Pitfire of Hell (2016) Movie Review

Last year when I first started reviewing films on my blog, I had the pleasure of reviewing the micro budget indie horror anthology Pitfire of Hell. I figured since the film doesn’t get near enough love (and because my writing doesn’t suck near as bad now) I would take the opportunity to revisit it.

Pitfire of Hell was directed by Bob East from a script by Bob East and Chuck Terrell. The cast includes Jordan Campbell, Elizabeth Brehob, Bob East, Samantha Michelle, John East, Jason Newlin, Bryan Wilson, Raymond Kester, Jason Hignite (Time To Kill 2014), Christian Kelly, Brigid Macaulay (Plank Face 2016), Shay Dickerhoff (Camel Spiders 2011), Valerie Leon (Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb 1971), Conrad Brooks (Plan 9 From Outer Space 1959), Stuart Fratkin (Teen Wolf Too 1987), Ellie Church (Harvest Lake 2016), and Roni Jonah (Volumes of Blood 2015). The plot follows a group of friends who are given an assignment to write horror stories and decide to tell their respective stories around a fire pit.

Pitfire of Hell shows what you can accomplish with no money when you have passion. Shot on a budget of under $300, Pitfire of Hell is a super fun film despite its obvious lack of money. The film is chock full of references to everything from Dean Cameron, Animal HouseMonty Python, The Shining, Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho, Frankenstein, Inception and much more.

The film features excellent performance from a cast of relative newcomers, the best being Jordan Campbell who has a lovable geeky charm and great comedic timing. I loved seeing indie scream queens such as Ellie Church and Brigid Macaulay in such ridiculous roles, which was refreshing given the usual dark subject matter of their film work.

The film manages to tie a lot of the segment together via the appearance of the killer which makes the film overall feel more cohesive. There are numerous segments that meld horror and comedy (while leaning more toward comedy).

The first segment features a masked killer around town. The best moments in this segment features the killer alerting the coeds to his presence by munching on a chip, which promptly leads to their demise and the killer trying to kill a handicap women in a power-chair.

The second segment feature someone dealing with their noisy neighbor. It is mostly talking and is probably my least favorite segment.

The third segment, and by far my favorite, involves one of the main characters being seduced by Ellie Church (who is playing herself) that gradually changes more and more until it morphs into its main character being seduced by a coven of witches (with tons of nudity). The best parts of this segment are seeing Ellie Church doing comedy and the performance of Jordan Campbell. His dialogue and performance in this segment is comedic gold.

The fourth story is a riff on Bride of Frankenstein that plays out much differently than I expected. The interaction between the mad doctor and his male creature is hilarious and I appreciated it even more after finding out most of the jokes and gags were delivered on the spot by the actors Bryan Wilson and Shay Dickerhoff.

The fifth segment follows the main characters investigating an urban legend in a cemetery. This segment mostly takes place in a cemetery at night. It’s hard to see at points what’s going on and overall the segment didn’t really do much for me.

The wraparound revolves around the main characters sitting around a fire pit and telling their stories. The ending somehow manages to be funny while simultaneously punching you in the gut. It left me questioning whether certain elements from some of the stories were actually reality inside the movie.

Final Thoughts:

Pitfire of Hell, while being on the low end of low budget, is a really fun film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and manages to provide the 3 B’s of horror cinema: babes, boobs and blood. This is the kind of film you get when your passion and talent is enough to overcome your lack of money and it’s a shame more people don’t know about it. If you want to pick up a copy you can do so here.

About Charlie Cargile

Central Illinois based film journalist. Lover of cinema of all varieties but in love with films with an independent spirit. Elder Emo. Cat Dad. Metalhead.

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  1. The frankenstein sequence was 75% on script. the rest was ad libbed.
    They took my script and ran with it.