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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Pit [Blu-ray]

 

(Lew Lehman, 1981)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Amulet Pictures

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:36:21.984 

Disc Size: 31,457,470,133 bytes

Feature Size: 21,642,080,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.50 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 18th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Jason Pichonsky and Paul Corupe from Exploitation.com
Interview with Star Sammy Snyders (16:06)
Interview with Star Jeannie Elias (7:21)
Interview with Screenwriter Ian A. Stuart (12:31)

• Interview with Composer Victor Davies (7:34)
Trailers (Beware the Blob - Son of Blob - 1:45, Jennifer - 2:02, Burnt Offerings - 2:29, Needful Things - 2:01, House of the Long Shadows - 2:27)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Jamie wouldn t kill anyone... unless Teddy told him to! Twelve-year-old Jamie (Sammy Snyders, Tom Sawyer of TV s Huckleberry Finn and His Friends) is one creepy kid... he has a perverse obsession with sex, his only friend is an evil teddy bear, and he's the only one who knows about the hole in the forest where he feeds raw meat to a ravenous pack of mutant troglodytes. Jamie will teach everyone a lesson: the kids who teased and bullied him, the mean old lady down the street, even his pretty new babysitter. Soon they - and his entire town - will face the flesh-eating horror of The Pit! The one and only directorial effort by Lew Lehman with a script by documentarian Ian A. Stuart and featuring a wonderful cast that includes Jeannie Elias (Nomads), Sonja Smith (Videodrome) and Richard Alden (The Sadist).

 

 

The Film:

When twelve-year-old social reject Jamie Benjamin stumbles across a deep pit housing centuries-old troglodytes, he takes it upon himself to see that the creatures are well fed. But the finances of a twelve-year-old go only so far. After stealing both money and meat prove to be dead ends, Jamie decides to take the advice of his perverse teddy bear and lure all the unfriendly members of town into the inescapable bowls of The Pit.
 

One of the odder horror film antagonists you’ll likely come across, Jamie Benjamin is in actuality more of a victim of circumstance and manipulation than a cold-blooded killer. Ignored by his parents, raised by a string of negligent babysitters, shuttled from town to town and school to school, and unable to establish any significant human relationships, the boy inevitably develops an intense, unhealthy bond with his teddy bear. Just what Teddy’s specific motivations are remain unclear, but his perverted, murder-hungry attitude coupled with Jamie’s mounting frustration with society makes for a fascinating horror dynamic.

Excerpt from NotComingTo.com located HERE

 

Jamie Benjamin (Sammy Snyders) has a problem... He's 12 years old, horny as hell, and has a Teddy Bear that he telepathically talks to. Yeah, he's a little freaky, but not too bad of a kid -- that is, unless you piss him off... Then it's off to THE PIT! Yep, you got it, Jamie also has a tendency to throw people down into a deep, cavernous hole in a nearby forest that's inhabited by a bunch of hungry and hairy prehistoric Trogs (Sadly, not the band -- The Troggs!). It's hard being an over-sexed misunderstood kid in a midwestern town, but somehow Jamie gets by just fine.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Pit looks quite strong and textured 1080P. It is cited as a "Brand New 2K Restoration" and grain is heavy but consistent and the visuals are very pleasing in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Contrast is quite strong, colors true and rich but depth is not very prevalent. The film's frequent outdoor sequences can tend to look exceptionally good. The source has a few speckles and very light surface scratches, and I noticed no noise - not even in the night sequences or 'the pit'. For an early 80s film this Blu-ray gave me a surprisingly strong video presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Peeping Tom' / Voyeur emphasized in many scenes in The Pit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1556 kbps in the original English language. There are effects in the film - usually centered around the growls of the pit creatures. Victor Davies' score sounds very serene and classical at times but also works within the film's makeshift tones. The dialogue was sometimes up-and-down - which would probably be on-par with the production. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

I really enjoyed the commentary by film historian Jason Pichonsky and Paul Corupe from Exploitation.com. They add many interesting points about this unusual but memorable production. They discuss how it has appealed to a niche of fans - the lead character, the unsettling pacing etc. It's a wonderful addition. There are also interviews with the star Sammy Snyders - now grown up - and we spend 15-minutes with him. Jeannie Elias - still looking hot - interviews for 7-minutes, screenwriter Ian A. Stuart for more than a dozen minutes and with composer Victor Davies (for almost 8-minutes. All good - fun and Kino include trailers for Beware the Blob - Son of Blob, Jennifer, Burnt Offerings, Needful Things, and House of the Long Shadows.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen The Pit - an odd but appealing Canadian horror film from the 80s. I kept getting surprised by the suspense and direction while I was viewing. I was expecting to turn it off half-way through but it held my attention and pursued multiple genre themes from horror, humor and, as noted, voyeurism. The stacked 2K Kino Lorber
Blu-ray makes this a real gem in 1080P. The commentary is a sweet addition, and I was shocked how entertained I was by this very unusual film. Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 47% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 11th, 2016

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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