Preacherman (1971)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Comedy  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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This randy redneck comedy was a big moneymaker on the Southern drive-in circuit during its original release, and despite the visibly low budget is better constructed than most films of its ilk. Salacious preacher Amos Huxley (Albert T. Viola) screws around with the wrong sheriff's daughter and winds up beaten in the woods and thrown out of the county. He's taken in by Jud Crabtree, a spiritually hungry moonshiner who desires baptism for his beautiful wayward daughter, Mary Lou (who is afflicted with "an unnatural hankering for menfolk"). Naturally, Huxley stays on, turning Crabtree's still into a fundraising machine for a new church and convincing Mary Lou that her nighttime visitor is actually a celestial being named "Angel Leroy." Conning the simple folk left and right, Huxley inadvertently makes everybody's lives better in between his boozing and lusting. But there's still the sheriff to worry about, and soon the feds are on his tail too. Viola is the whole show here, helming the film from the ground up and then starring as the sinning man of god (though Amos Huxley is billed as appearing "as himself"). Preacherman is stocked with a variety of colorful cornpone backdrop characters, like a farmer who loves his chickens a little too much, a gospel-singing amputee, and a pack of sex-crazed inbred brothers, but Viola never lays it on too thick and the film ultimately retains a good-natured quality.

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Keywords

bishop, church, con/scam, farming, loot, moonshine, religion, seduction, sex, sheriff, Southerner