Film Review: 964 PINOCCHIO (1991)

Film Review: 964 PINOCCHIO (1991)

Sep 30, 2018

I don’t usually do this, but the IMDB synopsis for this film sums it up and sells it at the same time. When I read, “Pinocchio 964, lobotomi[z]ed cyborg sex slave, is thrown out onto the street by his owners because of his inability to maintain an erection,” I was totally going to watch it. Of course, there is a little bit more to the film than that; but, it may be the best synopsis ever, and it was just written by some guy on IMDB.


This film was directed by Shozin Fukui before he made Rubber’s Lover. Unlike Rubber’s Lover, this film was shot in color, and deals with a little more gore. Like the previous film, this one still does not possess an over-reliance on gore. It does, however, put a little more focus on weird sex stuff, which is disturbing to some viewers. As far as the cyberpunk genre goes, this film does not manage to be as grim in its portrayal of the future as Rubber’s Lover.

With that being said, it still has many of the dystopian aspects involved in cyberpunk literature and films. This one also has a corrupt corporation at the heart of the Pinocchio controversy. It also has the recurring theme of advanced technological aspects, and how they can corrupt the future. It even takes place in a society where memory wiping is possible. Men in Black anyone? While this setting is similar to the Rubber’s Lover, I think the fact that it isn’t quite as disturbing is due to the fact that it was shot in color. While I think this story is more interesting, the cinematography and set design of the previous film were much more emotionally effective.

It is hard for me to choose a favorite out of these two films. I love the look and sound of Rubber’s Lover, while I feel the story is lacking. The strong point of Pinocchio is the story. I like the assassins, conspiratorial cover up, and the violence. I feel like Pinocchio has some scenes that are just too drawn out (the final running scene), while Rubber’s Lover uses artistically visual scenes that help it out a lot. Both films, with their pros and cons will give you a much different view of cyberpunk than you would get from the American released Blade Runner.

The bottom line is that both films are good. Neither one is one that I would recommend to someone new to the genres connected to Asian extreme, cyberpunk, torture, snuff, etc.. If you are reading this site, however, you can probably handle diving into either one of these films. I am not going to tell you which one is better. I can barely tell you if they are too similar or too different from one another to be compared. All I can tell you is that they are both affordable and interesting films. I don’t think the adventurous film-goer would be disappointed by spending a little bit to see one of these films. If they like whichever one they choose, then I would highly recommend that they purchase the other one.