Bloody Pit of Horror (aka Il Boia Scarlatto) (Massimo Pupillo, 1965)

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Bloody Pit of Horror Poster
A group of vapid assholes break into a remote castle in order to take cover pictures for trashy novels. Unbeknownst to them, the castle is inhabited by a reclusive sadist with a mandate for punishing dirty whores and their ilk.
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The typical group-of-oblivious-idiots decide that it’s a good idea to break into what appears to be an uninhabited castle in order to make use of the setting for a photo-shoot. Little do they know that in the 17th century the castle was the scene of a series of sadistic murders at the hands of the infamous Crimson Executioner, who was subsequently brought to justice and interred in the dungeon below. When the current resident appears and agrees to let them stay the night, members of the group start to go missing and turning up dead. Could The Crimson Executioner have been resurrected to perpetuate his evil deeds? Could this guy’s robe be more effeminate?
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As tame as the film is (even by 1960s standards), there’s no denying that Massimo Pupillo’s (Terror-Creatures From the Grave) Bloody Pit of Horror has a certain charisma. The dialogue is expectedly terrible, there’s not so much as a nipple shown from any of the ladies involved, and the killings are practically bloodless. With all that out of the way, the film’s charm lies with Mickey Hargitay’s (Delirium, The Reincarnation of Isabel) deliciously over the top performance as The Crimson Executioner, garbed in one the most ridiculous getups ever committed to film. Astoundingly, he still manages to deliver his hilariously shoddy lines with such aplomb that it almost makes one overlook the absurdity of the entire affair.The rest of the lot are just as entertaining, as they woodenly regurgitate their innuendo-laden discourse back and forth. And trust me some of the lines are eye-rollingly atrocious.

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Purportedly based on the writings of the Marquis De Sade (albeit which writings in particular remain unclear), Bloody Pit of Horror obviously contains certain S&M leanings, which makes for some pretty damn entertaining film; chiefly when The Crimson Executioner gets ahold of these sluts and tortures them for the audience’s enjoyment. There’s one particularly notable scene involving a pair of damsels in distress tied to a rotating post as a set of swords inch ever closer, tearing at their clothes and cutting up their modestly covered cleavage. That’s not to get one’s hopes up – keep in mind the effects in the film require a lot of suspension of disbelief. I’m absolutely convinced that the blades in the aforementioned contraption (as well as several others) are nothing more that cheap plastic Halloween swords glued to a scrap of plywood. Everything just looks incredibly fake and non-threatening  – wait till you see the spider in the web trap.

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Fortunately, despite its shortcomings in the titties and blood department, Bloody Pit of Horror manages to be sleazy without actually showing the viewer anything of the sort. Conceptually we have  a group of young ladies ready to disrobe for some seedy book covers, the dungeon itself is packed full of all manner of nasty torture devices and they are put to good use, Hell – even The Crimson Executioner is a bit discomforting despite his ridiculous costume; all oiled up and flexing persistently. As far as über-tame films based on sadistic debauchery go, you can’t get better than this one.

Bloody Pit of Horror is horror as only the Italians knew how to do it back in the day. Regardless of one’s genre leanings, there’s plenty of entertainment value here. Not to be missed.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating:
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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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