The Pit and the Pendulum

  • Film
  • Horror films
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A gruesome adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's classic horror story which, while lacking the subtlety of Richard Matheson's script for Roger Corman's 1961 version, lays on the cruelty and horror with relish. During the Spanish Inquisition, the pious fiancée of a baker attends an auto-da-fe and unwittingly incurs the wrath of Henriksen's ruthless Grand Inquisitor. While Maria is interrogated and tortured, her lover sneaks into the castle and tries to rescue her, only to end up on the wrong end of a razor-sharp pendulum. The scene in which inquisitor Henriksen willingly surrenders himself to a whipping by a man he previously crucified as a heretic - meanwhile enjoying erotic visions of the Virgin Mary's face superimposed onto the heroine's voluptuous body - is especially memorable, perversely combining violent spectacle, religious asceticism, masochism and blasphemy. Sadly, Gordon throws away the poorly staged pendulum scene at the end, resulting in a slight anti-climax.

Release details

Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stuart Gordon
Screenwriter: Dennis Paoli
Cast: Lance Henriksen
Roma de Ricci
Jonathan Fuller
Francis Bay
Mark Margolis
Jeffrey Combs
Tom Towles
Oliver Reed

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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EMM

THIS IS A DISTURBING ADAPTATION AND REALLY GIVES A FEEL OF THE HORROR OF THE INQUISITION. NOT SO MUCH SCARY AS DISTURBING!!!