Movie Review: The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)

We start off The Pit and the Pendulum with a skeleton being put in front of a guy in a robe, and due to his crimes(?) the skeleton is sentenced to a whipping, and the body is pulled up and whipped to pieces as his wife and child watch. The guy in the robe is Torquemada, the head of the Spanish Inquisition (and I did not expect the Spanish Inquisition). Geez, they milk this moment a little too long, but it ends a bit funny as one of the men come over, pick up the skull, and declares he was a Jew as well due to the flat forehead. His wife and child stand mortified.
Flip over to a baker and the HOT CHICK. She wants to get busy baking more than bread, and he denies her, but too late to prevent his bread from burning.

I’m being serious. pit-the-pendulum-maria

So they go out to sell the bread, and for some reason spend a lot of time whining about selling the bread. A group of children steal some FAKE looking bread, and the pair chase them. I guess Aladdin is able to get away, but we come across a woman being beaten, when the kid starts getting beaten, the HOT CHICK can’t handle it, and defends the boy, and gets branded a witch as well and tossed into prison by Torquemada. Now the Baker has to get his wife out of prison, before all the bread is gone.

So how is the The Pit and the Pendulum?

Better than you would expect. I got this set in one of those bulk horror bundles that are my DVD weakness. I throw out a few comments after a quick spoiler tag, but let me just say the acting is well done. Lance Henriksen, outside of the horrid haircut, is the lost Carridine brother. He is doing some serious channeling here. The HOT CHICK is doing a very good job and she is without a doubt hot. Jeffrey Combs is also here, and he goes without saying as a solid actor- in his way. The rest of the cast isn’t bad, the Baker stands out as a bit of a pain, but he keeps moving enough where he isn’t expected to do too much or drag the movie down. He’s passable on the action scenes, and that’s all I needed from here.

The thing about The Pit and the Pendulum is the movie MOVES. The movie only really stops whenever we are concentrating on either Torquemada overacting or the HOT CHICK or both. This is one of the movies on why I don’t do a standard 1-10 scale, if I did, this is a pretty solid 3 of 10. It’s not offensive, but I don’t know if that’s exactly a great or even good movie. But on my scale, a 5 is where I put it. Defined as “Ok, If you find it, you can have it.” I don’t think I would recommend seeking this one out, or even really digging for it- but if you find a multi-pack, or racing around at 4am looking to see what’s on TMC9 and it’s there, or just happen to find a Jeffery Combs marathon going on, I wouldn’t skip it.

Spoilers.

Spoilers Shead

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