Pinocchio’s Revenge (1996)

Struggling with a murder case, lawyer Jennifer Garrick, (Rosalind Allen) is unable to stop her charge from being executed. When her babysitter Sophia, (Candace McKenzie) tells her about a series of nightmares her daughter Zoe, (Brittany Alyse Smith) is experiencing, she believes it’s about the case and decides to pass over a hand-crafted dummy named Pinocchio made by her charge to her. Taking an instant love to it, she takes it everywhere and soon begins acting strangely because of the doll. When the behavior gets more extreme and she tries defending the doll even more, the more they realize the doll’s a damaging influence on her. Realizing the true nature of the situation, they try to stop it before more are hurt by the doll.

The Good News: There wasn’t a whole lot to this one that stood out. The fact that there’s a really freaky-looking doll this, which is the norm in these kinds of films, is one of the pluses. The wood-stained finish, complete with grain marks and the huge, super-expressive eyes are quite memorable and really nice to give it something that is unique, scary and quite imposing. That it’s tied in with the fun to be had from the fact that it mixes it with the popular legend about the doll derives more good points. This is really enjoyable, using it well and making the last half a lot more suspenseful by giving it a more horror-based twist. This is nicely done and makes for some tense moments as it uses the legend for this style. Also really is nice the complete finale, which is it’s all-around best feature. There’s an incredibly tense chase here which is really thrilling, through the darkened hallways in the house with the thunder crashing around them trying to escape from a killer who keeps popping out of everywhere with a butcher knife. The action and setting are both top-notch yet the revelation that occurs from it, as well as the aftermath that follows. There’s also the attack and kill scenes, although not a whole lot of them in total, the set-ups towards them are pretty cool and do lead to some rather nice scenes. The only other point here is the sleazy scene where the doll may or may not have wandered into a woman showering, and it’s really nice to see it. These here are the film’s best points.

The Bad News: This one here had a few flaws to it that do hold it down. The main thing here with this is the incredibly dull and incredibly long beginning which has very little to it that is even remotely close to exciting. The beginning to this is really dull, uninteresting and plain boring because there’s two really irritating story lines that bring up nothing but those feelings. The trial here is really quite boring, since it’s made up of the appeal process mainly without giving anything to base it on. It’s really hard to get into these because of that, and then they’re that they’re so drawn-out and lifeless doesn’t help much. It’s really hard to get into them and are just a really trying and complicated to get any interest from this beginning. Then it segues from there into the drama at home, which isn’t all that great either. The daughter angle is a twist, but it’s never interesting to see people going insane since it takes a lot of time going through the different stages before the obvious happens. Because there’s so many scenes of the family together that don’t come anywhere close to being scary but are merely there only for the insanity plot, this is just an eternity to get beyond them and actually get to anything important. That also leads into the last big flaw, the film spends so much time on other stuff it utterly fails in providing it’s killer doll much opportunity for killing. The body count here is really low for this kind of film, barely etching out a handful despite there being a rather hefty amount that could’ve been knocked off. That also leaves it really drier than it should’ve been and barely manages to spill some during it’s encounters with the rest being left for wounds that are inflicted but non-fatal ones, and all of these here drag down the film by making the killer seem weak and unable to be able to finish the job.