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||The Pit and the Pendulum and The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe|
Rona De Ricci
William J. Norris
|Music by||Richard Band|
|Edited by||Andy Horvitch|
|Distributed by||Full Moon Features
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment (2011 DVD)
|June 27, 1991|
|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", reassigning it to the character of Torquemada.
In 1492 Spain, Grand Inquisitor Torquemada leads a bloody reign of terror. Opposed to the use of torture by the Church, Maria speaks out during the public execution of a disenfranchised noble family. Torquemada is tempted by Maria's beauty, and atones through self-torture. Confused by these new desires, he accuses Maria of witchcraft and orders that she be tortured until she confesses. During Maria's interrogation, Torquemada cannot stop himself from staring at her naked body; he orders that she be imprisoned. Maria is befriended by fellow prisoner Esmerelda, a confessed witch. Together they struggle to save themselves from the sinister Torquemada.
Maria's husband Antonio breaks into the castle to rescue his innocent wife. He fails and is imprisoned for his actions. Torquemada decides to test a new torture device, the Pit and the Pendulum, on Antonio.
- 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
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.
The film was released on Blu-ray on April 30, 2013 by Full Moon and on August 12, 2013 by 88 Films in the UK.
- The Pit and the Pendulum – 1961 film starring Vincent Price and directed by Roger Corman, released 30 years earlier