(Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/ )
So, it’s the day before Grand Theft Auto 4 is released which means it’s probably best I get this review up now. My horror film geek hat has to come off to make room for the XBox one, if only for a week or so.
The Dead Pit doesn’t really start off particularly impressively, or with much originality. A crazed doctor in a mental hospital is murdering patients and performing bizarre brain experiments on them in the hospital basement. What he’s trying to achieve isn’t fully explained, except that ‘The Brain is a Parasite’ and is a barrier to freeing the mind, apparently. Ah, so filling dead peoples heads with formaldehyde and dumping the bodies in a pit is the way to go then.
Anyway, after this mad surgeon has been killed off by another doctor the story cuts to 20 years later. A new patient with amnesia is admitted who suffers from flashbacks and nightmares – strangely involving being tied up in a shower and hosed down with water by a nurse until all her clothes fall off – I know we’ve all had that one.
From here onward it plays out like a creepy ghost story, at least for most of the film. The amnesiac woman sees visions of the murdered doctor around the hospital that nobody else notices, the dribbly mental patients wander around and act as bog standard cliche mental patients do, and hospital residents go missing all the time without the police ever becoming involved.
Of course, it turns out the amnesiac woman wasn’t totally mad at all. There is a ghostly zombie doctor murdering patients again, and this time he’s somehow managed to bring them all back to life to go on murderous brain gathering rampages.
It’s actually quite nicely filmed, with the nighttime shots filled with ghostly luminous colours, and the gore effects, when they actually get going, are also pretty decent. Faces melt with holy water (the only way to kill these zombies apparently), brains get ripped out and fondled (although never eaten) and the Zombie Surgeon prods around in unwilling victims skulls with needles. Overall it’s a reasonably creepy little number but the shuffling zombies took far too long to make an appearance, which is a shame as they’re proper zombies too – rotting, shuffling along and searching for Brains! What more would you want from the undead?
Gore Score C+
Norks Score C
Overall Score C