VHS Review: The Pit

There are so many films out there that are considered “soooo bad it’s good.” Most of the time I just think they’re bad but The Pit happens to be one of the few I would consider the best of both worlds. This is low budget, B-Movie heaven. The premise is one of my favorites to discuss with fellow horror fans. The VHS copy of The Pit is actually pretty clear. This is surprising to me considering it was released in 1981.

Jamie Benjamin is a perverted, sick and twisted young boy with deep seeded problems and is obviously suffering from paranoid schizophrenia even though they try to play it off as autism. What’s not clear is if this is because of his lack of friends and the fact that everyone seems to hate him or because his parents abandon him and leave him with a hot babysitter for him to pine over. Jamie even gets punched in the face after asking if he could join a boy’s club. Jamie passes the time by talking to his teddy bear, who talks back to him, feeding his enemies to his new friends known as the tra-la-logs, and being a total pervert.

Let me break down this amazing plot. First of all, this boy is obviously too old to have a teddy bear. He’s twelve! It’s time to take the teddy bear away. Especially, when it tells him to spy on naked chicks and feed people to monsters hidden in the mysterious pit. At first I thought that Teddy was just in Jamie’s head but after seeing a scene where Teddy turns his head after the babysitter finished cleaning his room, it’s clear that it isn’t all in Jamie’s head. So now I am wondering where the hell this possessed teddy bear came from or was that just a mistake the director failed to notice?

The mysterious pit seems to show up out of nowhere. It’s illogical that this thing is in the middle of the woods and NOBODY seemed to notice it before. Seriously, we are never told much about these things, where they come from, and how the hell they got there. Jamie has read about these creatures though and he discovered they only eat meat. When he runs out of money to buy meat from the market, he begins throwing humans down into the pit. Before humans, he actually tried a cow but did not succeed. He figured, the cow is going to die anyway. The cow might as well serve as food for his new friends.

Being a total pervert, he enjoys pasting the librarian’s head on naked bodies in a photography book and taking pictures of her while she is changing clothes. He actually called her house and convinced her that her niece had been kidnapped and if she wanted her back, she had to strip in front of the window for him. What a little creep. In another creepy perverted moment, his babysitter gives him a bath. This confused me because she just caught him spying on her while she slept and had a nipple hanging out. The last thing I would do is give that little twerp a bath. He even sneaks into the bathroom while she showered and wrote “I love you” on the bathroom mirror. For some reason, he thought he had a chance but she is actually terrified and screams.

This films seems to have all kinds of mysterious creatures. Not only are there tra-la-logs and evil, talking teddy bears, there is a ghost as well. I remember the part with the ghost scaring me when I was little. As for the tra-la-logs effects, I wasn’t too impressed but I have seen a lot worse. I did find it hilarious when we see that they’re smart enough to hide from police and climb ropes. It looked like a man wearing a horrible dog suit. They have glowing eyes and there are more pits in who knows how many other locations. The ending had quite an ironic twist.

I think we can all agree that the best scene would be when he wheels the old lady into the pit. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with us for thinking that was hilarious. It’s almost as if the director meant for it to be a comedy as well. Even when he acts like a total pussy when he wants to ride a girly bike but gets played, he throws that little girl into the pit and it’s hilarious. The dialogue was also a nice treat. “Clumsy-stupid.”

One of few things this film has going for it is the acting. Sammy Snyders blew me away as the ever so creepy Jamie with a really bad 70s hair cut and strange voice. I don’t know what it is about his voice, it just gives me the chills. It sounds like Teddy is the same voice as Sammy Snyders as well. Unfortunately, this fine child actor’s career ended in 1981. Jeannie Elias plays the baby sitter Sandy. I don’t know much about this actress but I was impressed by her screams when she’s dangling from the pit.

This was director Lew Lehman’s only film. I wonder if Lehman is obsessed with sexual perversion. After seeing how obsessed Jamie is with naked girls, well that isn’t fair. Most teen boys are obsessed with sex and naked girls but the guy put his daughter in the film as a girl that skinny dips. His wife refused to let him film the scenes with the other naked ladies but it was okay for him to film his naked daughter….. What kind of family is this?

Gore fans ‘might’ be disappointed. There are a couple of quick scenes with body parts and the tra-la-logs chewing into arms and legs but that quick moment was enough to satisfy my appetite.

The Pit is such a fun movie, even for non horror fans. I highly recommend you get your hands on the DVD or VHS of this bad boy.Below is a really neat foreign poster of the film I stumbled across.