The Pit and the Pendulum

Critics Consensus

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56%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

39%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,247
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Movie Info

Only loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe's classic short story, this horror film was filmed on location in a spooky Italian castle and tells the convoluted story of a mad priest who devises exquisitely painful ways of getting his victims to confess to dabbling in witchcraft. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast

Critic Reviews for The Pit and the Pendulum

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (4)

  • The second in the popular series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations made by the enterprising mini-studio American International Pictures, this Roger Corman picture is carpeted wall-to-wall with luxuriant gothic excess.

    Dec 12, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Boring adaptation with no scares, no mood and no sex appeal (considering it's a form of sexual persecution)

    Jul 18, 2003 | Rating: 1/5
  • Not bad, but I expected a lot more from Stuart Gordon.

    Jun 25, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
  • Really underrated horror film from Stuart Gordon.

    Dec 29, 2002 | Rating: 4/5
  • Schlock of a very fine vintage.

    Aug 8, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Pit and the Pendulum

  • Dec 22, 2011
    Charles Band takes on the classic Poe tale here with help from a surprisingly good cast including Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs and a small cameo from Oliver Reed! This film is combination of three classic Poe tales which aren't that bad but as you would expect pretty cheap 'n' cheerful looking at times. There is an odd element of humour at times boarding on spoof, yet despite this Henriksen gives us a chilling performance as the lunatic inquisitor 'Torquemada' which is a brilliantly over the top ham fest of a performance, bizarre monk hairdo included and those cutting round eyes of his. Rest of the cast are pretty useless and the effects and sets go from reasonable to down right awful. Plenty of fake blood and cheesy dialog but I saw this mainly for Henriksen really, his presence elevates the film to a guilty pleasure.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2010
    Stuart Gordon does a great job again combining horror (this time from pure human evil) and camp (even though it gets a bit too campy sometimes), benefiting from Lance Henriksen's creepy performance and offering us a solid (and underrated) adaptation of Poe's short story.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2008
    Puts its low budget to work.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2006
    This is rated R? We saw it today in school for Halloween.... o_0 Is this even the same movie? That's what it was called... I guess I can see why it'd be rated that, but not why they would show it... concidering how Mormon everyone around me is. For a pointless Budget movie, this was kind of okay, and surprisingly scary, in a cheap, yet effective way. But yeah, this doesn't even look like it, evenm if it was by the same title, based off of the same story...
    Jezzy A Super Reviewer

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