Friday, December 16, 2005

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I was greatly pleased to recieve a package in the mail yesterday from an internet-friend in Nebraska: a rare, bootleg tape containing two 1970's Biblespolitation films directed by Ron Ormond, If Footmen Tire You What Will Horses Do? and The Burning Hell. Who's Ron Ormond, you might ask, and what the heck is "Biblesploitation"? Allow me to clue you in, brother.

Ron Ormond was a director of such classics as The Monster and the Stripper and The Girl from Tobacco Road, who became a born-again Christian after surviving a plane crash in the late sixties. Wanting to give up making grindhouse flicks and do the Lord's work, he teamed up with fire-and-brimstone Southern Baptist preacher Estus W. Pirkle to make church-produced scare-films to bring the gullible back home to Jesus. Unfortunatley (or fortunatley), Ormond's newly-restored faith did little to improve his filmmaking skills. His collaborations with Pirkle were just as shoddy, cheaply made, poorly written and badly acted as his previous blood n' tits fare. If Footmen Tire You is the first collaboration between these two knuckleheads, and is a must-see for any fan of oddball cinema.

The film begins in church, where Reverend Pirkle is beginning his sermon to a sleepy-looking collection of God-fearin' Chris'chuns. As Judy, the miniskirt-clad town hussy, sneaks in late ("Gotta keep up appearances." she says outside to her troublesome-looking boyfriend), Pirkle warns the congregation about the dangers of television, music, saturday morning cartoons, and other sinful things that divert Americans' attention from the Lawd Jayzus Criast. Do you realize, he says, that colleges, high schools, and even elementary schools are encouraging kids to have premaritual sex? We then see a staged real-life clip of a scruffy-looking young hippie teacher in what could be your own children's school. Claiming that sex before marriage is a necessity in today's times, he then declares that today's discussion will be "the seven erotic zones of passion in every woman." Drive-in theaters, in Pirkle's opinion, also contribute to America's lack of morals, and dancing is just as wrong as it's always been. "What's started on the dance floor is expected to end in a car or motel room!" Judy rolls her eyes at Pirkle's condemnations of all things fun and enjoyable, until the reverend reveals just where he is going with all this - if Americans don't stop indulging in these sinful distractions and turn back to Jesus in a big way, God will lift his protective shield from our country, leaving it wide open to an invasion by bloodthirsty communists!

That's right, communists. Now, keep in mind that this movie was made in 1971. The paranoid era of McCarthy had ended, and the Vietnam war, the sexual revolution and the hippie movements were reaching their respective conclusions. Nevertheless, If Footmen presents us with a world of blonde-haired blue-eyed folk straight out of a Duck and Cover educational short who are powerless to stop the demonic Russkies. When the communists take over (which Pirkle insists will happen in exactly 24 months unless American's get their asses back in church) they will ransack homes, kidnap children, torture, main, rape and pillage. People will be put to work 363 days a year for 16 hours a day, only to be allowed two days off a year, and those days are reserved for praising the Marxist way of life. Those who deny communism and retain their faith in Jesus will be tortured and killed in the most elaborate fashions. One such "documented re-enactment" features a man tied up and suspended from a tree, while his kids lower him down onto pitchforks stuck in the ground. It's never really explained how communists could overpower the American government with no weapons or any kind of equipment at their disposal, save for some horses and a flat-bed Ford pickup truck for rounding up children, but they are a cunning bunch. They will dispose of adults quickly and get right to work on the soft, impressionable minds of children. Another dramatized example of commie tactics shows us a Soviet officer with a a put-on accent not unlike The Count from Sesame Street before a classroom of schoolkids. He tells them to pray to their Jesus Christ and ask him for some candy, and when the youngsters' prayers are non-miraculously un-anwsered, another officer comes in and dumps a big sack of sugary treats on the desk, a gift from the glorious Fidel Castro. As you can see, brothers and sisters, America doesn't stand a chance.

It's pretty hard not to compare Ormond to the infamous Ed Wood while watching this film. Both directors' movies have an equal level of ineptness at writing and directing, as well as extremely heavy-handed messages,, coupled with the unintentional hilarity from the notion that anyone, filmmaker or audience, would take their movies seriously. While If Footmen doesn't have the charm of Wood's classics, it outdoes them in leaps and bounds with its heavy-handedness, and the aforementioned seriousness backfiring with gaffaw-filled results. While putting a group of capitalist stooges to work in a cornfield, the communists seize a little boy and shove a sharpened bamboo stick in his ear until it comes out the other, cackling "We will peirce your ears....so you cannot hear....the word of God!" Such a wound you would think ought to be fatal, but fortunatley for Junior, he survives, though he does get a little dizzy and throws up his breakfast. Another such tyke refuses to step on a picture of Jesus, resulting in him getting his noggin chopped off and tossed into a field like a kickball by a laughing Soviet officer.

Towards the end, we are taken back to Pirkle's church, and Judy, having sat through his sermon, begins to have flashbacks to some sins that she's committed (such as sitting in a grimy-looking cafe with some dude, drinking beer out of a styrofoam cup) and how her Jabba the Hutt-like momma implored her to read the scripture, or she'd be the death of her. As it turns out, she was right: Judy's ma suffered a fatal heart attack as a result of her daughter's sinfulness, and Judy, realizing this, breaks down into tears and parks her knees at the front altar, begging forgiveness for what she's done. As she weeps and prays, she remembers the day of her mother's funeral, when she knelt over the woman's talking (!) carcass and Reverend Pirkle told her she was forgiven. It's a bizarrely appropriate end to what is probably the wackiest piece of Christian scare-filmmaking ever created.

Sadly, the film is only available in bootleg form, as the estate of Reverend Pirkle refuses to let this movie, along with its follow-up The Burning Hell, on home video. An unofficial DVD is available from Five Minutes to Live, and though I can't vouch for its quality, it'd be hard pressed to look any worse than the tape my friend sent me. The Burning Hell actually has an official website, and leases VHS and 16mm copies of the movie out at very high prices, for evangelical purposes only. You could probably find a boot of that one somewhere, too.

And, speaking of manipulative Christian propaganda pieces, I've found another enjoyable nugget of goodness for readers of this blog (namely those who think they would enjoy If Horsemen based on the above review)....a Benny Hill-ified short version of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. For those of you unfamiliar with Hill, he's a celebrated British comedian specializing in cheeky, chubby-faced, dirty-old-man humor, whose sketch comedy show during the 70's and 80's often featured short films of Hill's comedy antics sped up and set to goofy music. Almost anything can be funny with these alterations are made to it, and this video proves it. Not for the squeamish or those easily offended by violence, torture, and blasphemy.

9 Comments:

Blogger jgodsey said...

Biblespolitation! I knew there had to be a word for films like Marjoe!! - mols

3:13 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

prada outlet, christian louboutin uk, tory burch outlet, ugg boots, replica watches, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, longchamp outlet, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, uggs outlet, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses wholesale, kate spade outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, prada handbags, nike free, jordan shoes, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, polo outlet, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton, burberry handbags, uggs on sale, nike outlet, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, uggs outlet, tiffany and co, burberry outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online

5:19 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

sac hermes, polo ralph lauren, polo lacoste, kate spade, coach outlet store online, michael kors, nike tn, nike air max uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike roshe run uk, air max, nike air max uk, hollister uk, michael kors, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, ray ban pas cher, ralph lauren uk, north face, nike air force, new balance, hogan outlet, vans pas cher, michael kors pas cher, north face uk, replica handbags, ray ban uk, timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet, lululemon canada, longchamp pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, burberry pas cher, nike roshe, coach purses, true religion jeans, true religion outlet, louboutin pas cher, oakley pas cher, coach outlet, nike air max, guess pas cher, nike free uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, hollister pas cher, true religion outlet, jordan pas cher, nike free run, converse pas cher

5:21 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ralph lauren, valentino shoes, beats by dre, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, new balance shoes, baseball bats, nike roshe run, nike air max, mcm handbags, p90x workout, hermes belt, ferragamo shoes, nike huaraches, asics running shoes, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, iphone cases, iphone 6s cases, vans outlet, herve leger, longchamp uk, timberland boots, nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, iphone 6 cases, chi flat iron, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, celine handbags, hollister, soccer shoes, wedding dresses, lululemon, babyliss, reebok outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, nike trainers uk, iphone 6 plus cases, instyler, ipad cases, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, ghd hair, s6 case, iphone 5s cases, mont blanc pens, louboutin

5:24 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

coach outlet, hollister, moncler, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, ugg pas cher, converse outlet, pandora jewelry, swarovski, canada goose outlet, hollister, moncler outlet, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, wedding dresses, barbour, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, vans, replica watches, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, canada goose, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, links of london, moncler, moncler uk, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, lancel, karen millen uk, moncler, toms shoes, ugg uk, moncler, gucci, doudoune moncler, converse, canada goose jackets, barbour uk, moncler outlet, pandora uk, supra shoes, ray ban, canada goose uk, canada goose, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose

5:26 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg boots, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, gucci handbags, christian louboutin uk, tiffany jewelry, chanel handbags, louboutin pas cher, air max, nike free run, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet, jordan pas cher, louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, polo outlet, replica watches, nike free, nike roshe, kate spade outlet, nike outlet, tiffany and co, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses wholesale, prada outlet, nike air max, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, burberry pas cher, christian louboutin outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren

8:32 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike free uk, guess pas cher, michael kors, michael kors outlet, hollister uk, ralph lauren uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, north face uk, coach purses, burberry outlet, converse pas cher, coach outlet, polo lacoste, nike blazer pas cher, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, hollister pas cher, lululemon canada, michael kors, sac hermes, true religion outlet, uggs outlet, nike air force, michael kors outlet online, burberry handbags, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, new balance, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, vans pas cher, ray ban uk, ray ban pas cher, nike tn, true religion outlet, kate spade, north face, nike air max, true religion jeans, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, hogan outlet, oakley pas cher, nike air max uk, nike roshe run uk

8:34 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

insanity workout, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, soccer shoes, iphone 6s cases, ralph lauren, hermes belt, iphone 6 cases, abercrombie and fitch, mont blanc pens, timberland boots, s6 case, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, lululemon, mac cosmetics, giuseppe zanotti outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, ferragamo shoes, herve leger, iphone cases, celine handbags, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, valentino shoes, soccer jerseys, iphone 5s cases, wedding dresses, bottega veneta, nike huaraches, ghd hair, baseball bats, iphone 6 plus cases, north face outlet, p90x workout, instyler, vans outlet, new balance shoes, oakley, ipad cases, nike trainers uk, babyliss, louboutin, beats by dre, reebok outlet, nike roshe run, nike air max, hollister, asics running shoes

8:37 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

lancel, swarovski, hollister, swarovski crystal, moncler uk, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, doudoune moncler, links of london, ray ban, ugg uk, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler, hollister, moncler outlet, moncler, barbour uk, louis vuitton, replica watches, nike air max, louis vuitton, toms shoes, barbour, canada goose outlet, converse outlet, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs, louis vuitton, ugg, juicy couture outlet, pandora jewelry, wedding dresses, canada goose, louis vuitton, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, canada goose uk, pandora uk, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose outlet, gucci, moncler outlet, ugg pas cher, converse, thomas sabo, karen millen uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose, supra shoes, canada goose jackets, vans

8:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home