The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

I’ve gotta be honest, I dont gel with the Corman/Price films as much as i’d like to. In principle, their collaborative works should have everything i’d want in a movie. Campy Macarbre, stunning direction and visuals, interesting and engaging scripts that quite often use the original source material as a launching pad rather than a dogmatically rigid “Sacred text” that must be abided to. and Vincent Price AND! for even more bang for your buck, Peter Lorre. Whats not to like!?

Well; this is the question I ask myself. I just…dunno. I kind of feel like the end result of mixing such amazing ingrediants together should be something quite mindblowing. but I just end up feeling a bit underwhelmed. Now I cant say that for EVERY Price/Corman film. I really enjoyed “The Pit and the Pendulum” and I also like “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Masque of the Red Death”. But I havent seen ALL of their works together and most of the ones I have seen (The Raven, Tales of Terror, The Haunted Palace) just…dont do much if anything for me.

Thats not to say they dont have decent moments, or even just scenes that are entertaining. and thats DEFINITELY not to say the quality isnt there, because it very much is. I just find myself kind of sighing and clock watching with some of these films when I should be on the edge of my seat praying the films nowhere near over. I think, to me at least, I just feel like the films dont deliver on their pitch. Which made choosing which film of the Corman/Price/Poe series quite difficult. it was a literal coin toss that decided whether to talk about this movie or “Fall of the House of Usher” and on reflection. I think I chose the right movie. I prefer “Fall” of these two. but this film I think has infinitely more to talk about and is a MUCH more visually interesting treat.

This poster answers the problems I had with “House of Wax’s” poster. but now the problem is the focal point of the poster isnt clear and the name of the film obscures way too much. it’s an acceptable poster, I just dont much care for it.

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