Wednesday, November 19, 2008

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?

Let me tell you about the Grand Illusion. It's a tiny little art-house theater here in Seattle. When I lived a block from it, I never went there, but now I go there about once a month because they have crazy movies you can't see anywhere else.

In this case, their midnight movie was a set of three Christian Propaganda movies made by Ron Ormond and based on the writings of Estus W. Pirkle. They're charmingly amateurish attempts to show the horrors that await the world if we don't all get right with God. And the complete lack of budget or filmmaking talent doesn't seem to have slowed anyone down when they were shooting the scenes set in the Old Testament or in Hell. Those are actually in The Burning Hell, which I also saw. It was okay (I never knew the Old Testament Prophets were so white and Midwestern!), but it was If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? that I was really into.

See, it's about the coming Communist Takeover that will assuredly come. And it's got it all, assuming by "all" you mean "1971 fashions, bad acting, and a leering Commie commandant". And it's also got a loudspeaker shouting "Christianity is stupid! Communism is good!" which is the basis of one of my favorite Negativland songs. It's always fun to hear something in context when you're used to the cut-up version.

The print was, of course, really terrible. That's part of the charm of the Grand Illusion: watching these movies on film, with a group of other people. Sure, you could find them on YouTube, but watching it on a computer just isn't the same.

1 comment:

Deanna said...

Wow! I had forgotten all about Negativland. Thanks for the flashback!