Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Pin: A Plastic Nightmare (1988)
Quick Synopsis: Father communicates with his children by way of a life-size medical dummy. Upon his death, his son retains an uncomfortable relationship with the doll.
This one is quite the creeper. It opens to a picturesque American family who are admittedly wound a bit tight. Mother keeps the house as if it were a musuem to Colonialism and tells the children to keep certain friends out as they look "dirty and diseased" while Father comes across as devoid of emotion as the med school learning tool (Pin) he uses to teach his children everything, including the birds and the bees ("Leon, remove the cloth from Pin's lap.") We get a few snapshots of their lives as the children grow until both parents are killed in a car wreck, with Pin in the backseat.
Both Leon and his sister Ursula are in high school by this point and while Leon initially comes across as the more stable of the two (notwithstanding his Hitler Youth haircut), it is but a matter of time before he too is speaking through Pin.
Further details will remain scarce as I would prefer not to give much else away. This movie really does has it all in terms of skin crawlers. We get the full spectrum of the sexual repression rainbow from "lonely nurse" to "abortion: family style" and others I didn't come up with monikers for. There is also a running incestuousness between the siblings that culminates with Leon reading his poetry to Ursula and her boyfriend about his protaganist's desire to rape his sister. As well, Pin is just plain unnerving, even when it is motionless. I will leave it up to your own interpretations as to if Pin ever actually moves on his own.
Taut, well-executed, and when it needs to be, completely insane. It's been a weak year thus far in terms of quality, but Pin is definitely near the top.