The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)

Maria is declared a witch and cast into the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition after making an open objection to their cruel torture devices. Once there, her untamed beauty captures the affections of the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada, who sentences her to an early death for casting an evil spell over him. Maria's husband Antonio is left to face the perils of the Inquisition in order to save his wife, but for his troubles, he will have to answer to THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM! Stuart Gordon does for Poe what he has so often done for H.P. Lovecraft in the 1991 adaptation of THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM from Full Moon Entertainment. Screenwriter Dennis Paoli injects the same twisted sense of humor into the mix as he had in RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, lending a lighter edge to the dark Gothic motifs. THE PIT is filled with quirky characters played out by the talented cast, including off-beat performances by genre favorites Jeffrey Combs and Oliver Reed, as well as Tom Towles, Mark Margolis, and Stephen Lee. It is Lance Henriksen's fiery lead as the maniacal Torquemada that truly sets the film apart with his bloodthirsty sense of absolution and atonement. The grand designs reach the height of Full Moon's production quality in the 90's, ranking THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM alongside CASTLE FREAK as two of their finest films.

Rating: 8/10.




  1. Agree, those are two of their finest films, and it's all because Stuart Gordon is behind both films; a competent director, probably the best director to work with Full Moon, too bad this one is so hard to find! I love it, it's so gory and Henriksen is so over the top in it!

  2. I'd rank Pit and Freak pretty close together. The common thread is obviously Gordon- no doubt.

    I will say that I didn't miss the relentlessly-downbeat ending of Freak. It's, depressing.

    Gordon's Full Moon films certainly look nicer than most Full Moon films ever made- even modern ones.

  3. I'm with you guys, Gordon is a rare talent and one of Full Moon's finest assets. Wish the two would reteam for another film, but I know Stuart is working on the Re-Animator Musical and attempting to get it on Broadway currently.

  4. Can you imagine Gordon's influence on such Full Moon crap-fests as Decadent Evil? He could have actually made that good...or at least more watchable.

    Instead, we get Charles Band filming duds like Dead Man's Hand in 6 days. *Sigh*

  5. jervaise brooke hamsterApril 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    I like the scene where they get that gorgeous bird to take all her clothes off, what a stunning bird she was.

  6. the scene that the kid was flogged, went to far for me. it's only a movie, but those realy happend in the 15th century, horrible. When Maria is coming between it, the kid is lying on the ground and doesn't movie. What happend to him afterwards? It should be happy ending, if the bakes and his wife took care of him.