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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Pit (1981) - Lew Lehman


The Pit (AKA. Teddy) is a dreadful horror film. The usual tropes exist. The list is loaded. But this poor horror movie has something all the other poor horror flicks don't have. Sammy Snyders. Snyders plays the annoying lead antagonist. Who am I to complain? This role is what brought the film to cult status. The other elements lack but Snyders' work is what remains the most notable. That's not a good thing. The picture looks interesting enough. But, doesn't take long for the picture to derail. It's just so damn curious. The box art is pleasant and weird. It's not the best art but at least it was created by hand. I hadn't heard of the movie before discovering it online. I can't think of seeing this movie on the racks at the video store. And seems to be pretty forgotten. I believe that makes it pretty rare. 

The plot revolves around a kid going through puberty in the worst way. I am not one to mince words. He acts like a strange little creep. His name is Jamie, and he isn't normal. Jamie flies off the handle at the slightest bump in a social setting. It's understandable that he would be bullied. But Jamie has a weapon for those bullies. A hole in the forest. Jamie had come across this hole deep in the woods. Inside of the hole are these weird goblin  things called Tra-La-Logs. These creatures need meat to survive and Jamie appears to be their only friend. One day he just starts pitching folks down into this pit. Anyone that had wronged him. Later he literally lets the Tra-La-Logs out! But that's when the horror movie really begins. It's not just about some awkward little asshole. 

Sadly, the movie takes a great deal of time to show Jamie lusting after his babysitter Sandy (Jeannie Elias). She is at the center of his perverse attention. Jamie clearly makes his intentions known while playing dumb the entire movie. It's annoying. Sandy denies his advances and he goes into full dramatic Emo mode. I would like this movie much more if Sammy Snyders wasn't in it. It's the worst. His annoying voice just rips across each scene thoroughly. I had to take a break. His antics infuriated me. 

There are small pockets of attempts at horror. I believe that this must have looked great on paper. But the movie doesn't genuinely deliver and I wouldn't want to watch it again. The ending is so mishmahsed that it becomes too unusual for it's own good. The sleaze, the gore and tone in the second half of the movie feel like a Roger Corman picture. Ordinarily that would be a good thing. In this case it just boils down to bad film-making. I can't say that I recommend it either. I can see why people would subject themselves to something like this as a cult feature. I would like to cast this movie into a pit. 

Director: Lew Lehman
Producer: Jennet Fode/John F. Bassett
Writer: Ian A. Stuart
Starring: Sammy Snyders and Jeannie Elias
Studio: Amulet Pictures/Ambassador Film Distributors/New World Pictures/Embassy Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 23, 1981
Country: Canada



















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