Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Burning Hell, Part Five, Autoharp Edition

I apologize for posting this so late in the day, since I know that many of you begin your Sunday morning devotions with a visit to this site.
For the last couple of months, I've been posting clips from the evangelical films of Reverend Estes Pirkle. Back in the early 1970's, Pirkle's "The Burning Hell" may have been required viewing for every church youth group in the southeast.

I'm posting these each week because they terrified me when I was a kid, and I've found that this is good therapy.

To recap the previous episodes.... Two hippies, Ken and Tim, have a discussion with Brother Pirkle about the reality of hell. Their preacher has taught them that hell is only a metaphor. Pirkle disagrees.
Pirkle vividly paints a picture of non-believers being burned for eternity in a massive field of mud and slop. Ken and Tim angrily disagree, and leave the church on their motorcycles.

Ken has an accident, and is decapitated.

Rather than wait around for the police or an ambulance, Tim decides to go to church.

You can hit the Pirkle label at the bottom of this post to see each episode in its entirety. Even if you're in a hurry, you've GOT to see episode #4 with the worms.

At the end of last week's clip, Pirkle was telling the biblical story of Dives and Lazarus (Luke 16:19). If you find my commentary helpful, it continues after the video.

:00 - Candid shots of The Mississippi Thespians, on location in Israel with their Sears & Roebuck bathrobes and Amish head scarves. Pay attention to the music. It's an autoharp.

:40 - Pirkle actually gives us a glimpse of the woman playing the autoharp. Wait a minute.... Did they have autoharps in the middle east, circa 30 A.D. ???

1:10 - A zoom shot of the autoharp ! ! In the middle of ancient Palestine ! ! And autoharps weren't invented until the 1890's ! ! Why didn't Pirkle also include someone playing a Fender Stratocaster with a whammy bar ??

1:30 - I think this guy is the one trained actor in the film, and he took an acting class for one semester at Mississippi Delta Junior College.

2:50 - Dives wants nothing to do with the evangelists. The cameraman wants nothing to do with Dives, and doesn't bother to keep his face in the frame.

4:00 - Dives proves that he's a George H.W. Bush "compassionate conservative".

4:20 - Twenty seconds of meaningless dialogue shot at an ancient amphitheatre, to justify the travel budget.

6:30 - We're back in 1970's Mississippi. Ken's headless body is bleeding in the ditch, Tim is in church, and Pirkle is preaching.

6:50 - Pirkle's vision of ancient decadence looks suspiciously like the set of The PTL Club.

That's all for this week. No burning sinners, no worms consuming the faces of heretics, and no headless hippies. All of that will change next week on THE BURNING HELL ! ! !

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