Let's see if Jesus will bring you candy!
April 20, 2007 12:56 AM   Subscribe

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971). This film based on the pro-Jesus/anti-Commie teachings of Baptist minister Dr. Estus Washington Pirkle (3/12/1930–3/3/05) warns what will happen to America if the citizens do not give up their depraved ways and turn to God and Jesus for salvation. Fun for the whole family! Also by Reverend Pirkle: The Burning Hell & The Believer's Heaven. Good times.
posted by miss lynnster (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like Christian movie day!
posted by miss lynnster at 12:58 AM on April 20, 2007

On 4/20? You must be stoned.
posted by wendell at 1:22 AM on April 20, 2007

The film's title is really quite beautiful.

Of course, it is just after 4:20 on 4/20 over here...
posted by poweredbybeard at 1:27 AM on April 20, 2007

This is too close to the actual sermons that I heard every Sunday as a child.
posted by Optamystic at 1:31 AM on April 20, 2007

Christianity is stupid!
Communism is good!
posted by the dief at 1:36 AM on April 20, 2007

God knows, the only reason I want in to heaven is those big, big houses. Do they also have 'Real Simple, Paradise Edition'?
posted by Firas at 1:48 AM on April 20, 2007

At first I was thinking how much his southern accent made him an improbable russian, and then they invoked Castro, and I realized a far more pressing issue was that they were all far too white to be cuban.
posted by Arturus at 1:59 AM on April 20, 2007

The description still sounds less gory than The Passion. And as David Edelstein noted, the theme of torture runs through Mel Gibson's other work too. And then there's the self-mutilation practiced by Opus Dei (though somewhat exagerrated by Dan Brown). I'm not sure why, but sadomasochistic fantasies seem to be part of the psychology of at least some forms of militant Christianity.

Also, Christ-on-a-popsicle-stick, miss lynnster is a posting machine these days. I may have to try browsing the internet topless.
posted by gsteff at 2:17 AM on April 20, 2007

Oops, meant to link to the Edelstein review, which deserves to be remembered if only for coining the phrase "The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre."
posted by gsteff at 2:18 AM on April 20, 2007

A turgid writeup of a bizarre, almost incomprehensibly bad movie...but gee, what a title! Way to go, miss l.!

I tend to save my sadomasochistic fascination for Good Friday, where it fits in its context. However, my Roman Catholic brethren really seem to get into that and St. Sebastian getting transfixed by arrows among various other martyrs' baroque and graphically, almost lovingly described/depicted demises. I guess all this self-abnegation and innocents coming to bloody ends really gets certain types all hot 'n' bothered.

(Old joke: Why did Christ die on the cross? He forgot the safe word.)

Anybody who thought Communism actually had a shot at world domination could reflect on the notion that Russians thought that East Germany was a materialistic paradise by comparison. We could've won the Cold War in eighteen months by carpet-bombing the Warsaw Pact with copies of the JCPenney catalog.

(Old Southern superlative: Dumber than a fundamentalist sermon or a John Birch Society tract.)
posted by pax digita at 3:16 AM on April 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

Old joke: Why did Christ die on the cross? He forgot the safe word.

Hah! Bad pax digita, bad!

(By the way, the Shias are into this whole SM thing too, and their structures sort of parallel those of Catholicism (saints, shrines etc.) I think it's mostly just an interesting coincidence though, rather than a theological view leading automatically to a certain psychological tendency or vice-versa.)
posted by Firas at 3:22 AM on April 20, 2007

Yep. Ever notice how vicarious bloodlust seems to go hand-in-hand with repression? Two sides of one coin, maybe?

I'm wondering, then if there are "recovering Shi'a" out there and whether we'll one day be reading about child-abusing imams. (Well, in the latter case maybe not so much, since they get married and are in cultures where men often lord it over women, at times abusively so.)

The "creeping Communism" aspect this movie hamfistedly depicts made me think of James Clavell's The Children's Story (...But Not Just For Children), available here online and described here. It was the basis for a well-received TV movie when I was in college.
posted by pax digita at 4:26 AM on April 20, 2007

FYI, if you have nothing to do today you can watch ALL of The Burning Hell on youtube. Wheee! And also, a somewhat used tape of producer Ron Ormond's other (less pious) masterpiece, The Exotic Ones (aka: The Monster & The Stripper) is available on ebay.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:52 AM on April 20, 2007

Is this the guy who keeps popping up in the Diane Keaton film Heaven?
posted by squidfartz at 7:33 AM on April 20, 2007

Ha. A friend and I actually went to a showing of The Burning Hell sponsored by a local black church a couple of years ago. We had a lot of fun telling the kids in front of us about the worms scene coming up. The films were shown for years on a Southern evangelical exploitation flick circuit, and were directed/distributed by Ron Ormond, a pretty big name in this area who started out in B-grade horror flicks.
posted by mediareport at 8:28 AM on April 20, 2007

I don't know. The candy thing seemed pretty convincing to me. It might have been a better sell job for communism than Pirkle thought.
posted by QuietDesperation at 8:45 AM on April 20, 2007

Sweet Jesus!
posted by Relay at 9:02 AM on April 20, 2007

I mean, Sweet Jesus ... when the midget breaks into the song ... I mean honestly, I didn't expect to see that when I woke up this morning.
posted by Relay at 9:06 AM on April 20, 2007

In the clip for The Burning Hell, my favorite moment comes at about 5:30 or so. Some guy (I think he also played the stool pigeon in the "family" link above) is sitting in church getting all uncomfortable because he says the reverend is trying to "get to him." He explains his discomfort, saying, "...my church doesn't try to scare people. I like that our preacher says everybody is a child of God." A bouffant-wigged old lady then tugs on his sleeve and says, "But Tim? Your preacher is dead wrong."

posted by miss lynnster at 9:47 AM on April 20, 2007

Gah! I should have made this post. Excellent work, Miss Lynnster. Pirkle was a fascinating character and I routinely show clips from this film in 20th cent. American faith courses.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:51 AM on April 20, 2007

I went to high school in the 70's and we had a required course called "Americanism vs. Communism" that was only slightly less nutty than this.
It was taught by a basketball coach, and we had endless hours of keg party fun imitating him saying - "you say you don't like it? They'll take ya out back and shoot you in head".
posted by 2sheets at 10:13 AM on April 20, 2007

Thanks, the dief. I'm glad someone was paying attention.

Give up!
posted by oats at 4:52 PM on April 20, 2007

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