Pain and gain!
This is one of the best-accomplished film by Full Moon Entertainment and it completely diverges from the stuff they would go on to be known for. For one thing, The Pit and the Pendulum is an adaptation of a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The second thing worth noting is that Stuart Gordon is directing. The man can do no wrong. Lance Henriksen and Jeffrey Combs play significant parts.
The Pit and the Pendulum celebrates 15th Century torture like there’s no tomorrow. It’s torture porn before the term was coined, with just enough build-up and dialogue to avoid becoming a splatterfest. In a way, it fetishizes torture, but it never really embraces its kinky potential. It’s just not that movie. It’s romantic, well-written, but it leaves you wanting more.
You really have to go into this for the style and the ambiance, and not for substance. Not much happens here, aside bringing sexy back into torture. It’s not a great period film. It’s claustrophobic since most of the story takes place in a dungeon. This is as elegant as torture gets. It goes by so fast you won’t know what hit you. This crescendo is, basically, a big setup for a grandiose ending.