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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars breughelesqe
Although I yield to no one in my admiration for the great Vincent Price, and for the fine movies he made with Corman, I have to say that this film is at least equal to the Price/Corman original. The opening credits are seen against a background of Breughel's "Triumph of Death", and the movie manages to achieve a truly Breughelesque atmosphere--down to a few coarse jokes...
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by R. D. O'Neill

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars YOU WILL BE PUNISHED
Sometime marketed under the title "The Inquisitor" this film exposes the Inquisition as a scheme by the church to redistribute the wealth to them. It correctly shows the immodest interrogation of suspected witches. The film centers around old religious debates that exist between Maria (Rona De Ricci) and her world run by the Inquisitor (Lance Henriksen). The film shows...
Published 17 months ago by The Movie Guy


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars breughelesqe, 26 Aug 2011
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R. D. O'Neill "henchard" (Leiston, Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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Although I yield to no one in my admiration for the great Vincent Price, and for the fine movies he made with Corman, I have to say that this film is at least equal to the Price/Corman original. The opening credits are seen against a background of Breughel's "Triumph of Death", and the movie manages to achieve a truly Breughelesque atmosphere--down to a few coarse jokes which the Flemish master would have relished. Research has been done: the soldiers' armour and weapons are in period, as are the civilians' clothes. Lance Henriksen is truly terrifying as (a highly fictionalised) Torquemada; Ollie Reed, then sadly quite near the end of his life, has an effective cameo. There is something for everyone: torture and execution, gore in plenty, decently choreographed fights, female nudity. It doesn't owe much to Poe (although Reed's fate echoes another Poe tale), but is altogether a handsome and satisfying yarn.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lance Henriksen's best performance to date!, 28 Mar 2012
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God, i love this movie. The opening scene is a hoot and i've had many enjoyable evenings that have been capped off by watching this film. Rona de Ricci is HOT, Oliver Reed has a silly accent, the legendary Jeffrey Combs is well, Jeffrey Combs and Lance (Bishop) Henriksen gives a brilliantly menacing performance as Torquemada. What's not to like!! The new DVD version is really well put together with plenty of extras and an intriguing "trailer park" full of the best and the weirdest full moon trailers. The picture and sound are more than upto snuff too. Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pit of a Swinger!, 12 July 2014
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After horror king Stuart Gordon dealt out a horror trilogy for all others to pale by between 1985-1987, he then made the same mistake the much feted John Carpenter did-with both brazenly entering the vampire genre, instantly displaying an embarrassing absence of mastery and understanding of it, and both ended up on the business end of a sharp deserved stake. It really was a toss-up to see who fared worse-it was probably Carpenter; with a slavish devotion to old Romero films, David Cronenberg body horror and an apparent alien-subplot, it was a complete mishmash of everything but a vampire flick, but one expects much from the far better Stuart Gordon, who is much more my chalice of blood, being from that proper 80s horror school of variety, but his result unfolded with all the snap of a drunken snail-race and ended up a plastic soap opera, utterly wasting Anthony Perkins in one of his last roles. This thing was purported to have come from 1987, and maybe it did, but it was released to TV, after Gordon turned briefly to a scarily pre-'Transformers' sci-fi tale 'Robot Jox'. Thankfully, after both these things, Gordon returned to far better material he could immediately assert mastery of-his version of the Edgar Allen Poe tale here being the first.

And it owes very little to Poe at all, is a full torture chamber ahead of the old Vincent Price version, and as I care little about that first movie, I've no problem recommending this far above it. That's not to say it's an easy watch, it's nasty, black-humoured, descends into high camp in moments of random abandon, sick-inducing for the middling of stomach and should induce much tightening of limbs and grimaces of observational pain-but all that means is Stuart is back to doing the day job and long may its blood and guts run.

Written by Dennis Paoli, a breadmaker's wife, a highly principled girl feels the martyred need to finally voice the utter shamefulness at the flippancy with which the truly sick Grand Inquisitor Torquemada (sleekly played in the vilest way by horror fave Lance Henriksen) orders mass executions, public beatings, whippings and worse in his bizarre quest to purge all their souls of their temptation to sin. When she goes too far by expressing so as a young boy is flayed while watching his own parents get exterminated (an equally sick equivalent scene is remembered-and shown to us-recalled by a character in Gordon's ten year away masterpiece 'Dagon'), she is hauled up for high treason, thus dragging her nice husband along with her as with futility he tries to explain away her indignant protestations. Into Henriksen's lair they are dragged, yet while they're awaiting what's in store for them, this being a Stuart Gordon film, it may not be too much of a surprise to find the High Inquisitor quite taken with his subject, not that may halt his affectations for 'justice'.

Stuart Gordon's inspiration for the steadily teasing and necessarily brutish, though fun torture sequences, was his first to the Great Tower of London at some point in the early 80s, and swiftly said in a later documentary (possibly an extra on a new edition of this film in the future?) that nothing he could assemble on screen could touch just what atrocities and depravities an uncivilised society used to practice on each other daily, and he has a point, possibly letting himself in for accusations of watering down his own film with it, but gore hound should find enough sick to chew on here, and for anyone else, a churning sensation at least!

The sets are cheap, not especially stunning, and compares to his 80s offerings, a bit ramshackle and amateurish in moments. Jeffrey Combs is great fun as the scribe, leading the way into high camp at odd moments, and it's also interesting to see the only other adult survivor of 'Dolls' here in another role entirely. Oliver Reed doesn't seem to be quite all there, but Rona De Ricci is luscious as the lead-girl, and brave too considering she has to put with Barbara Crampton usually has to suffer on screen, but she doesn't match her in the acting stakes, but a huge improvement on 'Daughter Of Darkness's' wilting Mia Sara. There is a dream scene where an aged witch she shares a cell with tells her she will overcome her hell which borders on true embarrassment, and doesn't feel real, though for later purposes is needed. Maria's hubby is all-round good guy Antonio (Jonathan Fuller), intriguingly sidelines in bits, as his male-to-the-rescue runs out of gas before he intends it to, but a bigger shock than that, and knowing she may well have to rescue him instead, is knowing that this good-looking and genial guy is the monstrously deformed creature-man hidden under fantastical make-up in Gordon's enticing, disturbing and underrated next movie 'Castle Freak', which also returns Barbara Crampton to us.

'The Pit And The Pendulum' may feel dated, less showy and impervious to a mainstream now deluged with antisocial brats/A-listers forgetting their dead till the twist-ending/tiresome twits in masks/fake exorcisms and soup-stained mysteriously diseased biters weirdly beginning with Z instead of C (how must the 1961 version register then?), but this is one of the more important horror of the truly fallow first part of the 90s period, and probably inspired something like the Sean Bean 'Black Death' film of a few years back. For me, though it lacked the creature-feature monstrosities of 'From Beyond', corpse-fun of 'Re-Animator', fish-zombie followers of sea demon 'Dagon' and enchanted evil toys, the spell casting vibe for the greater good of 'Dolls' is present, and with everything else already mentioned, it's more than a reasonable success, and a huge up from that vampire mistake. The riveting tension created as that nasty Roger Corman blade swings nearer and nearer the stricken, several scenes involving a tongue, and a bullet-sized hole in the head used mainly to dig fingers in as a disciplinarian exercise are a nice touch (sorry) and worth £4.25 at the time, though I now regret it as it's now seen two different DVD releases, as well as a Blu-ray. All of which, I'm told, have the extras that this Full Moon Entertainment edition is completely exempt of. Picture quality is workable enough, but less said of the three trailers it suffers that merely remind you that some pitiful excuses for lens-work were never meant to go near someone of working grey matter, unless you absolutely deserved them to. It's times like this I can't help feeling there should be a law against such beyond ineptitude ill-jokes to horror having advertisment space on a copy of a cool movie made long before the student purveyors of such cack were even dropped on their head by mommy. Pit-i-ous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan of Stuart Gordon, this one is for you!, 26 Aug 2011
So it may not have Vincent Price, but this remake is, to my mind, a great contender for the original's throne. Lance Henrikson acts his socks off, and Oliver Reed and Jeffrey Combs are fantastic too. The gore/ horror element is very well done and all in all it's a very enjoyable film. If you like Stuart Gordon's other films (Reanimator, Castle Freak, Dagon etc), then this is for you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive all round, 16 April 2012
I saw this film years ago when it was first released and really enjoyed it. I bought this DVD on impulse and was very impressed by the whole package. The film itself is better than I remember it being and the production of the DVD is of a high quality. Thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars YOU WILL BE PUNISHED, 21 May 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
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Sometime marketed under the title "The Inquisitor" this film exposes the Inquisition as a scheme by the church to redistribute the wealth to them. It correctly shows the immodest interrogation of suspected witches. The film centers around old religious debates that exist between Maria (Rona De Ricci) and her world run by the Inquisitor (Lance Henriksen). The film shows how the people relished in the torture of others.

The film was a well done "B" movie in costume, design, and direction. However the script left me a bit empty. If not for the constant stripping of Maria, I would have lost interest.

This film is available on an 8-pack I obtained from Walmart as part of their "Midnight Horror" collection.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, Full frontal nudity (Rona De Ricci)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see for any Lance Henriksen, Stuart Gordon or Full Moon fans., 1 May 2012
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The head Inquisitor, Torquemada (LANCE HENRIKSEN) is seeking out witches and other blashphemers to torture until they get a forced confession. Maria (Rona De Rici) speaks out at one of the public whippings and she is imprisoned and accused of being a witch.
While locked up she meets an actual witch that helps her unleash her inner power!!

The cities, costumes and castles all looked authentic and really add to the feel of the movie. There are gated cells, skeletons, coffins, and just in general the set designs look fantastic! and also THE PENDULUM is really bad ass looking.

The score is fantastic.

It has an amazing cast.
JEFFREY COMBS has some great lines.
Gomez played awesomely by STEPHEN LEE, has a great presence
LANCE HENRIKSEN in one of his juiciest roles
OLIVER REED aces his part as an alcoholic Cardinal
MARK MARGOLIS (from Black Swan) who i never knew was in this film is great!

...smoking hot naked chick...witchcraft...inner powers...fist fights...sword fights...exploding witch that kills people with the bone shrapne...cool gore scenes and a great action packed finale with bloody rats and all...A must see for any Lance Henriksen, Stuart Gordon or Full Moon fans....
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one from Stuart Gordon!, 7 Aug 2004
By 
R. Collins "vengeance wolf" (the SOUTH) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the best movies Full Moon has ever done. Directed by Stuart Gordon ( Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dagon) and written by Dennis Paoli, this film really delivers. Lance Henriksen gives an insane performace in this one, he almost gave Gordon a heart attack because he was so scary! And of course you've got the great Jeffrey Combs in a fine performance.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Henriksen equals the best Torquemada, 15 Mar 2009
By 
E. Barrios (N.Y.C.) - See all my reviews
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I remember seeing this film late at night on cable during the 90's. I was blown away by Lance Henriksen's performance as the evil Torquemada. His crazed eyes makes one think the director pulled Henriksen out of an asylum, at least that's what I thought.

I tried getting this in region 1 but it was out of print and way, way overpriced. Luckily, I found it here on Amazon UK.

Anyway, I thought the print was very good considering it's a Full Moon Pictures release. Sometimes their prints are questionable because they don't have in their possession the original negatives, as is the case with their Puppet Master series, for example.

This is a well done production and should be in any horror fan's collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sam, 6 July 2007
I saw The 1991 version of The Pit & The Pendulum 3 Times because I Just couldn't watch It Just once. This is the best version of The Pit & The Pendulum I've seen I Found It contained Max gore, Although I did Find Lance Henriksen played A good lead bad guy in this film Especially the part where Maria has her tongue cut off, For eveybody who likes a load of Non Stop Gore like myself. Well need I say more but this blood loaded Horror I defenatly recommend. However this is the type of Horror movie that shouldn't be viewed by anyone under 15 or 18 yrs old or older. as it is defenatly too bloody For Younger Viewers.
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The Pit And The Pendulum [Blu-ray]
The Pit And The Pendulum [Blu-ray] by Stuart Gordon (Blu-ray - 2013)
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