The Pit

the pit sammy snyders

Coming across more as a garden-variety suburban asshole with a blonde bowl cut than misunderstood boy plagued with autism, Jamie Benjamin (SAMMY SNYDERS) is a 12-year-old social pariah. His parents have a difficult time keeping babysitters, the kids at school would rather punch him in his squirrely face than be his friend, and the town librarian has him pegged for the preteen pervert that he actually is. This is not to say that Jamie is devoid of social interactions, he does have a stuffed bear named Teddy that talks back to him and he has a custodial relationship with a pack of hairy creatures (think CHA-KA from LAND OF THE LOST on a bender) he calls the Tra-la-logs that live in an isolated pit in the woods.

When his parents hightail it to Seattle to look for a new house, Jamie is left in the care of nubile babysitter/housekeeper Sandra O’Reilly (JEANNIE ELIAS) a raspy-voiced co-ed working on a degree in psychology. Rocking a face like ANNIE POTTS and a body like JOYCE DeWITT, Sandra quickly becomes the obsession du jour for the hormonal Jamie and he takes to watching her sleep, peeping on her in the shower and asking for her help with bathing. When Sandra rebuffs his advances, Jamie turns his attention back to the nutritional needs of the Tra-la-logs and experiments first with candy bars and then with raw meat from the butcher.

After Jamie gets busted for stealing money from Sandra to support the Tra-la-logs insatiable meat habit, he starts shoving his enemies into the pit. First to go is the librarian’s ginger-haired niece, and then wheelchair-bound Mrs. Oliphant followed by Sandra’s football-playing beau. Jamie emerges from the woods after each kill with a trophy from the victim, which at first looks like an earmark of a serial killer in the making. Turns out he’s just stockpiling evidence to eventually frame one of Sandra’s subsequent, and heavily mustachioed, suitors. Speaking of Sandra, she eventually slips into the pit and is torn to shreds before Jamie’s eyes, and that is where Jamie should have gotten a clue. But no, Jamie decides to throw a rope into the pit to free the Tra-la-logs. They climb to the surface and go on a killing spree claiming stoner skinny dippers and a girl in super-short jogging shorts.

A pack of deputized vigilantes wielding shot guns hunt down the hirsute terrors, pump ‘em full of lead, and a back-ho is brought in to bury them and seal off the pit. The movie could have ended there, but thankfully THE PIT just keeps on going and delivers Jamie to his grandparents’ house where he encounters an equally as creepy girl cousin. The two take off through a cornfield and into a wooded area that looks eerily similar to one where Jamie used to hang. So similar (read: low budget), that this neck of the woods also has a similarly shaped pit inhabited by (umm… honestly, who didn’t see this coming?) Tra-la-logs. The strength of the absurd script rests squarely on the shoulders of the young SAMMY SNYDERS, and his utterly loathsome portrayal of Jamie will either have you laughing or applauding the final frame of the film.


    • Aided by a well-synced tape recording and a pay phone, Jamie manipulates the schoolmarmish librarian with the smoking-body to peel off her aerobics unitard so he may take some naughty Polaroids
    • Jamie takes Mrs. Oliphant for a push
    • The talking Teddy bear moves his head
    • Sandra foolishly agrees to wash Jamie’s back in the tub
    • Sandra’s over-the-top screams as she is pulled to bits by the Tra-la-logs
    • The ending!

    Earlier: TRAUMAFESSIONS :: Reader Devon on The Pit

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    14 years ago

    I wish there was a lesbian scene between Harry Crumb era ANNIE POTTS and 1st season Threes Company era JOYCE DeWITT. Preferably, when she worse the tan jumper and large frame glasses.

    Amanda By Night
    13 years ago

    I’m not sure what I thinking when I said Night of the Demon was the best movie ever. THIS is the best movie ever! It’s so fantasically odd, you can’t believe it’s actually a real film. I love that.

    Sammy Snyders teaches dance now and I left a little thing about this movie on his website, which he posted in the comments section. Bless his little heart. He’s got kind of an interesting fan base and I’m even a member of a Sammy Snyders Yahoo fan group. Wow, whodathunkit?

    3 years ago

    Fun, totally batshit crazy movie, reminiscent of a super-twisted Afterschool Special, right down to the music choices.