The Pit (1981)

the pit poster 1981 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

So bad-it-is-good

Pretty much everything

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Pit

Studio: Amulet Pictures

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): October 23, 1981

MPAA Rating: R

the pit sammy snyder talking teddy bear

Wait…are you alive? What’s happening here?

Jamie Benjamin (Sammy Snyders) isn’t like other boys.  No one likes him and everyone makes fun of him.  Not even Jamie’s parents spend time with him…it is just Jamie, his stuffed bear Teddy, and a revolving door of babysitters.  When Jamie discovers the pit in the woods with creatures living it, the creatures become Jamie’s friends, but the creatures need to eat…and they like fresh meat!  Jamie finds himself trying to find food for his “tra-la-logs” as he also find himself infatuated with his new babysitter Sandy (Jeannie Elias).  The tra-la-logs are getting hungrier, and Jamie is running out of meat.  Jamie isn’t like other boys, and creatures of the pit aren’t like other animals.

the pit monsters tralalogs

We actually prefer fish, kid

Directed by Lew Lehman, The Pit (originally called Teddy) is a Canadian horror film.  The movie received mixed to negative reviews from critics but has gained a cult following over the years.

The Pit used to run regularly over the air late at night on the weekends…and I would watch it every chance I got.  When The Pit was released on DVD, I bought The Pit (which came with the also bizarre Hellgate) and when The Pit was released on Blu-Ray, I bought the movie on Blu-Ray.  With a goofy plot, a bizarre means of telling the story, and no firm tone to the film, The Pit is probably my favorite bad movie.

the pit babysitter washes boy sammy snyders jeannie elias

Yes…this is the way to get the kid past his weird obsession with you

The film’s opening should give away the type of movie it is.  It involves a long, long sequence where Jamie tricks two children into falling into the pit…and then the sequence plays later in the movie just as it did earlier.  It feels like total filler.  The rest of the movie involves Jamie tricking people into the unknown pit (which isn’t hidden and is a giant hole in the ground on a path).  Jamie’s actions are generally accompanied by goofy music and sequences…the movie ends with a more violent attack by the tra-la-logs which also allows more nudity (which feels like was the actual purpose of the sequence).

The movie has Jamie being “autistic”, but it just seems to throw that word out there to mean Jamie is weird instead of any medical diagnosis (which is pretty insulting, but probably not uncommon in 1980).  He hangs out with a teddy bear that may or may not be alive (it has Jamie’s voice but it also moves independently of Jamie in a scene).  Jamie can’t connect but he does connect with his babysitter…who feels it is alright to give Jamie a bath though he’s supposed to be twelve.  The whole thing is weird.

the pit hunters ending shooting

There’s a hole in the ground…Shoot It!!!

In addition to the weird editing and storytelling, the movie has a definite cheapness to it.  It more resembles a movie released in 1971 instead of a 1981 movie.  The pit is rather non-threatening (and as mentioned so obvious…it feels like it should be hidden a bit) and the tra-la-logs (aka troglodytes) are laugh inducing instead of fear inducing (I like it when we get “Tra-la-log Vision”).

The Pit is awful…but I can’t help giving it a soaring recommendation.  The movie is the epitome of bad films and great to watch as a group…again…and again.  The movie originally had a very different path which supposedly accounts for some of the odd nature of the movie.  The tra-la-logs were not meant to be real…it was all in Jamie’s head.  The viewers got cinematic gold instead.  Be it the weird sex stuff, the editing, the talking teddy bear, or the tra-la-logs themselves, The Pit is a movie that you won’t forget no matter how hard you try.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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