Pinocchio’s Revenge (1996)

Tagline: “Evil comes with strings attached

Unfortunately there is no Blue Fairy powerful enough to transform this into a film worth watching.  This was a tough one to sit through.  I know right now you’re saying, “Hey, how bad could it be?  A demonic, serial-killing Pinocchio sounds perfect for curing my Monday blues.”  In this case, you are so painfully wrong.  Let me lay out the story for you.

Jennifer Garrick is a defense attorney who is currently trying to defend a man named Vincent Gotto and prevent him from receiving the death penalty for killing his own son.  She uses the defense that the media is over-hyping his case, calling him a “serial killer” just because other children were killed around the same time and near the general area where his son was killed.  He didn’t kill THEM, just his own son, therefore he should not be sentenced to death….right.   Needless to say, this defense strategy is not successful and she is shocked when Vincent Gotto is sentenced to the electric chair.

Among the possessions left behind by the client she so desperately tried to save, Jennifer finds a very familiar looking wooden puppet that the man carved for his son shortly before he killed him.  Through a series of predictable events, Pinocchio accidentally becomes a gift for little Zoe Garrick, daughter of Jennifer, the defender of killers.  Zoe is a very unhappy girl with some major anger issues and soon she is carrying on conversations with Pinocchio and he tells her that there is nobody in her life she can trust…other than him of course.

A series of events start to unfold as several people begin having “accidents”. When confronted by her therapist, Zoe claims she had nothing to do with it.  It was Pinocchio.  As with any good b-movie plot line, the adults don’t listen when the kids try to warn them of immanent danger.  Naturally, things get worse from here.  I’m not going to spoil the whole plot, or the ending for that matter.  All I will say is that the most disturbing thing about this film has to be the fact that Pinocchio is voiced by Dick Beals, the original voice of Gumby and also Davey from “Davey and Goliath”.  I recognized the voice right away and let me tell you, it gave me the chills.

This film is an hour and a half, but there is absolutely no excitement until about 45 minutes into it.  And very little excitement at that.  It’s almost as if they spent 75% of their budget on the wood carver that made Pinocchio and then said, “Oh wait, I forgot we’re supposed to show him attacking people.  Oh well, we’ll just SAY he killed people.  Nobody will know the difference.”  As far as b-movies go, this one was a major letdown.  They could have done so much more with this story.  As they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Don’t set aside the time to watch a film and expect great things from it just because the title sounds interesting.

It is not hard to understand why this delightfully awful film wasn’t up for any awards after it’s release.  Oh wait, it WAS nominated for a Saturn Award in 1996 in the category of “Best Home Video Release”, only to lose to “The Arrival” starring Charlie Sheen (yes, I have added that one to my list).  Kevin Tenney, the director of “Pinocchio’s Revenge”, must not have been too mad losing the award to “Arrival”.  He went on to direct “Arrival 2” in 1998…which did NOT win any awards.

Notable mention:  There are only 2 scenes in this film where we actually see Pinocchio running.  These scenes mark the very first acting credit for Verne Troyer, well known for playing the character Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films.

Get all the details of this film on IMDB by following this link-Pinocchio’s Revenge

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