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Dead Pit (DVD)

Dead Pit DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Cheryl Lawson, Jeremy Slate, Stephen Gregory Foster, Danny Gochnauer

Directed by Brett Leonard

Distributed by Navarre Corporation and Code Red


What is a guilty pleasure? Something you like even though you know it sucks? Something that would ruin the way people look at you if they found out you liked it? Something that you pretend to be interested in purely from an ironic standpoint but secretly dig the hell out of? Yeah, that about sums it up. For me, Dead Pit is more than a guilty pleasure. It’s a movie so bad that it’s hard not to enjoy it. It exists in a grey area where the normal rules of great and awful don’t apply. The best part? It’s finally on DVD! We should all rejoice! I think …

For the unacquainted, Dead Pit tells the story of Jane Doe (played by the uber-hot Cheryl Lawson). After being admitted to a mental hospital with amnesia, Doe ends up having a lot more than your average “Who the hell am I?” type problems to deal with — namely, an earthquake that ends up freeing the now undead body of a deviant doctor who was into raising a lot more than the high cost of medical bills. With the Earth newly cracked open and the help of his zombified experiments, our evil physician decides to continue his research. There’s your story (what little of it there is), setting the stage for some major flesh-tearing mayhem.

Dead Pit DVD review (click for larger image)There are those of you out there who are going to give me shit for saying that this flick doesn’t suck. I agree with you. Dead Pit is an awful movie; yet, there’s something in it that just makes me enjoy it. Could it be Jane Doe’s ample hips? The doc’s glowing red eyes? The gore-soaked carnage? I don’t know, man. For every good thing I can name about this movie there are at least three bad things that immediately come to mind. Maybe it’s just childhood nostalgia kicking in. The VHS box for this film was so fucking cool (it had eyes that lit up when you pressed it) that I ended up cherishing this exercise in bad cinema a lot more than I should have. Either way, see it for yourself.

As usual, the good folks at Code Red have delivered another better-than-it-deserves DVD release. Not only will you find the original trailer (which was all I expected), but there’s nearly an hour of interviews with director Brett Leonard, writer/producer Gimel Everett, and stars Cheryl (I haven’t aged a bit) Lawson and Jeremy Slate. There’s also a truly lively and funny audio commentary with Leonard, Everett, and Slate. I don’t think I ever wanted to know this much about Dead Pit, but after listening to the cats involved, I must admit I have a bit more appreciation for the flick.

Am I recommending this? No. Am I slamming it? No. This movie is truly subjective to the viewer. For me anyway, even though Dead Pit should be considered D.O.A. by many standards, there’s still a lot of life left in this old weatherbeaten ice-cold corpse of an experience. Watch at your own risk, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with director Brett Leonard, star Jeremy Slate, and writer/producer Gimel Everett
  • Introduction by cast and crew
  • Interviews with Brett Leonard, Jeremy Slate, Gimel Everett, Cheryl Lawson
  • Trailer

    Film:

    2 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 out of 5

    Discuss Dead Pit in our Dread Central forums!

  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    • MagusMaleficus

      Fuck yeah! I remember watching this flick when I was, oh, six or so, and I loved it! I watched it again via my cousin’s battered and beaten VHS copy about four years ago, and I still loved it, warts and all. I’ve gotta pick this one up soon.

    • Blockbuster

      AMEN!!!! Bring back the old Friday The 13th covers!!!! NOW!

    • syd13

      boy do i remember that box art! embossed dvd covers have NOTHING on those old embossed vhs tapes. this was one of the many video boxes at my local rental store that creeped the hell out of me as a kid(remember the original howling 5 cover?). when i finally saw it, i gotta admit that i was pretty dissapointed. but i may pick it up anyway, if the price is right…im a sucker for nostalgiac artwork (which brings up a really old grudge – when they re-release the friday the 13th series in all their unrated glory (and they will – ya gotta have faith), they need to bring back the classic covers!)

      • maryjogriz

        Brett Leonard-
        Joe Griswold’s sister Mary!

    • ivelnoslo

      I’m watching this ASAP! I tried to copy an old tape to a DVD-R disc, but alas, it didn’t work…fortunately, the DVD is now available. Aaaah!

      And yes, this was the most awesome movie box on the shelf, right next to Frankenhooker (“Wanna date?!?”)

    • frank_dracman

      Color me warned. I’m still gonna buy it and love it. With Audio commentary to boot, yeah!