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directed by Robert Downey Sr.
USA 1972


Zoot-suited Jesse (Allan Arbus, the guest star visiting psychiatrist on M*A*S*H and husband of photographer Diane Arbus) parachutes out of the sky into a western no-man's land dominated by the violent and sadistic Greaser (Albert Henderson, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE). Sure Jesse can heal the sick and resurrect the dead (including Greaser's son "Homo" [Michael Sullivan, MADMAN], who Greaser kills three times), but he's more interested with meeting up with his agent "Morris" (Don Calfa, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) in Jerusalem and becoming a star - Jesse walks on water for entertainment value - than in playing messiah. The enthralled townspeople follow him on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but Greaser (who keeps an imprisoned Mariachi band beside his outhouse and has a habit of shooting entertainers who give bad auditions) wants Jesse to stay (and his daughter Cholera [Luana Anders, DEMENTIA 13] is envious of his talent). "Odd" is really the only appropriate word for this arty western. It's not really bad or terribly good, just a succession of weirdness possibly inspired by viewing too many midnight movies. Director Robert Downey Sr.'s effort is not so much a cult film as a curiosity (although perhaps I'm just not in the right state of altered consciousness in which to receive the film). The production value is not bad (at times, it resembles one of the later, lower-budgeted spaghetti westerns), but it's merely a western world peopled with western characters, rather than a western with biblical symbolism. "Hey Mickey" singer Toni Basil (FIVE EASY PIECES) runs around as a topless Native American (if indeed, the film is set in the American west, and not some other planet) and Hervé Villechaize (SEIZURE) is a midget with a transvestite "wife" (Stan Gottlieb, also in Downey's PUTNEY SWOPE). The director's son has a small role as a boy traveling with his family (including his mother Elise Downey, who scripted her husband's next film MOMENT TO MOMENT).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 31 July 1972 (USA)

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DVD Review: Scorpion Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Scorpion Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:30:21

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.34 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Robert Downey (16:9; 12:46)

DVD Release Date: November 22nd, 2010

Chapters 12





Previously released in 2000 by Image Entertainment in a barebones, non-anamorphic widescreen transfer, Scorpion presents GREASER'S PALACE remastered from HD (the credits are mostly illegible and probably always were).

I have not seen the previous transfer, but a lot of the softness seems to be inherent in the original cinematography (which is sometimes very beautiful for its roughness). The grain seems natural and the unfiltered close-ups are detailed. The English audio is fairly clean with faint hiss, but is a little low sometimes. Robert Downey Sr. appears in a video interview.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Scorpion Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC



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