The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Only loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe's classic short story, this horror film was filmed on location in a spooky Italian castle and tells the convoluted story of a mad priest who devises exquisitely painful ways of getting his victims to confess to dabbling in witchcraft. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
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Critic Reviews for The Pit and the Pendulum
The second in the popular series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations made by the enterprising mini-studio American International Pictures, this Roger Corman picture is carpeted wall-to-wall with luxuriant gothic excess.
Boring adaptation with no scares, no mood and no sex appeal (considering it's a form of sexual persecution)
Not bad, but I expected a lot more from Stuart Gordon.
Really underrated horror film from Stuart Gordon.
Schlock of a very fine vintage.
Audience Reviews for 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.
Puts its low budget to work.
A decent take on a few classic Poe tales. Always fascinating to me to watch the writer's stories become interpreted in so many different ways. Good vintage film. Really enjoyed the Oliver Reed cameo.
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