Great Movie-- HORRIBLE QUALITY DVD!
amoviefan | Fort Lauderdale, FL USA | 07/02/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What a great horror film. I was very annoyed at the TERRIBLE QUALITY of this transfer to DVD. Find the VHS version-- far better picture and sound. The video version better than the DVD? What a shame..."
Enjoyable Teutonic Gothic.
Brent Carleton | 02/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is fortuitous that this film has at last reached the light of day again, (via DVD) since it provides a welcome reminder of the type of Saturday matinée "scary" fare 1960s parents could safely drop the youngsters off to see--in some ways similar to 1962's "The Magic Sword."
Boasting a very "Siegfried" style hero in Lex Barker, a particularly comely brunette heroine, and Christopher Lee at his most cadaverously malevolent, horror fans should not be disappointed in the regulation personalities. Nor will they be disappointed in the abundance of Gothic contrivances: snakes, skulls, potions, glass coffins, razor pendulums etc. etc. And to those with questions about the logic of the narrative, don't bother with them--the rapid fire pacing won't wait for you to find an answer anyway--if nothing else this film does move!
Ultimately, however, it is in the visuals that this film most impresses. Production design and color are of a very high order indeed, ranking very favorably against Jack Asher and Mario Bava, and it is impossible to believe that the previous work of these two gentlemen is not deliberately evoked here.
Much could be observed in this connection, but suffice it to say that rarely has a nocturnal forest been presented more balefully, with gnarled trees juxtaposed against an ultramarine sky.
Even more in its favor is the effective use of a medieval Bavarian town, whose quaint architecture seems right out of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Here is an example of location shooting that counts for something! Overall, although the credits credit Edgar Allan Poe as the basis of the story, the piece feels altogether more like a "penny-dreadful" hybrid pastiche of the aforementioned Hoffmann and Ludwig Tieck.
Highly recommended for admirers of the genre.
Mr. Kenneth J. Hodges | 01/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this film was of perticuler intrest to me as i was a cinama projectshionist. and i had the first southampton prcentachion of it. i found it still very enjoyable evan after all thes years. glad to own it."
An embarrassment for Christopher Lee
Mr. Kenneth J. Hodges | United Kingdom | 05/03/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When you find yourself beginning to laugh at a horror film, then you know the whole thing is a sham. All the ingrediants are here that go to make up a film of this type, but there is no substance, and the whole thing is a drag. It's badly produced, badly dubbed and the music is awful. Even the presence of Christopher Lee cannot save this film, and it was said that he was sceptical about doing it in the first place. Not without good reason. The film is supposed to be based on the Edgar Alan Poe story 'The Pit and the Pendulum' but that is just an excuse to feature a swinging pendulum forever getting closer to our hero, who although tied up is still able to fling a stone at it, and throw it off course. There is nothing to commend this film."