Mickey Hargitay was a body builder who starred in Hercules vs. the Hydra, Delirium, and a couple of other Italian schlock flicks, but the most impressive item on his resume is that he was once the husband of Jayne Mansfield.
He puts all that vital experience to use in Bloody Pit Of Horror as a guy that runs around shirtless in red tights, torturing and killing the folks who just wanted to use his castle to do some cheesecake photo shoots for a horror anthology they were working on.
There is a distinctly awesome vibe going on in this film and it has something to do with the fact that the well-oiled Hargitay runs around in his way too snug tights, his little red hood, and his large black belt, all the while complaining about how everyone is “corrupting the harmony of my perfect body.” This is the sort of thing you rarely get in horror films, even Italian ones!
Back in the middle ages, there was a guy named the Crimson Executioner. He was one of those executioners that got tired of liberal judges letting witches and pagans off with a little stake burning, so he took the law into his own hands and tried to clean up the filth that infested his land with his various torture devices.
He was caught and executed in his own device and his body and soul were locked up inside, complete with a really cool wax seal.
Fast forward to the mid 1960s when some models, publisher and staff show up at the very same castle that the Crimson Executioner use to call home.
They’re looking for a good place to take pictures of sexy things like girls getting menaced by suits of armor and they think they’ve found the perfect castle.
Once inside, Travis (Hargitay) tells the trespassers to hit the bricks and that he just wants to live all by himself in that big old castle with nobody bothering him and his very well-muscled employees.
He relents though when he recognizes one of the women through a one way mirror and tells them they can stay the night and shoot photos, but they must leave in the morning.
Deaths begin to mount once the wax seal imprisoning the Crimson Execution is disturbed and even though people are getting rubbed out as fast as Travis can oil up his pecs, they still insist on not sticking together. This leads to one of the best scenes in the film and it involves a giant spider web, cross bows, and a spider so fake you can see that it is being held up by two strings!
Ultimately our hero (Rick) discovers that his girlfriend Edith has been kidnapped by the Crimson Executioner.
Edith realizes that he is former movie star Travis Anderson, a dude that she used to date! Talk about a bad break up!
Travis tells her that he dropped out of society and just wants to be left alone with his perfect body and really beefy henchmen. He further complains that the world is polluted and now that she and her gang have infested his castle with their impurity and flabby chests, he will have to take care of them Crimson Executioner style!
You can’t help but like Travis with his self-obsession and preening, all the while complaining about the half naked nubile chicks laying around his basement posing for their cheesecake horror photos. And unlike so many movie maniacs, he isn’t killing women because he’s never been good enough for them, but because they aren’t as great as he is!
At seventy-four minutes, director Massimo Pupillo (Django Kills Softly, Terror-Creatures from the Grave) keeps things moving along fast enough that this surprisingly good-looking film doesn’t over stay its welcome.
The absurdly hyper Travis flitting about his dungeon like some kind of murderous humming bird, smiling his big ugly smile as he runs from victim to victim doling out his torture is worth the price of the DVD alone.
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