Thirty-Nine Stripes (1979)

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Another bizarre religious lesson from born-again exploitation director Ron Ormond (The Exotic Ones), this film's title comes from the scars across prisoners' backs from the guard's whip. The director's son, Tim Ormond, stars as Ed Martin, a chain-gang prisoner who rebels against the guards, ignores the pleas of his born-again sister, and generally makes things worse for himself every day. Eventually, he meets a loving Christian woman (Nancy Harper) who shows him the light, leading Ed to study the Bible and preach to his fellow convicts -- once they stop beating him senseless for his new beliefs. Ormond's performance is dreadful, and this film doesn't even have the camp appeal of such earlier Ormond cinematic sermons as The Burning Hell or If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? Even Ormond completists will have a hard time enduring this one.

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Keywords

atrocity, bad-guy-turns-good, guard, prison, rebel, whip [weapon]