The Lash of the Penitentes (Forbidden Fruit: The Golden Age of the Exploitation Picture, Vol 9)
Directed by Harry J. Revier, Roland Price
Exploitation films were often ripped from the most sensational headlines of the day, and few headlines were as scandalous as those reporting a murder within the community of a masochistic religious cult in northern New Mexico. Los Hermanos Penitentes celebrated Lent by enacting elaborate tableaus of flagellation, self-mutilation, and crucifixion. Envisioning the box-office potential of such a spectacle, cinematographer Roland Price (Marihuana: Weed With Roots in Hell) shot several reels of footage of the rituals, then teamed with producer Harry Revier (Child Bride) to fashion a murder mystery around the documentary material. For years, The Lash of the Penitentes flourished on the exploitation circuit, sometimes with new footage cut into the feature (and most notoriously: the trailer). Usually circulated in an abbreviated 35-minute version, this Kino Classics edition was restored from film elements preserved by the Library of Congress, and represents the uncensored 48-minute cut: The Penitente Murder Case.
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- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Color: B&W