Roger Corman succeeds with another excellent Edgar Allen Poe adaptation starring the one and only Vincent Price alongside the captivating Barbara Steele. The classic tale finds a mournful brother on his way back to Spain, where he intends to uncover the truth behind his sister's untimely death. He is met with lies and deceit from her surviving husband, who eventually reveals that she died of pure fright when she discovered the torture chamber lying beneath the castle's dark corridors. Francis soon finds that the hysterical Nicholas Medina was the son of the Inquisition's most notorious torturer, and that he is on the brink of insanity following his wife's demise. Corman's PIT shares much of the same brilliant scripting, superior technical form, and visual storytelling as Mario Bava's WHIP AND THE BODY. The typically modest budget is entirely concealed by its lavish sets, incredible matte paintings, and elaborate costume designs. A combination of shrouded framing and lucid color filters also give the flashbacks a haunting dream-like quality. Price hams it up in the role as only he can, but is just as enjoyable as ever as the mentally distraught Medina. PIT AND THE PENDULUM is sure to please any Gothic Horror fans, and marks one of Roger Corman's finer achievements.
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If you liked PIT AND THE PENDULUM, check out:
WHIP AND THE BODY, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, TWICE TOLD TALES.