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The Burning Hell (1974)

 |  Documentary, Horror  |  1974 (USA)
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Pastor Estus W. Pirkle preaches about hell, where all non-Christians will suffer eternal torment. He's also visited by two self-professed "Christians" who don't believe in hell.



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Director: Ron Ormond
Stars: Estus W. Pirkle, Robert G. Lee, Jack Hyles


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Robbins ...
The Rich Man
Tim Ormond ...
The Wayward Christian
Robert G. Lee ...
Himself (as Dr R.G. Lee)
Jack Hyles ...
Himself (Guest Preacher) (as Dr Jack Hyles)
Bob Gray ...
Himself (Guest Preacher) (as Dr Bob Gray)
Terence Hendricks ...
Lazarus (as Clarence Hendricks)
Don Green ...
Carl Lackey ...
Vaughn Denton ...
Mike Fine ...
Earl Farley ...
Billy Kent ...
Buddy Mullinax ...
Maurice Banks ...
The Killer
Viola Walden


Pastor Estus W. Pirkle preaches about hell, where all non-Christians will suffer eternal torment. He's also visited by two self-professed "Christians" who don't believe in hell.

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20,000 degrees fahrenheit and not a drop of water





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1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El infierno ardiente  »

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Did You Know?


This film was mainly shown in churches and religious schools using 16mm prints. During the initial distribution period, the areas where the film was booked would be saturated with advertising. Word-of-mouth usually limited the engagements to no more than one or two showings. See more »


Followed by The Believer's Heaven (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

A Chick tract put on film
26 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just had to watch and review this movie after seeing the first Ormond/Pirkle flick "If Footmen Tire You What Will Horses Do?" which warned us that the evil commies would take over the United States unless we as a nation had a major Christian revival. That one was bad enough but this one was just plain tedious.

"The Burning Hell" follows the same tedious formula that "Footmen" followed, with an hour-long sermon by Estus W. Pirkle with cutaway scenes to illustrate what he's talking about. At least with "Footmen," the cutaway shots with the evil commies were entertaining in that they were hilariously over the top in a not-meant-to-be-funny way. The cutaway scenes in this movie were still funny in the same way, only not as funny as "Footmen." What you get are a bunch of scenes of Middle Easterners in biblical times with Southern American accents and a bunch of shots of people in Hell with flames in front of their faces. That's pretty much it.

Of course one thing that's pretty funny is that when one of the characters has a fatal accident on his motorcycle, instead of going to notify the police his friend returns to the church and sits through an hour long sermon. Nor does anyone at the church think it necessary to get help. Not funny, not cool: When the guy, obviously upset and distraught after witnessing the death of his friend asks Rev. Pirkle if his friend is in Hell, instead of offering words of comfort Pirkle says, "Yes, I'm afraid so." What an A-hole. Then he uses the man's emotional state to win another convert for Jesus. Nice.

Only watch this if you like sitting through hour-long sermons at fundamentalist Christian churches, because that's basically what this whole movie is. It's not entertaining, not really even in a so-bad-it's-funny way. It's just an hour of Estus Pirkle saying that Hell exists because the bible says so. As proof he cuts to a couple of other preachers who also say that Hell exists because the bible says so. Pirkle also makes a bunch of claims which shows that he's reading his own ideas into bible stories, such as saying that the bible doesn't say how Cain killed Abel (true, it doesn't) but then goes on to claim that he strangled him with his bare hands. Other embellishments are giving a name to the rich man and claiming that he knew so many other important people in Jerusalem at that time. He then later states that the rich man is still suffering in Hell to this day. Uh, excuse me Rev. Pirkle, but the story of Lazarus and the rich man was just a parable that Jesus told. You know what a parable is, don't you? A made up story with a moral? When he talked about the sheep and goats, he didn't literally mean that there would be sheep in Heaven.

I understand that this movie was probably made to preach to the choir in that it was likely made to show to church groups in order to keep the flock from straying, so anyone who's not already a fundamentalist Christian will feel some brain cells dying. I'm not kidding, right now I can't remember where my car keys are. I do like watching and making fun of bad movies, but this one was just terrible. I have a feeling that if there really is a Hell, this is the only movie which is playing 24/7.

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