Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Horror legend Vincent Price [House on Haunted Hill, The Fly] and Italian scream queen Barbara Steele [Nightmare Castle. Black Sunday]  combine forces for a classic adaptation of Edgar Alan Poe's story The Pit and the Pendulum.  With director Roger Corman [The Masque of the Red Death, Little Shop of Horrors] at the helm and Richard Matheson [I Am Legend] in charge of the screen play could you really make a terrible film?  No, is the short answer.
Pit looks and feels like a Hammer Horror film which is a good thing.  The cinematography is gorgeous, the acting is rock solid and story is engaging every step of the way.  Price gives a rather subdued performance as Nicholas who is haunted by the spirit of his dead wife, Elizabeth.  I like Price in this role and appreciate his nuanced approach as the "tortured soul" Nicholas.  No one could have done it better.  The only complaint I have is that Steele, who play's Nicholas' departed wife perfectly, receives very little screen time except in flashbacks.  She has such a commanding presence on screen that it's a shame they gave her so little to work with here.
Pit is listed as a horror film but should be thought of as an old-fashioned thriller that keeps giving us tidbits of info along the way that provide all the twists and turns of the story.  This one is definitely a keeper and is right up there with Corman's best work as a director.  Don't miss it!
RATING: Excellent.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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