The Pit

Year: 1981

Director: Lew Lehman

Written by: Ian A. Stuart

Threat: Kid

Weapon of Choice: Pit Monsters

IMDb page: IMDb link

      The Pit

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Rish's Reviews
The film had a neat tagline: "Pray to God it only kills you!" But it didn't really fit the movie. Still, just imagine the movie it WOULD fit!
Jamie is a lonely, misunderstood twelve year old. He is disliked by his classmates and neighbors, and his only friend is his big teddy bear. But little do his enemies know that Jamie knows where there's a pit in the woods, and at the bottom of that pit, are little monsters he calls Trolologs. Well, those who do Jamie wrong get a tour of the pit, which is good, since the Trolologs are hungry.
I thought this movie was Canadian, but the credits said it was shot in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Beginning like a terrible TV movie, it became more of a conventional slasher at the end (which I much preferred). It was longish--as if it contractually HAD to be two hours in length. Looking across my notes, you'd think this was the worst movie ever (sentences like "Oh boy, what was I thinking?" and "What the--" and even "No notes can be taken, this sucks!" abounded), but it improved as it went along. At times, I exclaimed, "Oh, this is crap!," but other times, I was very entertained. I'd say, in the end, 80% was stupid, and 20% was cool. The funny thing is, it's the twenty percent I'm remembering as I'm writing this review. The actor who played Jamie wasn't all that bad, even though he had a very old voice and face for a "little boy." Let me try to describe the Trolologs (also called Trogs) for a moment. Basically the same as CHUDs, these neat-looking monsters look like crosses between the Morlocks in The George Pal Time Machine and the Ugnauts in The Empire Strikes Back. Or, even better, like Snaggletooth in Star Wars but with glowing eyes, gnashing teeth, and lots of hair. Cheap-looking, but cool.
There were some things I didn't get: A boy with no friends (except imaginary ones), he's twelve and still talks to his stuffed bear (but don't cast stones yet, the bear talks back). Is he a little perv, or just like everyone? Jamie's parents go away for, what, a year? And why? Just so he can have a new babysitter (or should I say nubile babysitter) come take care of him? Also, the fact that said babysitter bathes a twelve year old boy? His voice had changed, for Fonzie's sake! Also, some of the boy's shenanigans are hard to believe, and it was a big suspension of disbelief to buy the ways he feeds the Trogs. And very awful was the fact that the first five minutes are from the middle of the movie, which they show in their entirety. I have never seen that done before, probably because it sucks.
Refreshingly unscrupulous, a lot of the stuff the kid did would never be filmed in today's P.C. society (such as bumping off an old bat in a wheelchair, checking out his babysitter's mammary glands as she sleeps, and offing the nasty little red-haired girl from down the block). It had a neat little ending that caused me to smile.
Let me see if I can't tone down the light-heartedness for a moment. You know, when a young man reaches "that age," a lot of things are confusing and scary, including physical changes and the almost eerily powerful interest in sex and girls. I believe all boys wonder, at some point (due to unexpected thoughts, actions, or feelings) if there is something wrong with them. Are they normal? Well, this film makes it quite clear that they are NOT. Is that bad? Yes, sure it is! Man, it is hard enough growing up in this world (or any world, I'm sure) without people jumping at the chance to get out the branding iron with "ABNORMAL" stenciled across it. Jamie's a little creep, you say? Well, who isn't? I'd much rather spend an afternoon with Jamie than folks I've met with a lot of friends. He talks to himself, so he's branded a psycho or autistic (as the guy at the video store claimed). Am I the only person who does that? The librarian condemns the boy for looking at a book with nude pictures in it, but who hasn't? Is that so wrong? Yes, Jamie watches his babysitter in the shower--but who wouldn't? Yes, he kills the school bully, who wouldn't? I think about it all the time, and I'm supposed to be an adult!
Now, in any movie, Horror or otherwise, I tend to pick a character that I relate to. Clearly, in this picture, I related to Jamie. Is that wrong? Was that anyone's intent? Certainly we're not supposed to hate him, are we? Suddenly I'm reminded of the lambasting I took when I was in school and Mrs. Bigler confiscated a drawing I'd done of her sitting in an electric chair plugged into one of the typewriters from her class. Maybe if Mrs. Bigler had known Jamie from The Pit, that unpleasant incident could have been avoided.
I'd Recommend It To: A lot of the movie blew, but enough didn't that if you find it somewhere, you might want to maybe not rule out the slightest possibility of considering watching it. Perhaps.

Total Skulls: 14

Sequel setup
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution skull
MTV Editing
OTS skullskull
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat skull
Secluded location
Power is cut
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise skull
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls skull
Toilet stall scene
Shower/bath scene skullskull
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare
Laughable scare skull
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence
No one believes only witness
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes skull
x years before/later
Flashback sequence
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes skull
Unscary villain/monster
Blood fountain
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect
Excessive gore
No one dies at all
Virgin survives
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots skull
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell? skull