Movie tracks man's mysterious death
Published: Monday, April 2, 2007
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 01:06
AUSTIN, Texas - Kenneth Pinyan, or Mr. Hands as he was known among his zoo friends (more on that later), made national headlines in 2005 for a rather disturbing reason. After having sexual intercourse with a friend's horse, Pinyan suffered a perforated colon and bled to death.
"Zoo" is the controversial film that tells the story of the events surrounding Pinyan's bizarre death. The media circus caused by the circumstances of the death was largely because Pinyan's name was withheld from the public, a result of his career as an engineer for aerospace company Boeing.
Oddly enough, at the time of Pinyan's death there were no laws prohibiting bestiality in Washington. His death prompted the passing of a bill in Washington making sex with animals illegal and prosecutable.
"Zoo" combines actors, Pinyan's friends and other real life citizens for the documentary. Pinyan and his small circle of friends, whom he met on the Internet, are zoophiles, which are people with a strong sexual attraction or fondness to an animal - in Pinyan's case a stallion.
Joe Shapiro, editor of "Zoo," said director Robinson Devor wanted to give Pinyan's friends their day in court to present their side of the story.
"The media focused on the sexual act and we wanted to go further into the story of what happened," Shapiro said.
He also said using both Pinyan's friends and other people related to the story made the film more sympathetic.
The problem with "Zoo" is it tries to shield the audience from the reality of the incident and tip-toe around the subject. The audience knows what they are getting themselves into when seeing a film about bestiality and the film holds back too much.
Pinyan and his friends made films of their intimate moments with the animals to share with one another, which can be found on the Internet after a little digging. This footage is shown briefly and almost inadvertently in the film, but the small amount of those in the audience who did get a glimpse of the size of the stallion and the act itself, all gasped and whispered among themselves.
Devor tackled a controversial topic with "Zoo," but unfortunately the film is boggled down with reenactments that appear poorly shot and poorly acted, which makes sense seeing as half of the cast aren't actors, and it took away from the film. "Zoo" is meant to shock and Devor should've kept that in mind.
Gerrick Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.