Director: Jim Hosking / Screenplay: Jim Hosking, Toby Harvard / Release date: 22 January 2016
Actors: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar / Genre: Comedy/Horror ‧ 1.5h
The title’s a bit of a giveaway, right.
I do enjoy FrightFest; each year has the potential to throw up a surprise or two…
…Wait! This wasn’t on the Horror Channel? Wait… Joey Jo Jo had the telly on a channel that wasn’t the Horror Channel? What’s going on around here?! Anyway…
The Greasy Strangler carries the tag of “horror” although it’s far closer to a comedy. A gross nonsensical comedy.
You see, Big Ronnie is a bullshit artist that lives with his son Big Brayden; an expert in absorbing bullshit. They spend their days collecting a pittance for fraudulent disco tours and cooking some of the worst food I’ve ever seen committed to film.
In many ways, this not-quite-horror has a stronger capacity to offend than your traditional gory-hack-fest.
The film could probably get away simply introducing us to their sleazy world, but we have the term “greasy stranger” in the title, so we can’t really let the audience down, can we, ey. The hideous dynamic between father and son is tested by the introduction of a lovely young lady, and I take it back. Watching Big Ronnie’s seduction techniques is pure horror. Oh, there’s also some strangling. With grease.
Every character in the film is a character.
None of the individual components to this film technically work. The dialogue’s a collection of catchphrases, and the plot’s an excuse to cack out more catchphrases and the actors don’t act…
The haircuts in this film are fucking incredible.
… only a certain kind of person would be able stomach this film and I’m not talking about the gross out stuff. It is not witty, nor does it court the traditional horror premise. It has cheap jokes and even cheaper development. There is no heroic story arc and it has more in common with Napoleon Dynamite or The Room than it does Scream.
The outfits in this film are fucking incredible!
But somehow, all together… it kinda works. There is no way you can recommend it to anyone unless you already know that person would enjoy the macabre and inherently odd.
The dialogue delivery in this film, is fucking incredible.
The Greasy Strangler has great moments. It’s a loose collection of sketches, with a simple narrative thread. I was actively excited to see some repeat imagery, it made me laugh and wince in equal measure. There is nothing quite like it. On the first watch you have no idea how it’s going to wrap up.
The music is fucking incredible.
A film that is content to blow a giant raspberry in your face, with little, to no hidden depths that clearly plans to indulge in it’s own massive laugh.
You’ll probably (quite rightly) hate it, but if you’re in the mood for something different, very different, give it a whirl. Also don’t complain to me when you think it’s a load of ol’ shit.
Ok. I’m done.