34 user 48 critic

The Dead Pit (1989)

R | | Horror | 29 January 1990 (USA)
A renegade doctor is shot dead and entombed with his fiendish experiments in the basement of an abandoned wing of a mental hospital. Twenty years later, a mysterious woman is admitted with ... See full summary »



On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Evilspeak (1981)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An outcast military cadet taps into a way to summon demons and cast spells on his tormentors through his computer.

Director: Eric Weston
Stars: Clint Howard, R.G. Armstrong, Joe Cortese
Neon Maniacs (1986)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A group of teenagers in San Francisco discover a nest of homicidal monsters living in a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, but when they try to tell authorities, no one believes them.

Director: Joseph Mangine
Stars: Clyde Hayes, Leilani Sarelle, Donna Locke
The Video Dead (Video 1987)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A family takes delivery of a new television set, unaware that it is the gateway by which killer zombies enter the world.

Director: Robert Scott
Stars: Michael St. Michaels, Thaddeus Golas, Douglass Bell
Scarecrows (1988)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Criminals hijack a plane and force the pilot and his daughter to fly them to Mexico. However, an unexpected landing finds them in a cemetery inhabited by killer scarecrows.

Director: William Wesley
Stars: Ted Vernon, Michael David Simms, Richard Vidan
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A tough female reporter and her cameraman boyfriend team up with a four-man commando unit in the New Guinea jungle whom are fighting flesh-eating zombies.

Directors: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso
Stars: Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo, Selan Karay
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An airplane exposed to radiation lands, and blood drinking zombies emerge armed with knives, guns and teeth! They go on a rampage slicing, dicing, and biting their way across the Italian countryside.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter, Maria Rosaria Omaggio
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The owner of a prestigious New York ballet school teams up with a male model to solve a series of bizarre murders of a few of the students.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Olga Karlatos, Ray Lovelock, Claudio Cassinelli
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A group of rangers go camping on unfamiliar forest grounds. All is well until the group members begin to start getting picked off by a cunning, tactical, malevolent, killer in the woods.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: John Friedrich, Adrian Zmed, Ernest Harden Jr.
Zombi 3 (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

When a terrorist's body, infected with a stolen chemical, is cremated by the US military, a virus is unintentionally released into the atmosphere over a small island.

Directors: Lucio Fulci, Claudio Fragasso, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Deran Sarafian, Beatrice Ring, Ottaviano Dell'Acqua
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Somebody with very little Christmas spirit is killing anyone in a Santa suit one London holiday season, and Scotland Yard has to stop him before he makes his exploits an annual tradition.

Director: Edmund Purdom
Stars: Edmund Purdom, Alan Lake, Belinda Mayne
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A deranged, misogynistic killer assaults a journalist. When he discovers that she survived the attack, he follows her to the hospital to finish her off.

Director: Jean-Claude Lord
Stars: Michael Ironside, Lee Grant, Linda Purl
Body Parts (1991)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After losing his arm in a car accident, a criminal psychologist has it replaced with a limb that belonged to a serial killer.

Director: Eric Red
Stars: Jeff Fahey, Lindsay Duncan, Kim Delaney


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Gerald Swan
Cheryl Lawson ...
Jane Doe
Stephen Gregory Foster ...
Christian Meyers (as Steffen Gregory Foster)
Danny Gochnauer ...
Dr. Colin Ramzi
Geha Getz ...
Sister Clair
Joan Bechtel ...
Nurse Kygar
Michael Jacobs ...
Bud Higgins
Mara Everett ...
Nurse Robbins
Randall Fontana ...
Orderly Jimmy
Jack A. Sunseri ...
Head Orderly Jensen (as Jack Sunseri)
Frederick Dodge ...
First Patient
Nettie Heffner ...
Night Nurse
Luana Speelman ...
Day Nurse
Scott Malpass ...
Orderly #1
Skyy Diaz ...
Orderly #2


A renegade doctor is shot dead and entombed with his fiendish experiments in the basement of an abandoned wing of a mental hospital. Twenty years later, a mysterious woman is admitted with amnesia, and her arrival is marked by an earthquake - which cracks the seal to the Dead Pit, freeing the evil doctor to continue his work. Written by Brian J. Wright <tyrannorabbit@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They're out. (US VHS) See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Pit  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut)


See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed in the high security wing of Agnew State Hospital, Milpitas CA. The wing was closed down for many years, had no power, and used to house the most violent and dangerous patients. Since most of the movie was filmed at night, the empty wing really added a very creepy feel to the process. See more »


Boom mic visible on left side of frame in wide screen version during earthquake sequence when camera tilts down from ceiling into hallway. See more »


Jane Doe: The people in the cellar need help! Let them out!
See more »


Featured in The Dead Pit: Interview with Jeremy Slate (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Head-Drilling, Brain-Munching, And Zombie Doctors; What More Could You Ask For?
1 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE DEAD PIT is a movie that seems to divide people on whether they like it or not. Straight zombie fans say it's too slasher-esque in the middle. Straight slasher fans dislike the zombie angle. I happen to be both, so I quite enjoyed it.

Dr. Colin Ramzi is a psychotic scientist who experiments on the patients at the mental institution he works for. His associate, Dr. Swan, has had enough, so he confronts him in his basement laboratory, shoots him in the head, and throws him in the pit where he stored the dead bodies. Twenty years later, a woman who calls herself Jane Doe enters the institution because the doctors say she has amnesia, yet she knows her memory was taken from her. She manages to befriend one patient by the name of Chris, who's in there for his habit of building bombs (Golly, I'll bet that won't come in handy later in the film!). Well, after a large earthquake, Dr. Ramzi and all the corpses in the dead pit awaken and wreak havoc on the hospital. Can Jane and Chris save the day?

I liked THE DEAD PIT. The movie had a lot of good things going for it, even though it doesn't fully utilize some of its potential, but as it stands, it's a fun ride. All the actors were pretty good, with the exception of Cheryl Lawson as Jane. She's fine during scenes where she just has to talk, but in her "emotional" scenes, like crying and such, she was horrible. She was a good screamer, though, and she was easy on the eyes, but she began to really get on my nerves after a while.

THE DEAD PIT is a very well-made movie as well. Director Brett Leonard obviously knew what he was doing, and it's no surprise he went on to do bigger things like direct the sci-fi film THE LAWNMOWER MAN. Leonard uses lots of fog and colored lights to build atmosphere, and he does so surprisingly well.

The gore is also top-notch, especially during a period where the MPAA basically neutered a lot of these gore films. There's a lot of gory brain-munching, head-drilling, and decapitations, courtesy of Dr. ramzi and co.

While the last forty or so minutes are pure zombie-filled bliss, the previous hour was one half characterization and one half stalk 'n' slash with some pretty good and nasty kills. This seems to annoy people expecting a straight-forward zombie movie, but I liked it.

Of course, the film does have its flaws. There are some obvious miniatures, especially near the end, but personally, the added to the fun for me. There are some slow parts, but that doesn't take too much out of it. There's also a REALLY obvious "twist" that I guessed in the first fifteen minutes.

Overall, THE DEAD PIT is a really fun movie that plays it straight, yet with a sense of fun all throughout. It's gory, occasionally funny (for both intended and unintended reasons), and some the characters are likable. Dr. Ramzi is a great villain, and the zombie effects are great as well.

Check it out.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: