A three-part depiction of various forms of communication. 'Factual Discussion' depicts three heads (made up of fruit, kitchen utensils and writing implements respectively) endlessly ... See full summary »
BREAKFAST: After eating breakfast, a man is transformed into an elaborate dumb-waiter-style breakfast dispenser - and the same fate befalls the man who obtains breakfast from him. LUNCH: ... See full summary »
A man sits down to watch a football match, which seems to consist of the players being violently mutilated in various inventive ways. The players then leave the football pitch and invade ... See full summary »
A bust of Stalin is cut open on an operating table, leading to an elaborate animated depiction of Czech history from 1948 (the Communist takeover) to 1989 (the Velvet Revolution). Some ... See full summary »
In this animated version of Edgar Allan Poe's story, a traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants are living under a mysterious family curse: The brother's ... See full summary »
skeleton painted on ceiling weird mechanism b&w Bosch inspired sculpture normal props
To day that this might just be one of Jan Svankmajer's most horrifying films is no small thing, as MOST of this stop-motion films are mega-creepy and would frighten many viewers! It's based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story, "The Pit and the Pendulum" but Svankmajer manages to make the material even scarier than Poe did thanks to a bizarre imagination. This is not meant as criticism, as his distinctive style really brings the story to life and heightens the sense of foreboding.
The film begins with some poor sap being sentenced to die in the pit. Now this pendulum mechanism inside the pit as well as all the props used in the film are not the usual objects Svankmajer uses. Usually, his films are full of stop-motion involving everyday objects as props. Here, stop motion is rarely employed AND the film must have cost significantly more to make, as it looks like they built this sick underground torture chamber for the film! In addition to the clockwork pendulum, you see the most amazing Svankmajer prop I can recall--a robotic killing device that looks as if it was made by Hieronymous Bosch! You just have to see the film to see what I am talking about. It is super-scary, rather sick and amazing all at the same time. Wow...is this creepy!!
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