"The Pit" wants to be "Fight Club" by way of Quentin Tarantino and "The Sopranos," but helmer Marcelo Galvao only manages a third-rate knockoff desperate to play with the big boys.

“The Pit” wants to be “Fight Club” by way of Quentin Tarantino and “The Sopranos,” but helmer Marcelo Galvao only manages a third-rate knockoff desperate to play with the big boys. Shot in English in the hopes of being marketable outside Brazil, pic drowns in pseudo-coolness as its parody of a hipster narrator guides auds through a party of rich brats who have gathered to watch the lower classes pummel each other. Painfully flat in every way, “The Pit” hasn’t a fighting chance outside home territory.

Spoiled grads from the American School in Sao Paulo get their jollies betting on working-class stiffs who are paid a pittance to beat each other up in the emptied pool owned by vicious queen Garcia (Dannilu). When Curly (Leonardo Miggiorin) bets and loses first his money, then his car, he puts his sister (Mayte Piragibe) up as collateral. Fellow sleazeball Patrick (Christiano Cochrane) provides the incessant, charmless voiceover. Galvao doesn’t even try to say anything genuine about class in Brazil, instead reveling in dull decadence. Visuals are consistently poor, editing is courtesy of a computer with ADD and line deliveries sound phony.

The Pit

Brazil

Production

A Gatacine, Gatacinescola presentation of a Gatacine production. Produced by Marcelo Galvao, Rodrigo Tavares, Marcal de Souza. Directed, written, edited by Marcelo Galvao.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Rodrigo Tavares; music, Ed Cortes; production designers, Fernanda Grandesso, Leticia Nobell; costume designer, David Loreti. Reviewed at Rio de Janeiro Film Festival (competing), Sept. 27, 2008. (Also in Sao Paulo Film Festival -- National Perspective.) English, Portuguese dialogue. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Leonardo Miggiorin, Elder Torres, Mayte Piragibe, Paola Oliveira, Christiano Cochrane, Dannilu, Guilherme Magon, Felipe Solari, Mara Carvalho, Bernardo Barreto, Warley Santana, Anna Ludmilla, Oswaldo Lot, Daniela Gali, Monaliza Marchi, Danielle Sobreira, Pedro Lemos, Cesar Brasil, Theodoro Cochrane, Daniel Salve, Montanha.
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