DIRECTED BY: Robert Parigi
FEATURING: Desmond Harrington, Melissa Sagemiller, Udo Kier, Rip Torn
PLOT: In a deviant twist on the Pygmalion myth, a man’s infatuation for a life-like sex doll
evolves into a sinister love triangle when he becomes involved with a coworker.
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: Love Object, like Lars And The Real Girl which came after, is about a lonely introvert who buys a realistic sex doll for companionship. Like Ken in Love Object, Lars comes to yearn for a coworker, but has trouble making a connection. Lars and the Real Girl is a cute movie about the human spirit, and the socialization and evolution of a lonely man. With the help of his doll and coworker, Lars comes out of his shell, grows and triumphs. In this way, Lars And The Real Girl, while employing a weird vehicle to make its point (the love doll) is more or less a mainstream comedy-drama, no more odd than a Cyrano de Bergerac theme such as Roxanne (1987).
Love Object, however takes a twisted path. The weird idea of needing the love doll is used to define the protagonist’s nature, but it gets stranger from there. Ken’s obsession with the doll is not a positive step in the evolution of his character. It leads him down a dark perverse path toward madness, violence and ruin. The plot is sick and creepy, the content perverse, and it is skillfully handled, making Love Object a good candidate for the designation of being truly weird.
COMMENTS: It’s tempting to insert some sophomoric humor into this recommendation, but the jokes would be all too predictable. Despite delivering many elements of black comedy, the overall tone of this surprisingly violent sardonic yarn is serious. Love Object grimly depicts a bizarre theme with good pacing and artfully blended visual continuity.
Kenneth Winslow is the kind of cold, compulsive dullard who alphabetizes his jock straps. Taking more interest in the technical world than the human one, Ken writes instruction manuals for electronics —you know, the ones nobody reads.
A joker at work shows Ken a photo of an alluring girl named Nikki, and he is at once smitten. Nikki is a life-like sex doll, so realistic that Ken can’t detect the substitution. No devil with the Continue reading RECOMMENDED AS WEIRD: LOVE OBJECT (2003)