The Pit
aka, TEDDY. 1982
Director: Lew Lehman

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The Pit In the el cheapo Canadian production The Pit (1982), school geek (Sammy Snyders, who'd also played Tom Sawyer in Huckleberry Fin & His Friends, 1979), is ignorantly described as "an autistic child" on the video box.

He's a psycho kid but by no means austistic. He has an abnormal relationship with his teddy bear (hence the alternate release title in Quebec, as Teddy) & is outcast among his peers.

Exploring the woods, he discovers a pit that exposes cavern-dwelling flesh-eating troglodytes or small hairy ape-men. What kid wouldn't enjoy that?

In the initial screenplay by Ian A. Stuart (who seems to have done nothing since), the trogs existed only in Jamie's insane mind. Lew Lehman, who has directed nothing else, decided to make them literal. He first tosses candy bars into the pit, winning the interest of the humanoid critters down below. Later he tosses them all the raw meat he can obtain since they vastly prefer that.

The PitFinally he decides to rid the town of all the people who ever picked on him. If a little girl once called him a "funny person," then she's a hideous bully who deserves to be eaten by the trogs.

One by one he tricks people he dislikes into visiting the pit to be pushed in. It's too slowly paced & devoid of character-actor performances to function as a black comedy, & the kid is such a sociopath that it would really be more fun to see him be maltreated by bullies.

All we get is a dumb story, non-acting, & tedious pacing which made this torture to watch. And yet I found myself pondering the film long after, so it's got something memorable to it.

Certainly it's not so awful that the people responsible for it deserved the obscurity their only film has gained them. As microbudget horror goes, it's well ahead of the game.

If you're in a sufficiently misanthropic right mood & expecting very little from a film, it can entertain as a childishly sicko revenge fantasy that might well prove strangely appealing to anyone who ever felt like they'd love to have the power to take massive excesses of revenge over minor slights.

For years this was a hard film to lay hands on but it was finally released on a doublebill DVD with the much, much worse Hellgate (1989).

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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