Bloody Pit of Horror (Il boia scarlatto)

05/01/2016 15:45

Film: Bloody Pit of Horror (Il boia scarlatto)

Year: 1965

Director: Massimo Pupillo

Writer: Romano Migliorini and Roberto Natale

Starring: Mickey Hargitay, Walter Brandi and Ralph Zucker



This film begins with a quote from Marquis de Sade. We then see a man known as the Crimson Executioner. We learn that he is being executed for his crimes of torturing and killing people. He was unjustly killing those around him. He does make a curse that he will come back to get his revenge. He is executed with his own iron maiden. It is then sealed up.

The film then shifts to present day where we have a group of people traveling around. They come to a castle in three cars. They are looking to take pictures for novels that Walter Brandi has written. They are horror novels. He is a former reporter and traveling with the group. The photographer is Ralph Zucker. The man who is financing all of this is Alfredo Rizzo. There is Nando Angelini, who is a male model, Albert Gordon and then the cover girls. They are played by Barbara Nelli, Moa Tahi, Rita Klein and Femi Benussi. A woman with them that takes care of their wardrobes and other things they need is played by Luisa Baratto.

They knock and ring a bell trying to see if anyone is home. No one answers the door. They sneak in and run into Gino Turini. He tells them that they should not be inside the castle. Brandi and Rizzo are then taken to the man who owns the castle; he is played by Mickey Hargitay. He tells them that they should not be inside the castle and need to leave.

They come back to the group to tell them to pack up and that they need to leave. Hargitay comes over a speaker and tells them he has changed his mind. They can stay only for the night and need to leave early in the morning. They are also told that his helpers, his other helper played by Roberto Messina, will show them where they can shoot. They are not to go into the dungeons though.

Almost immediately, Brandi and Zucker go into the dungeons. They accidently hit an ax when a bat comes at them. It cuts off the seal to the iron maiden that the Crimson Executioner was kept in.

They take their pictures, but an accident happens where Angelini is killed by one of the torture devices in the dungeon that they were using to take pictures with. Gordon and Nelli sneak off to make love as well. Brandi goes to see Hargitay as does Rizzo and Baratto. At first, Turini won’t allow them to come in, but he comes out. Hargitay looks at Baratto and seems to be in love. Brandi asks if they know each other and both claim they do not.

Hargitay then dresses as the Crimson Executioner and attacks Gordon. He also takes Nelli. Brandi knows there is something wrong with what is happening here. They find in a photo that was taken when Angelini died that there is someone’s shadow in the background. They think that it was murder. Nelli is then found inside of the iron maiden and Gordon is found dead as well. Zucker is told to leave to go get help. He is killed with an arrow.

Tahi is found in a spider web made of steel. There are arrows that set-up to fire if someone tries to free her. There is a spider coming at her that is large, fake and has poison to kill her. Can Brandi and Baratto get everyone away from this castle and Hargitay before it is too late?

This film claims to be based Marquis de Sade, but from what I’ve read, it is very loosely based on that. It is crazy and scary that men like this really existed, torturing people for various reasons. I really do like that they showed a lot of different forms of torture and the devices that were used. The women were also quite attractive for the time period and wore pretty revealing outfits. There is no nudity though. Hargitay did very well at playing the crazy villain as well.

There are a lot of issues with the film, first issue being that the acting for the most part is really bad. The sound doesn’t really sync up with the mouths of those speaking as well. I also think it is laughable that some of the torture scenes look fake. Example is that Baratto is put on an oven shaped like a bull, we see that hot coals are put into it and a fire is burning. When we see the woman on top of it, there is no fire. I also think the fight scenes in the film are funny. Hargitay and his henchmen could team up to win, but they stand back and watch instead. Allowing the heroes to succeed at different times, plus they don’t secure everyone, giving them an opportunity to escape. Some of the death scenes do not look realistic, which hurt the film for me.

With that said, this film is not good. The acting is subpar for the most part. The best part there would have to be Hargitay and he wasn’t all that good. The use of all the different torture apparatuses was good. The scenes do come out looking fake unfortunately as well as some of the death scenes. The women do look good for the time period and are not wearing a lot. The quality of the film is also lacking as the words don’t sync up completely with the mouths. Part of this could be that it is an Italian film so it had to be dubbed. This one is a cult film though, so if that is something you’re into it, give it a viewing. If you are interested in the history of torture, this film is interesting in that respect. If not, the film can be passed.


My Rating: 5 out of 10