Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's a Pit of a Movie

Bloody Pit of Horror (aka "A Tale of Torture", "The Scarlet Hangman", and "Crimson Executioner") (1964)
Starring: Mickey Hargitay, Walter Brant, Luisa Barrato, and Ralph Zucker
Director: Massimo Pupilo
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

A photographer (Zucker), writer (Brant), and their publisher/editor head with four sexy models and a production assistant (Barrato) to a supposedly deserted castle to take racy pictures intented to illustrate the covers of horror novels. It turns out, the place is not deserted, but is the home of a body-builder (Hargitay) who has retreated from the world, and who wants nothing more than to live life alone... well, alone aside from the trio of professional wrestlers (who dress like pirates) that share the castle with him. Soon, people start dying, as the restless ghost of the Crimson Executioner is unleashed upon the world again.

This is one of those "why ask why?" movies. As in, "why ask why these people caravan for days, hauling all that photography equipment AND darkroom equipment (including paper stock and chemicals) to this castle when they could have done far better, cheaper and efficient shoots in a studio?" or "why didn't they start taking the arrows from the crossbow in the hugely elaborate, spider-themed death trap instead of crawling under the trip-wires?" or "are we supposed to like ANYONE in this movie?"

I've seen many, many horror movies were the victims being killed by the psycho/ghost/demon/whatever are set up as more or less deserving what they get (in a twisted poetic justice kind of way), but this film goes so far overboard in making just about everyone so unlikeable that the viewer doesn't care if they survive the slaughter.

To makes matters worse, the film is generally more boring than scary, and snicker-inspiring rather than terrifying. Further, every fight scene in the film looks like it was staged by Vince McMohan of the World Wrestling Entertainment network (hence my wrestling comment above); We also have really terrible actors performing scenes that have been dubbed by even worse voice actors. And the syncing to dialogue to image is worse than anything I've ever seen. And the film's score--my God. It has GOT to be among the worst ever used in a film released to the public, and that's not even taking the terrible editing into account. (It's not usual to loop the same short bit of music several times during a scene, but it is unusual to have a static "pop" at the start/end of the loop.)

'Bloody Pit of Horror' is a pit of a movie. The only remotely clever part of the film is the spider-themed torture trap mentioned above--and even it falls into the "why ask why?" category, because like everything else, there's no sensible reason for it to exist.

The only reason to watch this film is if you're getting together with a group of friends intending to watch bad movies and mock them as they unfold. For THAT purpose, this is a perfect movie. Watching Micky Hargitay make an ass of himself in a red mask is especially hilarious. Like so:

For everything else, it's barely worth the effort to take it out of the DVD case.

1 comment:

  1. Must admit, this is one of those ones that got past the idiot factor for me.
    I watch it a lot, and really do enjoy it.
    Hargitay is just astonishing. He looks like Antonio Banderas and capers about like nothing else I've ever seen on a movie screen. That looped music track actually sticks and skips at one point too, doesn't it.
    Things I genuinely think are good about it: the gorgeously vivid, saturated colour, the Italian castle and its surroundings.
    The rest, yes, is pretty terrible, but I can't say I find it boring. When I'm in the mood for trash, this is usually towards the top of the pile, with my favourite Ed Wood and HG Lewis films.
    That dubbing is a work of art - and so, collectively, are those dimwit gals.