The Pit and the Pendulum (1991 film)
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|The Pit and the Pendulum|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stuart Gordon|
|Produced by||Albert Band
|Written by||Dennis Paoli|
|Based on||Stories by Edgar Allan Poe|
Rona De Ricci
William J. Norris
|Music by||Richard Band|
|Editing by||Andy Horvitch|
|Distributed by||Full Moon Features
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment (2011 DVD)
|Release dates||June 27, 1991|
|Running time||97 min.|
|Box office||$3,331 (USA)|
The Pit and the Pendulum (released on DVD in the United States as The Inquisitor) is a 1991 horror film directed by Stuart Gordon and based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The film is an amalgamation of several of Poe's tales, including "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Cask of Amontillado". The film also appropriates the anecdote of "The Sword of Damocles", re-assigning it to the character of Torquemada.
Set in Spain, 1492, Grand Inquisitor Torquemada leads a bloody reign of terror, torturing and killing in the name of religion. Upset with the way the Church is practicing torture, Maria speaks out during a public burning and whipping of a title-stripped family. Maria's own beauty leads Torquemada into temptation and brutal atonement. Confused over his desires, he accuses Maria of being a witch and to be tortured until confession. During Maria's interrogation, Torquemada cannot help but to stare at her naked body leading him to order her put in the prison. Imprisoned, Maria is befriended by Esmerelda, a confessed witch. Together they struggle to save themselves from the sinister Torquemada.
Outside the castle walls, Maria's husband Antonio breaks into the castle to rescue his innocent wife. After a failed escape, Antonio is imprisoned for his actions and Torquemada decides to test his new machine of pain on him; The Pit and the Pendulum.
Peter O'Toole was originally slated to play Torquemada and Billy Dee Williams was originally slated to play a character named Abdul. Sherilyn Fenn was originally slated to play Maria.
The film was given quick runs at many film festivals until its home video release in the summer of 1991. In 2000, Full Moon Features released a DVD of the film, which has now been discontinued for copyright reasons. Since then it has been released on DVD as part of the "Stuart Gordon Boxset", which also includes Castle Freak, Death Bed and a bonus disc.
The film was re-released on DVD on 2 August 2011 by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment.
- Lance Henriksen as Torquemada
- Rona De Ricci as Maria
- Jonathan Fuller as Antonio
- Frances Bay as Esmeralda
- Mark Margolis as Mendoza
- Jeffrey Combs as Francisco
- Stephen Lee as Gomez
- Tom Towles as Don Carlos
- William J. Norris as Dr. Huesos
- Carolyn Purdy-Gordon as Contessa D'Alba Molina
- Oliver Reed as Cardinal
- Barbara Bocci as Contessa's Son
- Benito Stefanelli as Executioner
- Larry Dolgin as Sergeant of the Guards
- Fabio Carfora as Beggar
- The Pit and the Pendulum – 1961 film starring Vincent Price and directed by Roger Corman, released 30 years earlier