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The Pit and the Pendulum (+ Digital Copy)

Lance Henriksen , Stephen Lee , Stuart Gordon  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Pit and the Pendulum (1991)   $2.99 $9.99

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lance Henriksen, Stephen Lee, William J. Norris, Mark Margolis
  • Directors: Stuart Gordon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 2, 2011
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0055SJY2W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,381 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Under the direction of Torquemada (Golden Globe® nominee Lance Henriksen) the Grand Inquisitor of Spain, a young baker's wife, Maria, is falsely accused of witchcraft and dragged before the Inquisition. Torquemada is enchanted by Maria's beauty and subjects her and her husband Antonio to heinous torture hoping to prove that his own desires are a result of her bewitching powers. With the help of Esmerelda, Maria's cellmate and a confessed witch, Maria must save her husband Antonio from Torquemada's ultimate machine of torture—the razor sharp pendulum poised over the inescapable pit of hell.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stuart Gordon has done it again! July 6, 2000
By Brian
Loose, yet violent and bloody rendering of Edgar Allan Poe's classic is actually well made and better than I expected.
Lance Henriksen is Grand Inquisitor Torquemada who tortures and kills in the name of religion. A young, innocent couple runs afoul of his evil doings and must then struggle to free themselves from his torture chamber before they, too, are put to death.
The late Oliver Reed, who I still remember from Hammer's "Curse of the Werewolf", has a brief walk on as the Cardinal. A good change of pace for Gordon, whose previous efforts include "Re-Animator", "From Beyond", and "Castle Freak". Aside from Henriksen's usual strong delivery, Rona De Ricci and Jeffrey Combs are two other standouts worth mentioning. By far one of the best releases Full Moon has put out. You shouldn't be disappointed.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition! March 5, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
OK, sorry, I couldn't resist. Though this is a pretty grim movie at times, I can't hear the phrase "Spanish Inquisition" without going through the Monty Python routine. Once the movie starts, however, I am always so engrossed I forget about the sketch.
This movie had me hooked from the first scene the first time I saw it, but it has that rare quality of actually getting better with every viewing. As many have said, this is without a doubt Full Moon's all-time best. I'm a diehard Stuart Gordon fan, and if it wasn't for Re-Animator, I might say it was Gordon's best, too. By the way, the first scene is very grisly and cold-blooded, and you *know* it's gonna be a great movie when that happens even before the opening credits.
I really wish that this movie got more of a chance for wide release. I remember it being in the theater for maybe one week and then going to video, and the only reason I even knew it existed was from reading Fangoria. Look at the cast- while they aren't all considered "A-list", they are favs among horror and cult fans- Lance Henriksen (Millennium, Aliens) Tom Towles (Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, From Beyond), Frances Bay (Blue Velvet), Oliver Reed... I think the other strike it has against it is that people see the title (maybe that's why it was changed in some versions, including the R-rated DVD that I rented, to The Inquisitor) and figure it's a travesty to even try to remake.
Don't get me wrong, the original is wonderful, and Vincent Price is, well, Vincent Price and in a class by himself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Henriksen's most intense performances. December 4, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film was originally a mid-budget project set to star Peter O'Toole and some other bigger name actors (who's names escape me now). That deal collapsed and the movie almost didn't get made. Director Stuart Gordon (ReAnimator, From Beyond, Castle Freak) was fortunately able to keep the project alive, although with a low budget and differnt cast (The only actor remaining from the original cast is Jeffrey Combs).
I saw this film several times upon it's release in 1991, and loved it. I always remembered it and wanted to buy a copy on video, but it was out of print for many years. It did appear on DVD a few years ago but it was only available as part of the Stuart Gordon box set and could not be found as an individual release. Now, finally, somebody has put it out on DVD. It's widescreen and the picture quality isn't bad. I wish they'd have used the original cover art, though. It was a cool poster. I can't figure out why a lot of companies don't use the original movie artwork on the dvd release. But that's a small complaint. The film itself is just as good as I remember. It has stood the test of time and doesn't feel dated at all. In fact I think I appreciate it more now than back in the day.
The movie takes place in Spain during the Inquisition and tells the story of the Grand Inquisitor, Torquemada, superbly portrayed by Lance Henriksen in one of his most intense performances. He and his cohorts spend their days torturing heretics, blasphemers, and witches; to death most of the time. Until he comes into possession of a beautiful young baker's wife, who happens to be pious, pure, a true christian (as opposed to the monsters of the Inquisition). He falls in love with her, but cannot deal with these feelings. Chaos and upheaval ensue.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Whips, Chains, and Alternative Lifestyles July 10, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Lance Henriksen's performance as Torquemada gives me chills; I don't think I've ever seen a better study in repression and power. Yeah, this film seems fairly dopey on first viewing, but I think it works. The gore is pretty over the top, which actually plays off the quirky humor.
Oliver Reed puts in a weirdly funny performance as a visiting Cardinal, confirming my early suspicions that he would mature into a really interesting actor. The rest of the cast rises (or falls) to the occasion. Take a look. Not for the squeamish!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stuart Gordon Directs The Full Moon Classic! May 16, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Quite possibly the best Full Moon film in it's catalogue, The Pit & The Pendulum is a great tale of lovers caught up in the Spanish Inquisition who are unjustly convicted by the evil Inquisitor (Lance Henriksen). Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, Castle Freak, Progeny) directs. The film is loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe story and takes place during the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition.
Maria (Rona De Ricci) is a beautiful baker's wife who catches the eye of the Inquisitor himself. The Inquisitor (Lance Henriksen of Aliens fame) is an evil manipulator who falls for Maria. The stars cast in this film do an amazing job. Henriksen is terrific as the evil Inquisitor, and also a little tragic. Rona De Ricci plays the beautiful Maria perfectly, innocent, naive, and angelic - I couldn't get enough of her on the screen. It's too bad I haven't seen her in anything else since this film. The rest of the cast is composed of a great mishmash of talent like Jeffrey Combs and Oliver Reed! Amazing horrors, great actors, some tongue in cheek comedy, and the sexy Rona De Ricci make this film a classic!
Stuart Gordon hasn't let me down yet. I am flabbergasted at how well he can make a film with tight budget constraints. I always look forward to his films. If you wish to be introduced to Full Moon through any film they have ever made, this is the one. This is the film that started me on my path to watching virtually every Full Moon film out there!
Currently only available on VHS although if you search hard enough you may find an average quality DVD which is currently out of print now. Both are probably the same quality (VHS to DVD).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
it expands on the story a bit but keeps the pendulum in place
Published 15 days ago by Kristin Teeter
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly uninspired direction from Stuart Gordon who previously made...
Ahh, what can I say - it has Lance Henriksen overacting in his most extroverted role. Fairly uninspired direction from Stuart Gordon who previously made some outrageous &... Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Rogers
1.0 out of 5 stars An Utterly VILE film filled with heaping amounts of historical...
In the full half century that I've been watching films-all sorts of films-never have I seen a film so chock full of utterly VILE scenes of sexual degradation toward women and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Shirley Pena
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD and Blu-ray users cheated
Echo Bridge strikes us down again with another quality (lol) release. The Movie itself is fine, I enjoy it but the DVD is sub-par with hints of artifacts and blurring. Read more
Published 7 months ago by MikeFrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Pit and the pendulum WOW
I love this film. The pit and the pendulum has always been one of my favorite stories. When I found it I had to have it.
Published 9 months ago by Margarita Saez
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible
We tried watching this so that our kids could see the movie after reading Poe's short story titled the same. This didn't at all fit.. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Nichelle Guldy
5.0 out of 5 stars The pit and the pendulum DVD
I have been looking for this movie for some time and had a difficult time finding it. These guys had it at a great price, thanks a bunch guys, fast service, good price, what's not... Read more
Published 9 months ago by FABIAN RIOS
5.0 out of 5 stars classic Gordon.
Glad to see the DVD is available, been looking for years. Enjoy the approach to having fun making horror movies by Gordon Read more
Published 9 months ago by g.r.
1.0 out of 5 stars "They can't confess if they don't have a tongue."
It's difficult to say what the intentions of the filmmaker were with this movie. It's not funny enough, not horrific enough, not classy enough to render a clear classification. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Einsatz
4.0 out of 5 stars Given as a gift
This was a gift to a friend. They wanted to see it again and asked me to find it for them. They really like it.
Published 11 months ago by kathleen cupples
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