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Film / Zoo

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Zoo is a 2007 documentary about the events leading up to and immediately after the 2005 death of Boeing engineer Kenneth Pinyan at the hands of a horse. Well, not exactly the hands of the horse. Most users of the internet know Kenneth Pinyan as Mr. Hands and the video recording of his last night alive has become the stuff of internet legend.

The film premiered at Sundance (alongside 15 others, beating out an additional 856) and offers a surprisingly sobering look at the life and death of a man whose biggest secret would have stayed a secret if not for his tragic death. It also explores the lives of the people who knew him around the time of his death. Despite the subject matter, the film is a slick and polished exploration of American culture, human sexuality, and the modern media.

No connection to the James Patterson novel of the same title, or the 2015 TV series based upon it.

This film provides examples of:

  • Bestiality Is Depraved: The reason why Kenneth's death is so notable.
  • Brain Bleach: The film itself is pretty tame. The incident that inspired it is not.
  • Dramatization: The majority of the film features gorgeous dramatizations of the events described, some starring the actual people.
  • Freudian Excuse: Not so much a psychological thing with regards to Kenneth Pinyan (in fact, most of the people who knew him were fairly certain that he wasn't really a zoophile), but rather, he had suffered an accident that caused him to lose sensation in certain parts of his body, so he resorted to increasingly drastic ways to feel anything sexually, from fisting to putting large dildos up his anus.
  • Interspecies Romance: Gone wrong.
  • Only in America: Subverted in that bestiality is practiced everywhere. That said, it still hasn't been outlawed in a few states.
    • Not with a specific law, but animal cruelty laws usually still come into play.
  • Out with a Bang: A tragic example.
  • Paparazzi: While not celebrities, the two men who owned the horse farm are pursued by CNN. At one point a helicopter flies over their home while a cameraman takes pictures of them through a window.
  • Scenery Porn: Considering the topic of the film, it is gorgeously shot.
  • Shock Site: The video of Kenneth Pinyan's death was hosted on one of these sites.
  • Small Town Boredom: Enumclaw, Washington is described as suffering from this. The boredom ends abruptly.
  • One-Word Title