Friday, 10 October 2008


  • I was three quarters of the way through Stuart Gordon's straight to video version of THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM and had decided to consign it to the movie wastebin. It's a pretty nasty and voyeristic piece of torture exploitation which is badly acted by everybody except Lance Henriksen, who seems so convincing that psychiatric help seems more needed than praise. No hint of send up from Henriksen! The sets are cheap and the costumes are obviously leftovers from some bigger if not more worthy project. Then the film gets to the sequence from which it takes its title, the pit and the pendulum, and I have to admit that things become a bit more imaginative and actually have something of the atmosphere of Edgar Allan Poe, and this is followed by ten minutes of footage that really delivers a phantasmagoria almost worth of Matthew Lewis's novel "The Monk" although, sadly the the director blows the whole thing with the final syrupy ending. A shame, because it almost redeemed itself. Go watch Roger Corman's version again. Rating *


Aaron White said...

This is a shame, because this is one of my favorite Poe stories. Along with The Fall of the House of Usher, which is also one of my favorite silent films.

Cerpts said...

No sir, I didn't like it.

I remember seeing this 1991 version of PIT and being bored to tears.