Directed by: Stuart Gordon
In his twisted quest to save souls. Garnd Inquisitor Torquemada (Lance Henriksen) leads a bloody reign of terror, torturing and killing in the name of religion. His evil known no boundaries. Caught in this insane cruelty is Maria (Rona De Ricci), whose beauty leads Torquemada into temptation and brutal atonement. Imprisoned, Maria and her husband Antonio (Jonathan Fuller) are befriended by Esmerelda (Frances Bay), a confessed witch. Together they struggle to save themselves from the sinister Torquemada and his machine of ultimate pain and torture - The Pit And The Pendulum.
- This is Lance Henriksen's best performance to date, and he's done some amazing work (but some horrible movies, but what of it?). He's hypnotically possessed as the Grand Inquisitor Tourquemada (sp?) who falls for the "beautiful, virginal, ...innocent..., etc" helpless women who is only trying to help her husband. She really is nothing more than a pretty cipher willing to undress onscreen, but it gives Lance a chance to show off his tortured, sexual side. It's quite a doozy, his performance, and he should get the recognition he deserves. One aside: Lance looks good bald, doesn't he?
- Is just as good as the classic 60's film but is way different
This isn't really based on the Edgar Allen Poe classic as this films about the Inquistion and the dreaded Torquemeda played quite visiciously by Lance Henriksen. Also great is horror movie vets Jeffrey Combs and Tom Towles.The scene stealer here is my favorite old woman actress Francis Bay who plays the condemended witch Esmerelda.I love during her scene where she's being executed for witchcraft she eats a lot of gunpowder and as the flames get higher and hotter the curses she screams out become the truth as her bones explode and become a deadly form of shrapnel. Is different from the 60's classic but just as good as theirs also a great amount of dark humour Full Moon Pictures style as usual.*** out of *****
- Stuart Gordon's "The Pit and the Pendulum" is loosely based on the classic Edgar Allan Poe story.Lance Henriksen is truly chilling as the half-crazed Torquemada and there are some nasty torture scenes.The acting is excellent,the script is well-crafted and there is a nice amount of blood and gore.The scene where Torquemada cuts out Maria's tongue is pretty unsettling.All in all I heartily recommend this film to horror fans.8/10.
- Excellent Movie
Good flick from back in the days when Full Moon Entertainment was serious about making them. Not much of a known cast, however they all put out excellent performances, especially Lance Henriksen who is one of my favorites. Well told story. I strongly recommend this one for Lance Henriksen fans, or someone who wants to see what Full Moon was able to do in their heyday.
- Before viewing this film one should note that the director, Mr. Gordon, believes in taking his films far beyond the lines of common decency.This film is fantastic, but a little much...then again, Gordon's motto is "More is More," The Brilliant (and very hot,) Lance Henderson is amazing as Torquemada, the sado-masochistic inquisitor... I suggest that you watch his hands, every gesture is perfectly placed. Lance is a truly great Method actor, and he has every aspect of that evil man down... He alone would have made this one of my favorite films , but every performance was near-perfect. (the only bad acting I can recall was committed by a guard who has one line in the first seven minutes of the film) and the script is great.. The Young actress who portrays Maria is so truly beautiful, and her performance is captivating. (She's also naked for much of the film, so that's good for the dudes) She's hot, she acts, it's good. Her Name is Rona De Ricci and she hasn't done anything else, which is sad... The first time I watched this film I was convinced that this was a film to be watched alone, as it takes you far beyond the boundaries of comfort, and I just thought it would be weird to watch with anyone else (Parents would be the worst possible people to watch this one with...) But some of my friends spent the night before last with me for a HORROR-FEST and the film went over really well... It pretty much covers every aspect of the horror genre, blood for the gore hounds, ultra dark humor, the list goes on, but I think You get the idea. In conclusion, This is a great film, thought it isn't Citizen Cain, and it's not one for the weak, the wounded.
- Really Enjoyable - In a dark way!
Adapted from perhaps one of the greatest Dark story tellers of the past Edgar Allan Poe.
This film was very enjoyable Oliver Reeds accent was very believable but I was really surprised at how a big name actor like Reed only had a very small part in the film.
Mark Margolis (Of Equalizer fame) played a really good part - Very Dark!
Rona De Ricci who played Maria She was in my opinion the real star of the film. It's surprising then, that she seems to have been in only two films. She is both a very talented actress and a strikingly beautiful woman.
Lance Henrikson played His part extremely well as the very tortured inquisitor.
The scene with the Rats - brilliant.
Over all this film is one that I will remember.
- Full Moon rising
A really great product from Full Moon's Halcyon days. All of the features you come to expect are there: great genre players (from the extraordinary Lance Henrikson, to the unmissable Jeffrey Coombs, to the enigmatic Mark Margolis - from "Pi"); a sprightly score (courtesy of Band frere, Richard); and excellent production design and wonderful use of location (Charles Band's castle in Italy, if I'm not mistaken).
Really worth taking a look at, if you're deeply into the empire that Charles Band has created for himself on video (and few of which have made it over to the other side of the pond, here in the UK).
One gaffe, however, and it requires the minutest of **spoiler** warnings:
When Maria is entombed at one point, she is entombed lying down. However, the front-on camera shot shows her with her earrings dangling, as they would be if she was standing up. Did they think that those of us who've watched the film a few times - and I'm not alone, by the looks of the other reviews - wouldn't notice? Or is it there as a nod to people like us? In that case: thanks, guys, and keep up the good work into the new century!
- Great horror film...
Another memorable horror movie straight from master Stuart Gordon.The characters are cool,the acting is really good.Features a nice amount of blood and torture and a little bit of nudity.I love especially the sequence when one guy is cut in half by a huge pendulum.Great music score too and Rona de Ricci,who plays Maria is a beautiful woman.To sum up,this film is not scary at all,but absolutely worth watching.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Lance Henriksen .... Torquemada
Stephen Lee .... Gomez
William J. Norris .... Dr. Heusos
Mark Margolis .... Mendoza
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon .... Contessa D'Alba Molina
Barbara Bocci .... Contessa's Son
Benito Stefanelli .... Executioner
Jeffrey Combs .... Francisco
Tom Towles .... Don Carlos
Rona De Ricci .... Maria
Jonathan Fuller .... Antonio
Geoffrey Copleston .... Butcher
Larry Dolgin .... Sergeant of the Guards
Tunny Piras .... Guard
Fabio Carfora .... Beggar
Also Known As:Inquisitor, The (2000) (V) (USA: DVD title)
Runtime: 97 min