely?...fucks the dummy! Yes, you heard me, she has sex with a plastic medical doll. While this scene isn’t graphic, it’s still enough to say, “What the fuck? Why did they add that to the movie?” Sure it helps with Leon’s loose grip on reality and his schizophrenia—or, maybe, it just made him admire Pin because the ladies are forcing themselves on him!

And yes, they do establish that Pin is anatomically correct.

Pin: A Plastic Nightmare (that's the Canadian title, by the way but it's still an awesome title) isn’t a terrific thriller. There’s nothing scary about it and every time it tries to do so it looks like something that should have been viewed on Mystery Science Theater 3000. However, David Hewlett is really good as Leon, the ending is great, and the concept of this boy speaking through a medical dummy was actually, and surprisingly, interesting. When I first sat down to watch this, I thought I was going to watch a movie that The Asylum was kicking themselves for not thinking of but was shocked that it really wasn’t that bad. Now, who wants to buy some monkey livers?

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