6.1/10
3,065
32 user 32 critic

The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)

It is the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Maria does not like what is going on during the "Auto De Fe". When she speaks out, she is arrested and accused of being a witch. Torquemada has ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story),
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Castle Freak (Video 1995)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A man struggles to save his family from the strange and deadly occurrences in the castle they've inherited.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jonathan Fuller
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
Dolls (1987)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A group of people stop by a mansion during a storm and discover two magical toy makers and their haunted collection of dolls.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Ian Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Carrie Lorraine
Dagon (2001)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A boating accident runs a young man and woman ashore in a decrepit Spanish fishing town which they discover is in the grips of an ancient sea god and its monstrous half human offspring.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Meroño
Subspecies (1991)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The evil vampire villain Radu returns to his hometown Prejnar, after spending years in exile. He steals the precious blood stone which is said to be bleeding from all saints, from his ... See full summary »

Director: Ted Nicolaou
Stars: Angus Scrimm, Anders Hove, Irina Movila
From Beyond (1986)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Continuing after the first "Subspecies", a woman who has just become a vampire tries to escape the evil vampire, Radu, who seeks her as his love interest. But she has taken the vampire ... See full summary »

Director: Ted Nicolaou
Stars: Anders Hove, Denice Duff, Kevin Spirtas
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Doctors Herbert West and Dan Cain discover the secret to creating human life and proceed to create a perfect woman from dead tissue.

Director: Brian Yuzna
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones
Robot Jox (1989)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

It is post-World War III. War is outlawed. In its place, are matches between large Robots called Robot Jox. These matches take place between two large superpowers over disputed territories.... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, Paul Koslo
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

H.P. Lovecraft, the well-known horror writer, is looking in the late thirties after the book 'Necronomicon'. He finds it guarded by monks in an old library. He then copies some stories from... See full summary »

Directors: Christophe Gans, Shûsuke Kaneko, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Tony Azito, Juan Fernández
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Everyone's favorite mad scientist Herbert West is currently in jail after having state's evidence turned against him by his former assistant, Dan Cain. While being led away, some re-agent ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Yuzna
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Tommy Dean Musset, Jason Barry
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

John Canyon is one of the last independent space transport entrepreneurs. Rough times force him to carry suspicious cargo to Earth without questions being asked. During the flight the cargo... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Tim Loane, Ian Beattie, Olwen Fouere
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gomez
William J. Norris ...
Dr. Huesos
...
Mendoza
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon ...
Contessa D'Alba Molina
Barbara Bocci ...
Contessa's Son
Benito Stefanelli ...
Executioner
...
Francisco
...
Don Carlos
Rona De Ricci ...
Maria
...
Antonio
Geoffrey Copleston ...
Butcher
Larry Dolgin ...
Sergeant of the Guards
Tunny Piras ...
Guard
Fabio Carfora ...
Beggar
Edit

Storyline

It is the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Maria does not like what is going on during the "Auto De Fe". When she speaks out, she is arrested and accused of being a witch. Torquemada has plans for her! He orders her tortured, and her tongue to be cut out. Her husband attempts to free her... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A bizarre descent into hell from the creator of Re-Animator.

Genres:

Horror | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of torture and sex-related nudity, and for language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 June 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Inquisitor  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After Peter O'Toole dropped, producer Albert Band tried to get Anthony Perkins. See more »

Goofs

The Pope of the Catholic Church during the majority of the Spanish Inquisition was Pope Innocent VIII, who had originally appointed Torquemada as the Grand Inquisitor of Spain in 1487. Unlike the film, which portrays the Pope as disapproving of Torquemada's actions, Innocent VIII fully supported the endeavor. See more »

Quotes

Torquemada: Take them to their cells.
Maria: You swore you'd show mercy!
Torquemada: In this place, death is mercy.
See more »

Connections

References The Devils (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Emendemus in Melius
Composed by Cristobal De Morales
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A very good horror film.
5 July 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Pit and the Pendulum" marks a high point for Charles Bands' Full Moon Studios; it's an intense, elaborate, bloody, and sexy film that truly lives up to the word "horror". It's not perfect, but even taking any flaws into account, it represents an impressive effort from director Stuart Gordon and a talented cast and crew.

Taking a break from adapting the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Gordon and screenwriter Dennis Paoli instead use the short story by Edgar Allan Poe as a jumping off point for a tale set during the Spanish inquisition of the 15th century. In the city of Toledo, bakers' wife Maria (the stunning Rona De Ricci) interferes when a little boy is being flogged in public. Due to this action, it is assumed by the clergy that she must be a witch and she and her husband Antonio (Jonathan Fuller) are arrested and intended to stand trial. Taking a deep interest in her is Grand Inquisitor Torquemada (Lance Henriksen, in a commanding performance), who explains his lust away by saying that she has "bewitched" him.

The production values are first rate here: filmed on location in Italy, the film looks just right, from the sets to the costumes to the props. Under-rated composer Richard Band contributes one of his best ever scores. This is all wonderfully (and appropriately) lurid and gory; Greg Cannoms' effects are most enjoyable, and the exquisite Ms. De Ricci goes full frontal for some scenes. The atmosphere is palpable; Gordon and company perfectly create a feeling of oppression and despair. Only some unnecessary levity and comedic performances tend to take one out of the film; it just feels too unnatural.

The cast is certainly full of eclectic choices, especially the always fantastic Henriksen, who disappears inside his deranged character. De Ricci and Fuller are both impassioned, Frances Bay has a great role as a cheerful old witch, Jeffrey Combs is amusing, and Mark Margolis and Tom Towles offer fine support. There's also a small role for Geoffrey Copleston, and a great cameo by Oliver Reed.

Outside of his Lovecraft-based efforts such as "Re-Animator" and "From Beyond", this has to rank as one of the best things that Gordon has done. Even if this viewer didn't care for some elements, the rest of the film is just so good that this can be forgiven. Overall, it's well worth a viewing.

Eight out of 10.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
rat sliced in half? xxxocrystaloxxx
Looking for a copy on DVD metaledbxxiv
the painting in the opening of the movie paniczyk
Cheap but effective stefanrops
This film's a stomach jolter/sizzler/twis ter/whatever you call it IciclePlum
If you only watch the first 3 mins 16 secs... wdenta
Discuss The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?