Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Demonic DVD (of the Week)

Pinocchio 964 (1992, DVD)
Directed by Shozin Fukui
Starring Hage Suzuki, Onn Chan, Kyoko Hara

Created just a scant four years after the legendary, world-renowned Japanese cyberfreak classick “Tetsuo (The Iron Man)”, the manic-panic industrial horror of Pinocchio 964 owes plenty to its berserk tinfoil terrorism predecessor, from the grinding soundtrack to the crazed roboguts creatures. But while Tetsuo ultimately played out like a faster-louder punk rock parody of Monster Island super-rumbles, Pin964 is more of a supersized vomit-porn loop with an art-brat twist.

I have read about 665 plot synopses of this film, and they all seem like doper babbling to me. This one probably will, too. See, Pinocchio is a sex robot, owned by some awful, Phyllis Diller-ish shrew, who throws his boner-less ass on the street when he fails to perform up to the standards set by her other toy, a pneumatic, insatiable porno-nurse cyborg-ette. So ol’ Pin’s wandering the streets of Tokyo in his PJ’s, dazed and confused, and drooling like a mental patient. With his Ed Grimley shock of forehead hair and his ghost-white pallor, he looks like a lost cartoon ghoul. The residents of this near-future megalopolis are so disaffected, they just let this mess of a semi-human stagger around the sidewalk, until he finally collapses into the arms of a weirdo chick named Himiko, who lives in the tunnels under the city. She drags him into her hissing underworld, where they almost connect, in a queasy, misfit-love kinda way. Their schizoid bliss is soon shattered, however, when he starts imploding like the Incredible Melting Man, and she suddenly develops this psychotic meanstreak, yoking her pal with an iron collar and a thick rope of chain attached to a giant rock.

Um, I forget if it’s before or after that part, but they fuck at one point, too.

Somewhere amidst all the puking and pissing and cumming and screaming, Pin figures out exactly what sort of hell he has been damned to, and decides to seek either salvation or revenge – whichever comes first – from the maniac that invented him.  Cue the gore gags, and ready the credits.

I’m making this film sound more linear than it actually is. Really, Pinocchio 964 plays like a deftly edited performance art piece, something acid-eating German hippies mighta concocted with a big pile of freshly slaughtered meat and a broken piano in 1967. If you reach far enough, you just might grasp onto a wispy metaphor, some suitably Cronenberg-ian nonsense about mind-body transformation and rebirth through self-mutilation and the death of the ego, but if you enjoy thinking that hard, then I suggest you read an actual book or something, because Pinocchio 964 is just a big messy goof. The melting, molting sexdroid stuff is utterly repellent, the herky-jerky high-velocity freakout scenes drag themselves out forever, and the really creepy stuff is the same creepy stuff as in The Begotten, and you tell me – you wanna see that disgusting thing again?

Hell, maybe you do. Pin 964 has enough shocking imagery to keep the splatter kids happy, and it fakes allegorical depth enough to swindle a few intellectuals, too. You just can’t dance to it, and you probably won’t be able to muster up a decent erection for a couple days afterwards. But if you wanna suffer for art, you’ve definitely come to the right place.

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