Sunday, December 28, 2008

THE ENDINGS BLOG-A-THON : THE ENDING TO PIN... (1988)

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This post belongs to Valley Dreamin's Endings Blog-A-Thon. Please click on over to J.D.'s site and view the other entries in this clever end of 2008 send-off. Enjoy!
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When J.D. first dropped word of his year-ending Endings Blog-A-Thon, possibilities a plenty popped into my head. After all, nothing lets a movie linger longer in the memory than a spectacular and/or note perfect punctuation to a brilliant ride. It’s a song that stops at its peak; It’s hitting a game winning shot at the buzzer; It’s orgasm. Then again, a great ending can prop up an otherwise forgettable movie. A quick artistic rally can make previous bruises and bumps forgivable.

Speaking of last second stunners, my choice for the blog-a-thon rolled-up on me just two short days ago...

What do you do when you’re in a hotel room, you’ve read the paper, and you can’t stand TV? Browse Netflix’s Instant Viewing section! Their list of instantly viewable horror films provides special enticement for me. For one, many of the titles are of the 80’s, and because I was too cowardly a child to watch scary movies, I’ve yet to see most of them. Add to that the fact that these films have yet to get DVD distribution (remember, horror is the easiest genre to get distribution in…), and you’re hanging out with some of the most bottom-feeding bastard films in the genre.

I first learned of the 1988 film Pin… while reading one of Final Girl’s Friday poster posts. Still, even then, all I knew of it was its title, “Pin…”, and the image on the poster of an ascending staircase with a small figure in a wheelchair sitting up top. I loved the (dot) (dot) (dot)s in the title, but it was that wheelchair that sold me. So I clicked PLAY the other day, and was instantly host to one of the most twisted movies I’ve seen in awhile.

In order to make a long explanation of that above declaration short, and to get to the ending that this post is intended to be about, let me attempt a X16 fast forwarded version of the plot: rich kids… father is a pediatrician… pediatrician uses anatomically-correct anatomy dummy like a ventriloquist … the dummy’s name is Pin (short for Pinocchio)… pediatrician’s son believes Pin is real… pediatrician’s son sees nurse have sex with Pin… the pediatrician has Pin teach his kids the birds & the bees and then shows them Pin’s penis… incest fantasies … father giving daughter an abortion…. AND MORE!

My point is that Pin… was a fine enough viewing for some perverse pleasure on a Thursday night, but it was the ending that came out and stung me in my seat. Eventually, the film’s house of riches and ghosts is down to brother Leon and sister Ursula. Ursula is sane and ready to lead a normal life, while Leon is insane and fully taken on the plastic persona of Pin. The films final scene shows Ursula saying a last goodbye to Leon (ie “Pin”), as he sits with his back to her, in a wheelchair, looking out a window.

Leon/Pin : Have you seen Leon?

Ursula : No.

Leon/Pin : If you see him, tell him I miss him.

Ursula : I will… (sniffle)… I miss him too.

That familial moment put an honest lump in my throat. It made me forget the incestuous creep-ons that came up earlier in the film and opened up a moment of genuine sibling affection.

Further, and what most directly impacted me, was the camera’s final straight-on close-up of Leon dreaming out a second floor window. The brief image feels like a hand-over-the-heart blow of a kiss to an era that survived on more sincerity and authenticity than pop historians gave it credit for. That one look seems to encapsulate every 80’s youth-culture moment from Max Headroom to C. Thomas Howell in Soul Man to the Top 40 domination of Blue-Eyed Soul to the advent of the sharply kempt eighties ladies man... and on.

THE FINAL SHOT...

... good-bye.

4 comments:

Soiled Sinema said...

I was very curious about this film. The pictures bring an R-rated Bicentennial Man to mind.

Fox said...

R-rated Bicentennial Man sounds pretty accurate, but since I've only seen the preview for BM, I can't really say.

Either way, Pin..., is DEFINITELY something Soiled Sinemas should be investigating.

Matt said...

sounds great... kraftwerk should do the soundtrack.

Fox said...

I would've loved that, Matt. Or, actually, something more organic sounding but still synth-y.

I should've added that the sub-title to Pin... is "A Plastic Nightmare", which is just awesome, and would make an excellent band name.