Ready for some fucked up Japanese cyberpunk acid-trip that will blow your mind to smithereens and probably put your endurance test to a whole new level? Then let me introduce 964 Pinocchio which starts off like every normal Disney film.
964 Pinocchio, or simply called 964, is on the outside a young boy with a cute little unicorn haircut, but on the inside he is a broken, demented, helpless cyborg, manufactured in some clinic to be used as a sex slave. Unfortunately 964 can’t get an erection, so some doctors brutally drills through his skull to wipe out his memory and turn him into a lobotomized vegetable before he gets thrown out of the clinic like a dog – and gets a rough welcome to the bleak and depressing society of urban Japan. At least he’s able to walk, and soon finds himself in the isolated environment of Tokyo where he meets the homeless girl Himiko. And the most normal thing in this movie is that he actually meets a girl that’s a fully functioning human being, even with some level of empathy. She invites him to come and live with her in some abandoned industrial shithole, where she does her best to learn him to speak, and cruises along shopping malls to snap food straight from the counter. All filmed in guerilla style, by the way, where all the civilians are unaware extras, and done in a hurry before someone finds out and calls the police.
Where we thought the film was seemingly normal, they fall in love, and the moment they exchange their tongues to each other, the image freezes before fading to black, and the the shit is about the get serious. Our unicorn-haired fuckdroid infects Himiko with something that makes her go noodle-shit crazy of some epic proportions, starts to abuse him, and … holy fuck almighty, how am I even going to describe what happens for the next hour and so. Get ready for a lot of close-ups of insane facial expressions, puking, frantic running, some brief low budget body-horror and just overall a relentless odyssey with screaming, shouting and moaning like
OOOOOUUUAAAAAAAAAAAAHH,HHNNGHHHUUAAAAAA, HUUNNDGGHOOOUOAAAAAAAAA, EEEEEEEEEEEH, EEEHHHHH, OOOOOOH, AAAAAAAAAHHUGHH, AAAUUUOOOAHHHHHHOOAAAA, GGHHHHHIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAGHH, GGGGHHHHHHHHHIIIIII, AAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHHFFHHH …
… and here you basically have most of the script in a nutshell. And it’s of course natural to compare 964 Pinocchio to its big brother Tetsuo, where also director Shozin Fukui was one of the crew members on that film. Shozin Fukui probably thought to himself that “hah, I can make something more insane that this, even with a much longer runtime. Shiyou! ” When Tetsuo had its perfect runtime of 65 minutes and was able to hold on a certain narrative, flow, and knew where to stop, this mofo on the other hand, goes on for one hour and 37 minutes with scenes that drags on forever with little to no direction. There’s a scene lasting for ten minutes during the last thirty minutes, where 964 runs frantically through the streets of Tokyo while looking like a demented cyberpunk version of the Joker, and of course screaming his lungs off. And that scene feels more like three hours. Pure deranged misery. I will at least give the film credits for its energetic, handheld camerawork which gives off some early Peter Jackson vibes, and the intimate illusion of being present with 964 through his endless, tortuous, kinetic nightmare. The actors give it all with full dedication and Haji Suzuki as 964 is a diabolical force of nature. Others will also pick up a laundry list of metaphors, cryptic symbolism and social commentary between all the monotonous screaming, running and whatnot that only the inhabitants of planet Japan are able to perceive with a straight face. I can recommend 964 Pinocchio mostly as an endurance challenge and just congratulate in advance to those who manage to sit through it in one single setting without any pause. Good luck.
The one and only 2004-DVD release from Unearthed Films went out of print ages ago, but is to be found on eBay, very pricey, though.
Director: Shozin Fukui
Writers: Shozin Fukui, Makoto Hamaguchi, Naoshi Gôda
Also known as: Screams of Blasphemy (UK)
Country & year: Japan, 1991
Actors:Haji Suzuki, Onn-chan, Kôji Ôtsubo, Kyoko Hara, Rakumaro San’yûtei, Kôta Mori, Tomio Watanabe, Anri Hayashi, Kyôko Irohani, Michiko Harada, Yûko Fujiwara, Yoshimitsu Takada, Naoshi Gôda