Greaser’s Palace (1972) (Blu-ray Review)

Greaser’s Palace (1972) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Robert Downey Sr.
Starring: Albert Henderson, Michael Sullivan, Luana Anders
Rated: R/1:85/1080p/Region A/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scorpion Releasing

In a film that must be seen to be believed, the story of Christ’s sufferings is set in the Old West. A zoot-suited drifter performs miracles and attracts a large following. But what he really wants to do is sing and dance! He finally gets to play The Palace, a saloon run by the ruthless Seaweedhead Greaser, and he’s a big hit. But he’s got more miracles to do…like restoring life to Greaser’s son, killed by his father, and contending with Greaser’s envious daughter Cholera.

Greaser’s Palace is unlike anything I’d have ever seen before and I’m kind of torn on if it’s a good thing or bad thing that it’s that way. Directed by none other than Robert Downey, you get what comes down to a retelling of a biblical story with lots of talk about someone being gay tossed on top of it. I can imagine for the year 1972 that was a very taboo issue while seeing it here in 2018 you are more or less looking at the creative side of things and this movie has a creative side to it if nothing else. Greaser’s Palace follows Jesse (Allan Arbus), a Christ-like figure in a zoot-suit, on his way to Jerusalem to find work as a singer-dancer-actor. In a run-down Western town, he runs afoul of the local boss, Seaweedhead Greaser (Albert Henderson), until he brings Greaser’s son Lamy (Michael Sullivan) back from the dead. Did I mention his son was killed because he thought he was gay? Yeah, it’s groundbreaking stuff for the 70’s. Not as out there now.

I’ve heard this one be called an acid western before and that might just be the best way to describe it. I’ve never seen anything close to an “acid” western before unless we bust out El Topo but even that seems to be in a whole other class than this one. I think what you get here with Greaser’s Palace is a love it or hate it type of movie with very little in between. Regardless of which way to lean with it, this is a movie that looks good here in HD and that’s always a plus. A lot of this could come down to if you find this movie to be funny or not. The comedy side of things was a little too hit and miss for me and that seems to be where I find any issue with it. Still, it looks good and is very creative, but won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

Extras

– BRAND NEW REMASTER of the film struck from the original camera negative
– Video interview with Robert Downey conducted by Rudy Wurlitzer
– Liner notes by Jonathan Demme
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

Quality of Transfer: 94%