Sunday, 2 November 2014

Euro - Horror Vaction: Bloody Pit of Horror (1964)

Bloody Pit of Horror (aka Il Boia Scarlatto) (1965)
Director: Massimo Pupillo
Starring: Mickey Hargitay, Walter Brandi, and Ralph Zucker
Running Time: 83 min

  I thought I'd kick this series of reviews with an Italian film because they have such a terrific connection and style to horror.  Also, this script was based on the writings of the Marquis De Sade and it's on a number of must see horror films, so I thought, why not give it a chance. 

  Centuries ago, the Crimson Executioner brutally murder people for his on pleasure, so he was sentenced to be locked in an Iron Maiden and his spirit was to be sealed into that torture device and his castle locked up forever. This way his evil could never escape and hurt anyone ever again.
  Present day, 1965, arrives and a publisher and his entourage of photographers and models find what they think is an abandon castle and send one their flunkies up the enormous wall to break into it, so they can use it for their photo shoot.  Once inside, a guard discovers them and demands that they leave the castle immediately.  However, after a little persuading from the publisher and the author of the book, they talk the guard into giving them a chance to meet the owner and plead there case.  Unfortunately, the owner of the castle is dead set against them being there and their trashy photo shoot, until... he recognizes the publishers assistant, Edith.  He tells them they have until the next morning to use the castle but they must stay out of the dungeons.
  So, they start setting up and taking scary, but goofy pictures.  While working, one of the models and one of the photographers sneak off to find a secluded place to fool around.  They end up in the basement and accidentally break the seal on the Iron Maiden, that is suppose to hold the evil spirit and carcass of the Crimson Executioner!  They start to fool around and are attacked by a man in a red hood and black mask.
  Meanwhile, during one of the photo shoots, there is an accident and one of the torture devices kills one of the male models.  Devastated, Edith and the author, Rick start searching for the couple that has disappeared.  while searching for them, they talk about the history of the castle and how it was once the home of the Crimson executioner and the old folklore that surrounds it.  They end up in the basement and discover the body of the model inside the Iron Maiden.  They rush to warn the others and see the owner of the castle is dressed as the Crimson Executioner and wants to kill them all.  Can the rest of the group escape this lunatic or will they have to suffer the same torturous fate that his other victims had to face many centuries ago?

  This movie is pretty hilarious.  Mickey Hargitay (The Reincarnation of Isabelle, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue) is the funniest executioner ever and the reasoning behind his killing these people is just as ridiculous as his costume.  **SPOILER**  He believes that the impurity of the world with it's films, pictures and such, will not allow him to reach his muscular/physical perfection. Craaaaazy! **ENDSPOILER**  The facial expressions and the way the Hargitay sells it is so dead pan, he is just perfect in this role.

  Also, the some of the torture devices are totally mental.  At one point he has rigged a human size spider web, so that if the web was disturbed by anyone pulling on it, it would release an arrow from every side of the room.  There is also included a large mechanical spider that can poison its victim, if nobody came around to pull on the web to release the arrows, to kill the girl, who's stuck in the web, in the house that jack built.  As well as spinning wall that would give it's victims a small cut on the chest as it spun.  This looks like it would take hours to kill somebody and it would get monotonous but the Crimson Executioner loves it.  There are other devices that are more normal as well but these are took some serious thought and time.  That web thing must have been a weekend project.

  The story isn't that great and the pacing isn't very good either it.  It takes a while for the story to get going and there is a lot of needless fluff to compensate.  Like, girls in scantily clad outfits waiting for their turn being photographed and some bad jokes that really bottom out.
  Also the leading man character Rick, played by Walter Brandi (Terror-Creatures From The Grave, The Playgirls and the Vampire) doesn't seem to be very good at saving anybody.  He is always a step behind when people are about to die.  Also, he always seems to shows up to battles without any weapons.  He has a room, if not castle, full of weaponry and torture devices but he would rather take on the Crimson Executioner and his henchman hand to hand.  Good thinking Rick, and you wonder why your friends are dead.

  This isn't a good movie by any stretch of the imagination but it is fun to watch.  It reminds me of something you would find on MST or a late late night horror-thon.  The story is kind of silly, the acting isn't good but the villain is so ludicrous that he will make you laugh and wish there was more scenes with him.  This film has a charm that B-movie connoisseurs will appreciate and enough torturous terror that will appease any horror fan.


1 comment:

  1. It's worth watching if only because of the horror at the bad, absolutely terrible, acting - it's almost mesmerizing. Actors just standing around unemotional and unflinching as gross acts of sadism and murder take place around them, like it happens every day. Yet the film has a magnetic hold on the viewer, if only to see how the thing will end.
    Small details like how the Crimson Executioner suddenly comes back to life in an identical costume to the mad castle owner's own S&M get-up are just not worth dwelling on, not how everyone gets tied up or why girls just keep their arms nice and still to assist the process like some willing submissives, Tim Piercy