Il Boia Scarlatto (Bloody Pit of Horror) (1965)
Italy (dir. Massimo Pupillo)
Cast: Alfredo Rizzo, Luisa Baratto, Mickey Hargitay, Moa Tahi, Rita Klein, Walter Brandi
Synopsis: A photographer and his models go to an old, abandoned castle to shoot some sexy covers for horror novels. Unbeknownst to them, the castle is inhabited by a lunatic who believes himself to be the reincarnated spirit of a 17th-century executioner whose job it is to protect the castle against intruders.
Review: Words cannot describe the absolute cheese that is “Bloody Pit of Horror”. If you are desperately searching for a good laugh, this movie could definitely be for you – however you’d have to be pretty desperate to sit through this 87 minute corny mess of a movie. It’s pretty much a possession type movie mixed with obscenely sexual torture scenes (pretty much the only time you’ll ever see the possession and torture porn sub-genre mixed together). And no, the torture is neither gory nor splattery. The victims are all scantily clad women getting their bras torn off. Seriously.
The premise of the film is that a group of photographers and their models are scouting for a location to shoot pictures for the covers of horror novels. They end up finding a castle owned by a rather stern man who only lets them continue shooting pictures becasue he realizes his ex-girlfriend is one of the photographer’s crew. God were those photo shoots ever bad. The horror novels must be goddamn cheesy if those pictures are going to be on the covers. They pretty much did shots of half-naked girls lying on torture chamber devices and fainting in the arms of grown men dressed up as skeletons. The photoshoot ends up going awry after one of the photographers “accidentally” falls into a pit/well and dies. Everyone becomes a little bit more cautious, but that doesn’t stop one of the models from dying horribly (trapped in an iron maiden) and another model from dying stupidly (caught in a fake web with probably the fakest paper mache “venomous” spider in the world).
We find out that the castle’s owner believes himself to be possessed (or is actually possessed) by the crimson executioner. A torturer from the middle ages who was executed. He ends up entrapping the rest of the models and subjecting them to horrible torture like the rack or the spinning wheel or the cold water running down the spine (oh no, cold water!). The models don’t even seem to upset they are being tortured by a buff hottie; they moan in what appears to be a borderline orgasmic state. Either they are terrible actors, or they like it rough. One of the photographers escapes to get help, and sets up probably the funniest scene in this movie – the other photographers assure the models that their friend has escaped to get help, and the scene cuts to the friend driving around in his car aimlessly with an arrow sticking out of his head. Hilarious. Another hilarious scene occurs when the girl stuck in the spiderweb has a rescuer attempt to save her by navigating towards her under the spider’s web (if he pull the stings of the web, an arrow will shoot him). Her rescuer shimmies on his back under the web at the pulse-pumping speed of like an inch every 5 minutes. I’m not even sure why he didn’t just bother throwing his shoe at the web to detonize the arrow. It was simply hilarious seeing him try to navigate the web – seriously, I couldn’t stop laughing. He finally gets to the girl, but it’s of course too late since the paper mache spider already bit her. He then proceeds to like brush away the huge spider, apparently suggesting the spider only bites hot chicks?
Knowing how shitty this movie is (I’d seen it already once before) I didn’t bother subjecting myself to watching the ending yet again. Suffice it to say that the crimson executioner (an oiled up meathead wearing red spandex tights and accompanied by equally beefy henchmen wearing spandex striped muscle shirts) fights it out with his ex-girlfriend’s new beau. They exchange some karate and jodo-chop stylings, and then the crimson executioner is vanquished. The entire fight is accented nicely with the annoyingly repetitive 60’s style horror music that sounds screechy and unnerving at some points, but just downright redundant later on. Is this a movie worth checking out? Hell no – unless you’re in the mood for some red spandex, scantily clad bimbos, and some bad Italian to English dubbing translations.