Written and Directed by Robert Parigi, 2003
Love Object is a movie you’re not likely to have heard of, written and directed by a guy you’ve definitely not heard of. It is a movie that will have played best to its initial festival crowd and whose more realistic audience consists of bored people like me; too lazy to actively decide on a movie to watch. We cathode ray tube warriors scour the dark, lonely alleys of cable television in search of oddities like this.
Technical writer Kenneth McLonernerd is a cubicle cruncher who orders a $10,000 sex doll to fill the void in his pointless life. He begins to model the hideous thing after a real life girl at work. Ken needs to download a clue, however, because the attractive, red blooded version of Lisa clearly wants to tap his keyboard. But no progress is to be made until Ken can discover his own how-to manual on getting into Lisa’s panties by sodomizing a hunk of silicone that vaguely resembles the lass.
The two get assigned to the same project, spend more and more time together and eventually Ken totally firewalls the doll, deciding to focus on someone who breathes. The doll obviously doesn’t get the memo and haunts his randomly accessed memories day and night.
The script isn’t as nerdy as those references imply. It is actually fairly clever, reaching for a sack full of commentaries ranging from an abstract dependence the helpless force upon tech support to pornography as a disease. That acknowledged, the end result is a film that would fit perfectly as an 87 minute long episode of "Masters of Horror".
The cinematography is a bland, but accurate, re-imagining of life grown under the florescent bulbs of an office building. One could praise the director for this mirror, but at the end of the day it still has the aesthetic staleness that most low budget indies do.
Acting is appropriate for the pay scale. Rip Torn, for some reason, plays the boss. More importantly is Udo Kier as the ambiguously sexual neighbor/apartment manager. Main lead Desmond Harrington has proven far more capable in The Hole. He isn’t bad here, the direction he has been given is, though. The character of Ken is instantly unsympathetic and as the movie goes on, his reclusive nuances become more and more annoying.
Horror credentials come from a progressively creepy psychological break that occurs inside Kenneth. The downside is that, save for the unique object of obsession and an ending you may not see coming, all of this has been seen before. Though not necessarily boring, the majority of the runtime is predictable. There are more points of inspiration amidst the script than you’d expect, but it isn’t enough to launch it to indie greatness the likes of May or Dead End.
Love Object may not be the cream of the crop, yet worse things can be said of a lot of the stuff found on Comcast on Demand. As a film, the highlights are spaced evenly apart, but as a script it works. And, hey, it’s probably the best horror film you’ve never seen set around a Real Doll knock off. If that counts for anything…