Much like rock-&-roll and professional wrestling, the Acid Western is one of the few truly American art forms. It’s a deconstructionist approach to the highly stylised American-myth making of the Western, itself a deeply political genre, that was steeped in the counter-cultural of the 60s. Whilst it’s heavily influenced by European new wave cinema, and its most famous creator is Chilean-French, it’s fundamentally America looking at itself looking at itself, and that’s strange before you get to all the uneasy weirdness that gets poured on top. And given the amount of religious fervor in The Old West, it’s almost an inevitability that Robert Downey Sr – satirist, firebrand, and reputably terrible father – would make one that’s based on the life of Jesus.
One of the greatest things about Sir Christopher Lee (of which there is a long list) is that he always gave an incredible and committed performance regardless of the quality of the film he was in. As such, whenever someone finds one of his lesser-known works it’s always worth a punt, even if the film is otherwise quite bad. And by golly does this 1977 John Hayes directed movie prove that!