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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
I really enjoyed watching this movie and I wish to recommend to as many people as possible. But maybe biased because I'm a huge fan of director Stuart Gordon. I have yet to see a movie of his that doesn't fully lives up to my expectations. From Re-Animator over Dolls to Castle Freak...they all belong to my favorite horror movies. And I do believe Gordon belongs to the most talented directors in the genre because he can handle all sort of horror topics. His debut - the brilliant Re-Animator - was a comedy splatter movie while The Pit and the Pendulum doesn't contain that much violence or gore. This movie contains an intelligent and even educational story and it has great settings and costumes of the 14th century.
The Pit and the Pendulum is an adaptation of the famous short story by Edgar Allen Poe. The master of low budget - Roger Corman - already used this story once to make a great horror classic starring Vincent Price. Stuart Gordon's movie isn't really a remake of that one. They just used the same plot. Pit and the Pendulum takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. Lance Henriksen plays one of the best roles of his entire career as Torquemada. He decides whether "witches" are guilty or not and when they'll be burned for the eyes of God. A young girl, Maria ( played by Ronna De Ricci who never did anything else in her career )who resists against his way of working is being arrested. Torquemada wants to accuse her of witchery but he's fascinated by her looks and her body. Meanwhile, Maria's husband entered the castle and he wants to free his wife.
The atmosphere and the settings impress the most in this movie. The ancient castle and the torture chambers are really intriguing. The costumes are terrific as well. There isn't too much gore and violence to detect in this movie ( especially not compared to previous Gordon movies ) but they're are a few very explicit scenes that show true horror. But it's always shot with a lot of style and class. Even though Lance Henriksen is getting all the attention in this movie, there are a a few other great performances in this movie. I'd like to bring forward Jeffrey Combs...my favorite B-movie actor and frequently cast by Stuart Gordon. His role is pretty limited but very well acted.
The Pit and Pendulum is warmly recommended to fans of atmospheric horror and historical stories. One to watch !!
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