Bloody Pit of Horror (1965)

In the best opening to a movie I have ever seen (indeed, it is the Citizen Kane of movie openings), a scroll unfolds as we hear some of the best maniacal laughter ever put to film. "My vengeance needs blood!!" reads the scroll, a sentiment I can really get behind!

Some tawdry horror book publisher and his employees and models are driving around looking for locations wherein they can take sleazy photos of the girls to put in their books. They find a castle and, thinking it uninhabited, they just walk right on in. But little do they know that this castle is the very castle where ages ago the Crimson Executioner swore his revenge on all mankind! And there is a crazed muscleman just waiting for the chance to welcome them into the Bloody Pit of Horror!

This movie is pretty excellent. The hero is this middle-aged chubby guy with a double-chin and sweater vest that doesn't do enough to hide his beer gut. He's dubbed over with this ridiculously macho voice and he goes around karate chopping musclemen. It's nonsensical on many levels. The high point is when he has to crawl under a trap and he takes so long that the girl he is trying to save dies. I swear, it takes him like fifteen minutes to get over to her. This is easily the most heroic thing he does in the whole movie, and he fails. He is such a loser.

The girls are all goofy, complaining about having to show a little skin during their photo shoots with a sleazy fetish magazine in one scene, barely reacting when their friends start dying in the next. They exist solely to run around in skimpy outfits and get killed.

And then, the absolute best thing about the movie, is the master of the castle who goes crazy and believes himself to be the Crimson Executioner. This guy. This guy! When he is not walking around in his mom's nightgown he's ordering his muscly manservants (menservant?) around, and in his spare time he's oiling himself up and getting ready for the torturing. When he finally flips out and runs around in the Crimson Executioner garb, the movie goes into overdrive and hoo boy the things this guy says. I could just fill this entire post with quotes from the guy but the absolute best one is when he is employing the totally barbaric torture of pouring a little bit of cold water on a girl and cackles, "The Crimson Executioner invented the torture of icy water for creatures like you!" I simply can't say enough good things about this fella.

It all ends with one of those scenes where the heroine blathers on about what caused the guy to think he was the Crimson Executioner, like she would know. Bloody Pit of Horror, feel-good movie of the century!


Sean said...

Mickey Hargitay, AKA Jayne Mansfield's ex-husband, AKA the father of "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay...

newtmonkey said...

He was so awesome in this movie. He should have been in a lot more torture muscleman films.