Anyone out there find the idea of a homicidal Pinocchio puppet particularly exciting? Basically, you take the simplest and most familiar aspects of the Child's Play series (focusing mainly on Part 2), but instead of a Chucky doll, we have a Pinocchio puppet. You could easily fill in all of the remaining blanks without expending all that much cerebral energy.
Pinocchio's Revenge is an out-and-out rip-off of the most blatant sort, and what's particularly disappointing is that the goofy flick comes from a guy who's done a whole lot better. Director Kevin Tenney was behind a pair of rather enjoyable B-level horror flicks called Witchboard and Night of the Demons, but the guy seems firmly stuck on Xerox-level auto-pilot with Pinocchio's Revenge.
The plot sees a lovely lady lawyer who, for some stupid reason, decides to bring home a piece of evidence that's of crucial importance to her client (a freaky dude suspected of being a mass murderer), and that piece of evidence is ... you guessed it ... a Pinocchio puppet.
Lawyer-lady's little girl becomes attached to the goofy block of wood, and it's not too long before the angry young kid forms a bond with her murderous marionette.
Basically, whoever crosses this seven-year-old spitfire ends up tossed down a flight of stairs or beaten (bad) with a fireplace poker. Mr. Tenney attempts to keep some air of mystery around the killings, as we're meant to wonder if it's the little girl who's doing the deed. ("Then who put the goldfish in the blender?" "It was the Pinocchio puppet, Mommy, I swear!") But hell, the movie's called Pinocchio's Revenge, which means you're all but guaranteed at least one scene in which the puppet perches on someone's neck and rides 'em like a shrieking donkey.
For all the b-movie badness that a concept like Pinocchio's Revenge might imply, the simple truth is that the flick's deadly dull, for the most part. And by the time the few cases of carnage are unleashed, you'll most likely be well past REM sleep and dreaming of better horror flicks.
Video: Lions Gate seems to be ramping up on their Fullframe releases, and this DVD is no exception. I've no idea in what aspect ratio this film was shot, but it does seem to be an original Widescreen smushed down to 1.33:1 proportions. Picture quality isn't half-bad, keeping in mind the sort of movie we're talking about.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 in English or Spanish. Passable aural presentation.
Extras: Scene Index!
Heck, if you're going to rip off a movie as simplistic as Child's Play 2, you'd be best served by amping up the gore, the dolly spectacle, and the intensity. Unfortunately, Pinocchio's Revenge offers only a few sparse bits of entertainment for the horror geek contingent, which (of course) is the only logical audience for a flick with this title.