If only Roger Ebert had been alive to Write about “Pin”! Only a Film Critic of his Talent and Genius would have been capable of expressing what a great Motion Picture “Pin” is! Wait a minute, “Pin” came out in 1988 and Ebert died in 2013 so Ebert had a Quarter Century to spread the Gospel of “Pin” to the Cinematically Devout and he spent all that Time blabbing about Martin Scorsese Movies? Screw that Fat Slob’s Talent and Genius!
“Pin” has been unknown to us for so long because it is a Canadian Film. Canadians don’t like sharing Movies with Americans any more than Americans like sharing Texas with Mexicans. And “Pin” may be a Canadian Movie but it is not a David Cronenberg Movie. You can’t talk about a Canadian Movie without that damn Cronenberg barging in and hollering “AW, WHO CARES ABOUT THAT MOVIE!?! YOU EVER SEE ‘RABID’?!? NOW THAT IS A GODDAM MOVIE!!! OR ‘CRASH’!!! YOU EVER SEE ‘CRASH’!?! HUH? HUH? YOU EVER SEE ‘CRASH”!?! I MADE CRASH!! YES, I DID!!! I DID!!!” And then Ivan Reitman comes in and does all of Bill Murray’s best bits from “Meatballs”. So it’s up to me to tell you about “Pin”. But first . . . All of John Candy’s bits from “Uncle Buck”!
The premise of this Movie is so sharp you can call it a concept without sounding like a candy ass. (Just don’t say anything about a “premise” for God’s sake.) A Small Town Doctor (Terry O’Quinn of “The Stepfather” and “Lost”) uses Ventriloquism to make Pin, a Life Sized Plastic Anatomy Doll, in his office speak to his two small Children, Leon and Ursula. As the kids grow older Ursula (Cynthia Preston ) eventually realizes that her Father is just playing around but Leon (David Hewlett ), unfortunately, is a budding Looney Tune and not only believes that Pin is Alive but the Dummy is his only Friend in the Whole Wide World! Leon is one of the Great Crazy Guys Of Motion Picture History along with Norman Bates, who dresses up like his Mother and kills women in “Psycho”, Willard Styles, who raises an Army of Rats in his House in “Willard”, and Travis Bickle, that fuckin’ idiot in “Taxi Driver”. Screw you, Travis! Forrest Gump is getting more ass than that loser.
“Pin” is not a Horror Movie but it feels like one because it is about the Real Life Nightmare of Living with a Family Member who is completely out of their Mind “Is there a scene where this Family Member starts Writing Articles about shitty Movies and Rock And Roll records for some crazy goddam web site that doesn’t even pay his dumb ass for it?” Oh, Ha Ha, Dad! What a FUNNY GUY! Usually Movies about guys who have been receiving Psychic Signals from jars of dill pickles in the Super Market are Comedies, but in Reality Mental Illness is not funny at all and when someone who is too smart to have ever taken any Improv Workshops makes a Movie about Mental Illness you get a Movie which leaves you hiding behind the couch for a few weeks. A Crazy Guy Movie is fueled by the tension of “OH MY GOD! THIS GUY IS OUT OF HIS MIND!! WHAT’S HE GOING TO DO!?! WHAT’S HE GOING TO DO!?!” It’s too damn bad King Kong used up the “Climb Up To The Top Of The Empire State Building” thing. Imagine My Man Willard and all those rats up there with little airplanes piloted by Kitties flying around shooting at em! Yeah Buddy!
Poor Ursula! First both her Mom and Dad are killed in a Car Accident and now she has to Live in a House with Crazy Leon and Pin The Life Sized Plastic Anatomy Doll she has to pretend is a Human Being or her Brother will SPAZZ OUT BIG TIME!!! First Leon starts dressing Pin up in their Father’s clothes and one day Ursula comes home and Leo has Pin’s face painted up in White Man’s Face Color. If only Leon had been American he would have painted Pin up like Ace Frehley in KISS and it would be cool. But at least now we can’t see what Pin has inside his head. What have you got inside your head? I’ve got a Tumor with a Big Crazy Peter Lorre Face “Hello, I am a Tumor!” Who said that? Oh, and Leon puts a toupee on top of Pin’s head. Did you know that “Toupee” is a Canadian word? Americans used to call em “Hair Hats”. Thank you, Canada!
The Big Conflict occurs when Ursula falls in Love with Stan, a Nice Normal Guy. In a Movie like “Pin” a Nice Normal Guy is more of a problem than a Life Sized Plastic Anatomy Doll with a Hair Hat! Some Sorry, I didn’t serve in the United States Army for Four Years to use some Foo Foo Canadian Word like “Toupee”! Stan is The Turd In The Punch Bowl (Sorry about that, I was just watching the Samantha Bee show), a turd that says “Hey! There’s BOOZE in this punch! Don’t let none of the kids drive!”
“Pin” demonstrates the importance of bringing Friends into your Home so they can detect Weird Ass Behavior Family Members may have grown accustomed to.
“What the . . . Your Mom wears an omelet as a face mask!?! She makes an omelet every morning, cuts two holes in it for her eyes, and walks around wearing it on her face all day?!?”
“I dunno, I’ve been watching her do that every day ever since I was a little kid. I guess that is kid of . . . strange, huh? I guess.”
So not only does Junior get a Girlfriend but now Mom is getting Electroshock twice a week!” If only Norman Bates had a Sister! She would have been in a Hitchcock Movie and wound up dating Cary Grant in “North By Northwest” “I’ve been chased by a biplane and forced to climb all over Mount Rushmore so I know crazy when I see crazy and your Brother Norman is CRAZY!”
Hey, Cary Grant was in “Gunga Din”, he should have been in “Gunga Pin”! “And though I’ve flogged and beat you by the very God that made you, you’re a better Life Sized Plastic Anatomy Doll than I am, Gunga Pin!”
I’m making jokes because “Pin” makes me sad. Are any more John Candy “Uncle Buck” bits I can do?
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org