Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

October of Horror #10: Pinocchio’s Revenge (1996)

Posted by Trixter on October 10, 2018


(For an explanation of what these posts in October are, see the parent post.)

Synopsis

Jennifer Garrick, a lawyer and single mother,  brings home a hand-carved Pinocchio puppet as part of evidence in a murder trial after the murderer is executed.  Her daughter Zoe takes a liking to the puppet after it is mistaken for a birthday present.  A few days later, accidents start happening to those who cross Zoe.  Worse, Zoe blames the puppet for the accidents.

Opinion

Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking:  Obvious Child’s Play ripoff, right?  I thought the same thing, but the movie surprised the hell out of me as to how good it was!  Low budget, direct-to-video, obvious ripoff, etc. etc. — believe me, I was expecting a terrible film, but it did a surprisingly good job of telling a story, slowly evolving the puppet’s is-it-real-or-isn’t-it menace, and keeping my interest.  Best of all, it is very much not like Child’s Play in how it handles the final third of the film, and I wasn’t expecting that, and I respect the filmmakers for going down an alternate path and sticking to it.

Being low budget, there are some obvious corners cut, but if you can suspend disbelief you can get through them.  The only real trouble I had with the film was Rosalind Allen’s acting in the final third:  When she figures out what is going on, any sane person would be freaking the hell out, shocked beyond belief, etc. but she doesn’t really emote that at a time when the film really needs it.  Instead, she acts like an actress who knows exactly what is coming on the next few pages of the script, which is a shame since she’s great the first two third of the film.

Recommendation

I can’t believe I’m recommending this one, but I am!  If you were disappointed by every Child’s Play sequel (I know I was), give Pinocchio’s Revenge a shot — if you can find it.

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