Lash of the Penitentes (1937)

aka The Penitente Murder Case
Article 1895 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-23-2006
Posting Date: 10-20-2006
Directed by Roland Price and Harry Revier
Featuring Marie DeForrest, William Marcos, Victor Justi

A writer investigates a cult of Penitentes in New Mexico.

The cast list above is questionable; though they may have appeared in the movie as it originally appeared, only about half of the footage survives, and what does survive does not include a nude scene that was rare for that time. Still, exploitation fans will probably have a use for this one; it mostly consists of documentary footage of the Penitente self-flagellation cult going about their business, and some of the footage is quite bloody. Still, I’m not sure that this really qualifies as a horror movie; if it does, than I’ll probably be covering stuff like MONDO CANE sometime in the future. It’s quite possible; at least one of the goals of horror is to shock, and there’s no doubt that to most of us, this is pretty shocking. Still, it does make you wonder just what kind of frame of mind you’d have to be in to be a member of this cult.

Incidentally, the Penitentes don’t treat chickens all that well either.


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