Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Greaser's Palace (1972)

Director: Robert Downey Sr.

Starring: Allan Arbus, Albert Henderson, Michael Sullivan, Luana Anders, Herve Villechaize, Toni Basil

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He's got the boogie on his fingers & the hubba-hubba in his soul!

Plot: A parable based on the life of Christ. This ain't your father's Bible story, full of references about the destruction of the world through massive constipation and a New Mexican setting.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? I have the strangest feeling I'm going to have to.

WHAT...THE...FUCK did I just watch? If ever I needed a director's commentary track, this is it. It's a surreal comedy/arthouse/western that has a few laughs and A LOT of head scratching. Since this follows the Jesus story, you can pick up bits and pieces that make sense. Here's our introduction to Jessey (Allan Arbus) that's a perfect example of how far out of left field this thing is.

A family rides across the plain when...

It's so out there it's hilarious. See, Jessey just wants to be a song and dance man and he's going to Jerusalem to seek out Morris the agent. He meets people along the way that are just as nutty (if not more so) than he is. At one point he tells the story about an evil monster named, Bingo Gas Station Motel Cheeseburger with a Side of Aircraft Noise and You'll Be Gary Indiana. That's his name. That Arbus is able to say it more than once with a straight face is worth watching this picture for about 15 minutes. I say only that much because this is a reaaaaal hard one to stay awake on. It's got way too many scenes that will have you wondering WTF or put you to sleep.

Here's that funny bit.

and another one...

Don't let these clips fool you - these are just some highlights and there aren't that many.

But, hey! You get to see 80s pop sensation, Toni Basil topless!

And Herve Villechaize queering it up!

In addition to those two, I did enjoy the hell out of Arbus's performance and some of the side characters. This is my introduction to Robert Downey Sr. and if this is what I can expect, I may need some friggin' cliff notes before watching his PUTNEY SWOPE (1969).

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