If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971)

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At the intersection of Christian propaganda and exploitation filmmaking sits IF FOOTMEN TIRE YOU, WHAT WILL HORSES DO? Director Ron Ormand made his career in action-packed B movies until he survived a plane crash that changed the course of his life and career. He found God and began making Christian films instead. He formed a creative partnership with Mississippi-based Baptist minister Estus Pirkle, and the two men co-created a trilogy of spiritual propaganda films that are beloved to this day for being some of the most dramatic, colorful, and lurid examples of Christian cinema ever made. Many Christian films want to use the language of cinema to show the horror of the sinful, secular world — few are actually directed by someone with the skill level to create a truly disturbing scene. This is used to great effect in FOOTMEN, set in a not-so-distant future, where Cuban Communists have killed the United States president and instilled their socialist agenda on once free American soil. The Communists are sadistic beasts who live to kill. They mass execute innocent churchgoers for fun, and in one particularly gruesome scene, they torture a young Christian boy by puncturing his eardrums with bamboo sticks while he vomits profusely. It’s by far the most explicitly horrifying sequence we’ve encountered in a film that is unequivocally Christian in its scope. But the scariest part about FOOTMEN is, of course, that it could happen here! Estus Pirkle address the camera directly while he tells his viewers that the scenes depicted in the film are already happening presently in countries such as China, Russia, and Cuba. This exhilarating call to action, drenched in copious amounts of neon red blood, makes IF FOOTMEN TIRE YOU, WHAT WILL HORSES DO? one of the most memorable and genuinely entertaining examples of Christian propaganda ever made.

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