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The Pit and the Pendulum
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The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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The Pit and the Pendulum -- In the quest to save souls, the Spanish Inquisition will stop at nothing and knows no boundaries for its evil. Maria must find the power to save her husband from the ultimate machine of torture: the razor sharp pendulum poised over the pit of hell.
The Pit and the Pendulum -- In the quest to save souls, the Spanish Inquisition will stop at nothing and knows no boundaries for its evil. Maria must find the power to save her husband from the ultimate machine of torture: the razor sharp pendulum poised over the pit of hell.
The Pit and the Pendulum -- In the quest to save souls, the Spanish Inquisition will stop at nothing and knows no boundaries for evil. Under the direction of Torquemada (LANCE HENRIKSEN - "Alien," "Pumpkinhead," "Millennium") the Grand Inquisitor of Spain, Maria, a young baker's wife, is falsely accused of witchcraft and dragged before the Inquisition and the Cardinal (OLIVER REED - "Gladiator," "Three Musketeers"). Torquemada is enchanted by Maria's beauty and subjects her husband Antonio to heinous tortures hoping to prove that his own desires for her are a result of her magic, that she has "bewitched him." With the help of Esmeralda, Maria's cellmate and confessed witch, Maria must find the power to save Antonio from Torquemada's ultimate machine of torture: the inevitable, razor sharp PENDULUM poised over the inescapable PIT of hell.


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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Edgar Allan Poe (story)
Dennis Paoli (written by)
View company contact information for The Pit and the Pendulum on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 June 1991 (USA) See more »
A bizarre descent into hell from the creator of Re-Animator.
It is the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Maria does not like what is going on during the "Auto De Fe"... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Much better than you would expect See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Lance Henriksen ... Torquemada

Stephen Lee ... Gomez
William J. Norris ... Dr. Huesos

Mark Margolis ... Mendoza
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon ... Contessa D'Alba Molina
Barbara Bocci ... Contessa's Son
Benito Stefanelli ... Executioner

Jeffrey Combs ... Francisco

Tom Towles ... Don Carlos
Rona De Ricci ... Maria

Jonathan Fuller ... Antonio
Geoffrey Copleston ... Butcher
Larry Dolgin ... Sergeant of the Guards
Tunny Piras ... Guard
Fabio Carfora ... Beggar

Frances Bay ... Esmeralda
Fabrizio Fontana ... Jew

Oliver Reed ... Cardinal

Directed by
Stuart Gordon 
Writing credits
Edgar Allan Poe (story)

Dennis Paoli (written by)

Produced by
Albert Band .... producer
Charles Band .... executive producer
Michael Catalano .... executive producer
Original Music by
Richard Band 
Cinematography by
Adolfo Bartoli 
Film Editing by
Andy Horvitch 
Casting by
Perry Bullington 
Robert MacDonald 
Production Design by
Giovanni Natalucci 
Art Direction by
Giovanni Natalucci 
Set Decoration by
Maurizio Garrone 
Costume Design by
Michaela Gisotti  (as Michela Gisotti)
Makeup Department
Roland Blancaflor .... special makeup effects: USA (as Rolland Blancaflor)
Greg Cannom .... makeup effects: second unit
Greg Cannom .... special makeup effects
Robert Clark .... special makeup effects: Italy
Giuseppe Desiato .... makeup assistant
Mitch Devane .... special makeup effects: USA
Keith Edmier .... special makeup effects: Italy
Matt Falls .... special makeup effects: USA
Larry Odien .... special makeup effects: USA
Stephen Prouty .... special makeup effects: USA (as Steve Prouty)
Adriana Sforza .... hair stylist
Pietro Tenoglio .... chief makeup artist
Todd Tucker .... special makeup effects: USA
Production Management
Angelo D'Antoni .... production manager
Remo Lombardo .... production manager
Gretchen G. Wieland .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Ambrosi .... second assistant director
Simona Cortegiani .... trainee assistant director
Carlos Hansen .... first assistant director
Art Department
David Zen Mansley .... sets: second unit
David Russell .... storyboard artist
Sound Department
Sarah Brady .... adr editor
John Brasher .... sound re-recordist
Mark Cookson .... sound effects editor
Gary Forbes .... dialogue editor
Armando Janota .... boom operator
Heather Leavitt .... foley recordist
Adriane Marfiak .... sound effects editor
Adriane Marfiak .... sound re-recordist
Giuseppe Muratori .... sound mixer
Lars Nelson .... sound effects recordist
Doug Reed .... foley editor
Lauren Stephens .... assistant sound editor
Fernando Velazquez .... foley recordist
Special Effects by
Giovanni Corridori .... special effects
Benito Stefanelli .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Aldo Antonelli .... camera operator
Aldo Antonelli .... camera operator: second unit
Enrico Appetito .... still photographer
Marco Aureli .... camera loader
Adolfo Bartoli .... director of photography: second unit
Fausto Cancellieri .... grip
Agostino Gorga .... gaffer
Robert Hayes .... electrician: second unit
Antonio La Barbera .... electrician
Maurizio Lucchini .... first assistant camera
Andrew Parke .... first assistant camera: second unit (as Andy Parke)
Antonio Piselli .... electrician
Giancarlo Rocchetti .... key grip
Roberto Rosati .... grip
Casting Department
Tamara Alessi .... casting: Italy
Helen Hull .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sergio Ballo .... costume assistant
Vanda Caprioli .... seamstress (as Wanda Caprioli)
Carmen Mannarino .... costume assistant
Luciana Pianella .... wardrobe assistant
Marina Ridolfi .... costume assistant
Maria Serrano .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Karen Achenbach .... apprentice editor: post-production
Richard Boehm .... first assistant editor
Giorgio Conti .... additional editor: Italy
Bert Glatstein .... editor: post-production
Francesco Reitano .... assistant editor
Chris Weber .... negative cutter
Gary Weber .... negative cutter
William Young .... assistant editor
Music Department
Doug Botnick .... music scoring mixer (as Douglas Botnick)
Jack Smalley .... orchestrator
Nick Vidar .... music engineer
Nick Vidar .... music programmer
Other crew
Tamara Alessi .... production coordinator: Italy
Steve Blum .... production assistant: USA
Sergio Bologna .... production accountant
Thomas Bradford .... production coordinator: second unit
Pieter Bruegel .... main title artwork: "The Triumph of Death"
Bennah Burton-Burtt .... assistant: Charles Band
Ed Cook .... adr voice (as Edwin Cook)
Linda Cook .... adr voice
Jeffrey Court .... production controller: USA
Robert Dawson .... title designer
Giordano Esposito .... production assistant
Maria Federici .... production secretary (as Maria Pia Federici)
Maurizio Garrone .... animal wrangler
Monica Heitmann .... publicity coordinator
Mickey Kaiserman .... executive controller
Fabio Lombardo .... cashier
Marco Lombardo .... production assistant
Paolo Lombardo .... accountant supervisor
John March .... assistant synclavier programmer
Marion Mertes .... continuity
Kevin O'Hara .... production assistant: second unit
Pietro Ricini .... craft service
Daniel Schweiger .... promotions
Thomas Tyler .... production assistant
Catherine Walker .... marketing executive
Catherine Walker .... researcher
Christopher Wheeler .... production accountant: USA
Julia Mongrain .... production associate (uncredited)
Patricia Cortegiani .... special thanks
Rolando Cortegiani .... special thanks
Edward Maeder .... special thanks
Giulia Piras .... special thanks
Bernie Wrightson .... special thanks (as Berni Wrightson)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Inquisitor" - USA (DVD title)
"The Pit & the Pendulum" - USA (video box title)
See more »
Rated R for scenes of torture and sex-related nudity, and for language.
97 min | Spain:93 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Shot in three and a half weeks, from 17 September 1990 - 12 October 1990.See more »
Cardinal:[about to be killed] No!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Voodoo Academy (2000) (V)See more »
Emendemus in MeliusSee more »


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23 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Much better than you would expect, 15 May 2005
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

Because it's a newer version of a classic horror movie (and it went directly to video), I have been putting off watching Stuart Gordon's take on Edgar Allen Poe's classic story, but after finally catching it; I can honestly say that I don't know why I didn't see it earlier! While the Roger Corman/Vincent Price version of the tale is far better, this update still has a lot in store for the horror fan, most notably it's superb European styled atmosphere, and a fine performance by Lance Henriksen, which may even be the best of his career. While these elements are contributors to the film's success, the main reason why the film works is the story behind it. Of course, it's based (albeit loosely) on Poe's classic tale, so the story is bound to be solid; but it doesn't take all of it's influence from Poe, and so Dennis Paoli can take a lot of credit for the screenplay he wrote for the movie. The idea of 'the pendulum', along with a 'pit' can conjure up many feelings of dread and pain, and this film adequately capitalises on that with it's excellent torture filled finale!

As mentioned, Lance Henriksen gives what is maybe his best performance in this film. He is both powerful and frightening in his role as Torquemada, the head witchfinder of the Spanish Inquisition. When he says "I am the inquisition", it's enough to make your hairs stand on end. Henriksen is a criminally underrated actor and one that certainly deserves more's just unfortunate that he tends to shine in movies that don't get noticed. Also in the cast is 'Re-Animator' himself, Jeffrey Combs, who shines in a small role as someone in the inquisition. The film isn't wholly serious, and Stuart Gordon has seen fit to add some comic relief to the proceedings, which is OK but I feel that the movie would be better off without any 'relief'. Certain elements from other Poe stories appear, such as a man being bricked in behind a wall, and this film seems to treat it's subject material with respect. The European horror style is a major plus factor in my opinion, and should please fans of movies from the sixties and seventies. On the whole; surprisingly good!

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rat sliced in half? xxxocrystaloxxx
Why was the baker a super-hero? worldsofdarkblue
Looking for a copy on DVD metaledbxxiv
Part of a 10 Horror Movies/2 DVD set. h-corbett
If you only watch the first 3 mins 16 secs... wdenta
the painting in the opening of the movie paniczyk
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