The Pit and the Pendulum

"OK"

The Pit and the Pendulum Review


As part of his Edgar Allan Poe series in the 1960s (including The Raven, House of Usher, and The Masque of the Red Death), Roger Corman created The Pit and the Pendulum, based on one of Poe's best-known works.

Well, in title, anyway. The story, about a man trapped in the torture chamber during the Spanish Inquisition isn't so well-known itself. And Corman and writer Richard Matheson (The Omega Man) take some extensive liberties with the story, turning into a tale about the son (Vincent Price) of a Spanish Inquisitor who inherits his father's house of horrors (torture chamber included). His adulturous wife (Barbara Steele) has faked her own death and is trying to drive her husband crazy... and when she succeeds, she gets more than she bargained for.

Ultimately, the film is quite a disappointment -- the pit and the pendulum don't appear until 10 minutes before the end of the picture, and the pit is only about 15 feet deep, not bottomless as in Poe's short story. Even Vincent Price has little to do, with few lines and bearing little of the creepiness he showed in films like House of Wax. Corman's atmosphere is appropriately moody, yet the proceedings drag down under its talkiness. In the end, it feels like one of his usual rush jobs, which of course, it was.

On a spare commentary track on the new DVD release, Corman peppers in a few details, most of which you won't really find interesting unless you're an ultra-low-budget filmmaker just like he was. Er, like he is.



The Pit and the Pendulum

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 27th June 1991

Distributed by: MGM

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as JB, Stephen Hansen as Jason, Bart Voitila as Kyle, Danielle Demski as Alicia, as Gemma, Tom Sandoval as Vinnie, Michael King as Trevor

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.