The Pit and the Pendulum


Action / Horror / Romance


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Downloaded 2,816 times
October 16, 2015 at 06:00 AM



Mark Margolis as Mendoza
Lance Henriksen as Torquemada
Oliver Reed as Cardinal
Jeffrey Combs as Francisco
1.44 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 3 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Coventry 8 / 10

Different kind of horror...but in a good way.

I really enjoyed watching this movie and I wish to recommend to as many people as possible. But maybe biased because I'm a huge fan of director Stuart Gordon. I have yet to see a movie of his that doesn't fully lives up to my expectations. From Re-Animator over Dolls to Castle Freak...they all belong to my favorite horror movies. And I do believe Gordon belongs to the most talented directors in the genre because he can handle all sort of horror topics. His debut - the brilliant Re-Animator - was a comedy splatter movie while The Pit and the Pendulum doesn't contain that much violence or gore. This movie contains an intelligent and even educational story and it has great settings and costumes of the 14th century.

The Pit and the Pendulum is an adaptation of the famous short story by Edgar Allen Poe. The master of low budget - Roger Corman - already used this story once to make a great horror classic starring Vincent Price. Stuart Gordon's movie isn't really a remake of that one. They just used the same plot. Pit and the Pendulum takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. Lance Henriksen plays one of the best roles of his entire career as Torquemada. He decides whether "witches" are guilty or not and when they'll be burned for the eyes of God. A young girl, Maria ( played by Ronna De Ricci who never did anything else in her career )who resists against his way of working is being arrested. Torquemada wants to accuse her of witchery but he's fascinated by her looks and her body. Meanwhile, Maria's husband entered the castle and he wants to free his wife.

The atmosphere and the settings impress the most in this movie. The ancient castle and the torture chambers are really intriguing. The costumes are terrific as well. There isn't too much gore and violence to detect in this movie ( especially not compared to previous Gordon movies ) but they're are a few very explicit scenes that show true horror. But it's always shot with a lot of style and class. Even though Lance Henriksen is getting all the attention in this movie, there are a a few other great performances in this movie. I'd like to bring forward Jeffrey favorite B-movie actor and frequently cast by Stuart Gordon. His role is pretty limited but very well acted.

The Pit and Pendulum is warmly recommended to fans of atmospheric horror and historical stories. One to watch !!

Reviewed by Phil Hubbs 4 / 10

The Pit and the Pendulum

Charles Band takes on the classic Poe tale here with help from a surprisingly good cast including Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs and a small cameo from Oliver Reed!

This film is combination of three classic Poe tales which aren't that bad but as you would expect pretty cheap 'n' cheerful looking at times. There is an odd element of humour at times boarding on spoof, yet despite this Henriksen gives us a chilling performance as the lunatic inquisitor 'Torquemada' which is a brilliantly over the top ham fest of a performance, bizarre monk hairdo included and those cutting round eyes of his.

Rest of the cast are pretty useless and the effects and sets go from reasonable to down right awful. Plenty of fake blood and cheesy dialog but I saw this mainly for Henriksen really, his presence elevates the film to a guilty pleasure.


Reviewed by gavin6942 7 / 10

Stuart Gordon's best since Re-Animator/From Beyond.

The Roman Catholic Church has begun to turn away from the Inquisition, finding its methods and motives more than just a little bit suspect. But the Grand Inquisitor of Spain (Lance Henriksen) has other plans... he is his own authority, allegedly guided by God Himself. A baker and his wife end up on the wrong side of the law -- his law -- when they protest an execution and she is accused of witchcraft.

Lance Henriksen has a bad habit of appearing in many low budget horror films, so much so that any credibility he gained as Bishop from "Aliens" or Frank Black from "Millenium" is overshadowed by his constant self-degradation. Did we really need so many Pumpkinhead films? But "Pit and the Pendulum" is one of those rare films that is both lower budget and yet still good, today maybe even carrying on well as a timeless classic.

Unlike other Full Moon films, this one has a steady plot and interesting characters -- and a decent cast. Mark Margolis shows up and Jeffrey Combs has a relatively small, but crucial, role to play. (Combs, like Henriksen, has sold out in recent years.... but his very presence makes a film better.) There is excessive -- but not gratuitous -- nudity, bloody torture devices (but not to the point of exploitation like "Saw", just for entertainment). This is a fun film in the vein of, say, the original "Troll" (but not "Troll 2").

Stuart Gordon is best known for "Re-Animator" and "From Beyond", but if there is a third third of his that deserves recognition, this is it. Gordon (and writer Dennis Paoli) found a way to work within the budget of Full Moon and still make things worth watching rather than poor excuses for "movies".

Now out on Blu-ray, the film looks better than ever (as much as it can). There is no audio commentary for some inexplicable reason, but there is a very short making-of featurette. Somehow Tom Towles got his name spelled wrong on the credits (a true disgrace). notes that the "transfer isn't masterful, but it's certainly more than capable" and gives the disc 3 of 5 stars. But if the price is right this film is worth getting.

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