Thursday, February 12, 2015

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1974)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst by one of the worst directors.
Should you see it? Yes!

Ron Ormond is best known among bad film enthusiasts for directing The Mesa of Lost Women with giant hypnotizing spiders and flamenco. He directed a huge number of other films, including the Lash LaRue B-western "King of the Bullwhip" (which is pretty good) and some obscure terrible films like "The Monster and the Stripper." In his later years, he became a born-again Christian and made films for his (Baptist) church; of these, "Footmen" is the only one to surface and I expect it's probably the only one worth seeing. The release date appears to be 3 years after the film date. Its soundtrack was sampled by the band Negativland.

The film has three story arcs and jumps between them somewhat haphazardly. There is a long sermon by Estus W. Pirkle about how people are being distracted from reading their Bibles by modern life and that being overrun by the godless will inevitably happen unless we all adhere to his particular flavor of the faith. It's nice to see one woman prominently displayed sleeping through the sermon. There's part of a sex-ed lecture, but not enough (the drawing of a female figure is in itself amusing). The second part is about how the communists will treat people in their totalitarianism: children forced to pitchfork their parents, a child has a stick pushed through his ear into his brain and he vomits (with added retching sound effects that don't work), speakers intone continuously "Christianity is stupid. Communism is good," children are shown how Castro is better than Jesus because if you ask both for candy only Castro gives it, there's extended scenes of bloody bodies - decapitation, knifings, shootings - making this a Christina gore film to rival "Blood Freak." The last story is about a wayward woman who goes to the sermon just to keep up appearances and gets converted. The best moment is probably when a Russian lapses into a noticeable southern-US accent. The title comes from the book of Jeremiah, I think, and makes for a clumsy metaphor, which is about par for the film as a whole.

1 comment:

  1. Minor correction, The Burning Hell is another Ormond/Pirkle flick that's online. I plan to review it soon as it caused me nightmares from seeing it at a free christian drive-in in the mid 80's.