Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Best of YouTube: Ormond & Pirkle

Who're Ormond and Pirkle? Well, for those of you who aren't up on your dementedly wacky backwoods Godsploitation pictures, here's the skinny. Ron Ormond was an exploitation film director in the 50's and 60's, whose junky, low-budget schlockers had titles like The Mesa of Lost Women, Teenage Bride and The Monster and the Stripper. However, after a plane crash in the late 60's, Ormond became a born-again Christian, teaming up with the state of Mississippi's most batshit insane Baptist minister, Reverend Estus W. Pirkle, to do the Lord's work. Among those those lucky (or unlucky) enough to have seen them, the duo's fire-and-brimstone scare films are regarded as making Ed Wood's movies seem like David Lean epics in comparison.

From the 1977 short The Believers' Heaven. Rev. Ormond describes mankind's eternal reward ("bigger than New York City!") with the help of a terrifying singing midget. Does this excite you?!?

From the Ormond/Pirkle team's most well-known film, If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?, which proclaims that if America keeps on going with her sinful journey of premarital sex, dancing, skipping our on church, and other forms of debauchery, God will lift His protective shield, leaving our nation wide-open for an inevitable communist attack. Communists are experts at mind games, as evidenced in this clip, wherein this insidious fellow presuades a classroom of impressionable schoolkids into denying Jesus by tempting them with candy.

Here's another classic clip from If Footmen, in which another garden-variety mean bastard commie (notice how he switches back and forth from a Sesame Street's The Count Eastern European accent to a Foghorn Leghorn-esque Southern drawl) decapitates a plucky-cheeked tot when he refuses to step on a portrait of Jesus.

Another scene from The Burning Hell, in which Ormond and Pirkle sought, on a budget of what looks like about twenty-five dollars, to depict to the unsaved what the fiery inferno is really like. In the above clip, King Balthazar of Babylon is befuddled and surprised to find himself end up in Hell. As of yet, this film is the only Pirkle film available commercially, through the Reverend's estate: although the prices for renting a VHS or 16mm copy of the film (for congregational purposes only) is ridiculously high. It can also be seen in its entirety (for now, at least) on YouTube.


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