IMDb > The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)
The Pit and the Pendulum
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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

Photos (See all 3 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
6.2/10   2,392 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Edgar Allan Poe (story)
Dennis Paoli (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Pit and the Pendulum on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 June 1991 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A bizarre descent into hell from the creator of re-animator.
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
1 win & 3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(33 articles)
User Reviews:
Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition! See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (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
 
Stunts
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 O. 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)
 
Thanks
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 »
MPAA:
Rated R for scenes of torture and sex-related nudity, and for language.
Runtime:
97 min | Spain:93 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Shot in three and a half weeks, from 17 September 1990 - 12 October 1990.See more »
Quotes:
Cardinal:No!
Gomez:No!
Cardinal:No, I tell you, I havea de seal of de Pope!
Gomez:Oh! He hasa de seal of de Pope!
Cardinal:NO! Help me!
Gomez:Help me!
Cardinal:Someone help me!
Gomez:Someone help me!
Cardinal:No! No, I tell you! No, Help me! Help me someone!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Voodoo Academy (2000) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Emendemus in MeliusSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!, 26 February 2001
Author: Rusty-61 from United States

OK, sorry, I couldn't resist. Though this is a pretty grim movie at times, I can't hear the phrase "Spanish Inquisition" without going through the Monty Python routine. Once the movie starts, however, I am always so engrossed I forget about the sketch.

This movie had me hooked from the first scene the first time I saw it, but it has that rare quality of actually getting better with every viewing. As many have said, this is without a doubt Full Moon's all-time best. I'm a diehard Stuart Gordon fan, and if it wasn't for Re-Animator, I might say it was Gordon's best, too. By the way, the first scene is very grisly and cold-blooded, and you *know* it's gonna be a great movie when that happens even before the opening credits.

I'm really saddened that this movie didn't get more of a chance for wide release. I remember it being in the theater for maybe one week and then going to video, and the only reason I even knew it existed was from reading Fangoria. Look at the cast- while they aren't all considered "A-list", they are favs among horror and cult fans- Lance Henriksen (Millennium, Aliens) Tom Towles (Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, From Beyond), Frances Bay (Blue Velvet), Oliver Reed... I think the other strike it has against it is that people see the title (maybe that's why it was changed in some versions, including the R-rated DVD that I rented, to The Inquisitor) and figure it's a travesty to even try to remake. Some friends wouldn't even give the movie a chance (to the point where they didn't even want to look at the box, they were so scornful) until I had to beg them to watch it- they thanked me after the first few scenes.

Don't get me wrong, the original is wonderful, and Vincent Price is, well, Vincent Price and in a class by himself. However, this movie has very little in common with Corman's other than the title, the fact that both movies are based on Poe's work, and that there's a scene towards the end where some unlucky b*stard tries to get free before the pendulum slices him in half. The similarities end there, however, and I don't think it's fair or accurate to call it a remake.

This version is actually set back in Spain during 1492, the REAL inquisition. Lance Henriksen, who can make his voice sound so quietly evil that Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter sounds harmless by comparison, stars as Torquemada. With the assistance of his underlings, he wants to rid the world of witchcraft and heresy, figuring the best way to do this is to torture and kill what seems like 99% of the population (historically, he was said to be responsible of over 100,000 executions). During one ugly public display involving Gordon's wife Carolyn Purdy-Gordon -other than Re-animator, she always seems to come to a horrible end in his movies) the young baker Antonio and his lovely wife Maria make the mistake of trying to intervene, so they assume she's a witch and toss her in the dungeon. In her cell, she's befriended by kindly Esmeralda. In one of the most clever twists, her cellmate turns out to be the one out of the tens of thousands accused who actually IS a witch. Maria's husband tries to save her and of course is immediately arrested as well. Unfortunately for Maria, ole Torq is horrified to find himself secretly attracted to her (he's a monk, and as Henriksen explains in the feauturette, has 'probably never gotten any in his life') and doesn't know how to deal with it. At first it seems like Maria might be able to use this to her advantage, but since Torq is so psychotically religious that he thinks any human emotions are the work of Satan, things just get more complicated and intense from there.

There are several references other than the Pendulum to Poe's work -clever ones, that fit in with the plot and are not just tossed in for the hell of it. Someone is walled up, even quoting the notorious line "For the love of God!" "Yes...for the love of God" is the grim reply. A cask of wine is revealed to be Amontillado. There's also subtle references to "The Premature Burial" and probably more I missed.

One of the elements that is actually kind of amusing in a horrible way is that you have absolutely NO chance against the evil forces in this movie, to the point where it is ludicrous. You're reasonably attractive? You're obviously trying to tempt men and must be a witch. You're ugly? That's also a sign of being a witch. You look normal? You're a witch disguised as a normal person! You try to fight back when they tear your clothes off to 'examine' you? You're not co-operating, you're a witch! You give up and co-operate? You're an evil whore! You have a mole or freckle anywhere on your body? That's the mark of the devil and you're a witch. Oh, you don't have any? Someone will pinch you and make a mark. Oh, the mark is starting to fade? You're using your evil powers to make it fade! You're just completely screwed no matter what. Also, if they haven't tortured you yet and you confess first to get it over with? Sorry, no such luck! You might just be trying to avoid torture, so confession doesn't officially count until you've been tortured for days-that is, if you don't die under torture ("Not another one!" a torturer complains in exasperation at one point).

The cast is amazing. There's not even near enough room to list all the great acting in this movie. Standouts are Henriksen, who not only portrays total evil all too convincingly but the inner struggle against his lust for Maria VS his 'holy duty'. Oliver Reed has less than 10 minutes of screen time as a heavy-drinking Cardinal who comes to visit Torquemada and try to get him to ease up on the mass killing a little, but trust me, you'll remember his scene long after the movie is over. Jeffrey Combs, as the scribe with the prince Valiant haircut and huge horn-rimmed Harry Potter glasses who seems to be the only one involved who is "just doing his job" and not getting off on it like all of Torquemada's other flunkies, steals every scene he's in. A less talented actor would have been forgettable in what could have been a boring part, but he makes the most of every second of his screen time. He also gets the some of the best and funniest lines ("How can they confess if they DON'T HAVE TONGUES??"), including the best in the movie along with the actress playing Esmeralda. She's wonderful, and one of the best and most memorable scenes of this, or any horror movie for that matter, involves her show-stopping revenge when she's burned at the stake. As she's being dragged up, Comb's character actually tells her apologetically: "I'm sorry that you weren't properly able to confess. There just wasn't enough time to torture you". Esmeralda: "Thanks anyway".

Not only am I running out of room to rave about how much I loved this movie, but I don't want to talk it up so much that I ruin it. Just watch, enjoy, and get the bejeezus scared out of you. Make sure you are not going to be interrupted for 90 minutes, because it is so riveting you do NOT want to have to turn it off even for a minute. Watch, and prepare to be impressed. Caution: this is NOT a movie for kids, or easily upset adults. The movie pulls NO punches in the graphic portrayal of extremely nasty tortures and executions. The movie is scary and disturbing enough; I try not to dwell to long on the fact that it is based on historical events. In the words of a character during a climactic moment that you won't forget for a long time..."Welcome to Hell!"

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (32 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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
Why was the baker a super-hero? worldsofdarkblue
rat sliced in half? xxxocrystaloxxx
the painting in the opening of the movie paniczyk
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Name of the Rose Andrei Rublev The Devils Let Joy Reign Supreme The Cat o' Nine Tails
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.