Okay this is a weird one, even for me. Still, I’ve been meaning to get to it for some time. I first came across this little oddity somewhere in the early 90s, but that’s about all I can tell you. My suspicion is that I caught this on the long defunct but arguably greatest movie outlet ever on cable, The Movie Channel. I wondered if maybe it was on Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater, but as yet I haven’t found any evidence to back that up.
Anyway, PIN opens with a bunch of school boys sneaking up to a house to get a glimpse of, well, somebody. Cuz boys. One clambers up to the roof over the front porch to get a good look at the motionless figure in the window. The figure then blinks and says “Get out!” Then, we flash back 15 years. Very Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
Now we meet Leon and Ursula, a brother and sister with a less-than-healthy upbringing. Their mother is a neat freak, and their father (a right-in-between Stepfather and Stepfather II Terry O’Quinn) is an oppressive, emotionally distant doctor. In his examination room, the good doctor also has PIN, a life-size, anatomically correct teaching mannequin that looks not remarkably unlike one of the figures from the Body Worlds exhibit.
Herr Doktor also talks to his pediatric patients as well as his own children through PIN using ventriloquism. Not weird enough for you yet? Well, hang on gang, cuz this whole Pinocchio (that’s gotta be what PIN is short for, right?) puppet vs. real boy idea starts to play itself out immediately. As fate would have it, Leon one day gets an eyeful of his father’s nurse using said anatomically correct PIN to perform an equally anatomically correct activity.
This traumatizes Leon and sparks his loathing for pretty much all things sexual. No, put that checkbook away; there’s more. Soon enough this manifests itself in violence at a high school dance. Leon catches Ursula doin’ some he-in’ & she-in’ in the back of a car complete with squeaky shocks and fogged up windows. He yanks the guy out of the car and kicks him until a couple guys pull him away. Apparently Leon’s got kind of a Tony Montana thing about his sister.
Well, not long after this, Ursula finds out she’s pregnant, so she and Leon go ask PIN what she should do (PIN having apparently become Leon’s oracle and dispenser of wisdom). PIN suggests they go to their father, who in turn performs an abortion on his own daughter. Yeah, that’s a tough hurdle to clear. Oh, and at this point we’re roughly a half hour in. Wait, what?? Yeah. 30 minutes of almost nonstop cringe. Oh but we ain’t done. Not by a longshot.
See, Doctor Dad discovers Leon having a conversation with PIN and decides to remove PIN from the exam room. Well, he and the Mrs. die in a car crash. PIN, uh, survives, and Leon brings him home. Leon and Ursula pretty much have the run of the place as Leon is 18 and Ursula is almost out of high school. Nobody questions this. The point is, PIN has become another family member. Leon even goes as far as putting clothes and a wig on him.
All of this develops into some serious Norman Bates/Mother split personality shit that comes to a head in the final act. First, Leon brings home then psychologically tortures a “date.” The next night, Ursula has her boyfriend over for dinner to meet Leon and, well, PIN.
After dinner, Leon reads to everyone from his epic tale of a hero named, wait for it, Testes, whose mission is to gain immortality by siring as many children as possible. This passage in particular concerns said hero contemplating the rape of a woman he’s seen who turns out to be his sister. Sidebar: the book has some heavy, explicit incest which was not included in the movie. It’s no wonder since the author, Andrew Neiderman, was also a V.C. Andrews ghostwriter.
Now…on one hand, this whole review might seem kinda spoiler heavy. I assure you I have merely scratched the surface. This one’s gotta be experienced to be believed. On the other hand, I won’t include any details about the final confrontation/big reveal, but I will warn you that you’ll see the very end coming a mile away.
So, boils and ghouls, put a, well, PIN in this cringefest and get to it some time.