Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pit and the Pendulum, The (1990)

...aka: Inquisitor, The

Directed by:
Stuart Gordon

The same team behind the cult hits RE-ANIMATOR (1985) and FROM BEYOND (1986) take on the Edgar Allan Poe story of the same name (well, sort of) with surprisingly good results. Though the film does indeed have a both pit and a pendulum, as well as the same lead character, so many things have been changed from the original text that this is nearly an original work. Thankfully it's scripted (by Dennis Paoli) in a way that makes it work, both a stand alone horror film as well as an an indictment of the rampant religious hypocrisy that occured during the Spanish Inquisition. The best thing about this film, though, is Lance Henriksen's excellent, intense central performance as sadistic inquisitor Torquemada. More review coming soon.


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