The Greasy Strangler (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2016]

greasystranglerAn old man, Ronnie, lives with is adult son, Brayden, giving disco tours to gullible customers. Things get a bit greasy when Brayden falls for one of their customers and Ronnie becomes jealous. Their home becomes a sexual battleground and a monster is unleashed onto the public.  Co-Written by Toby Harvard and Jim Hosking (who both collaborated on the same short in ABC’s of Death 2) and directed by Jim Hosking for his first full length film, The Greasy Strangler is a mind-melting experience. The film’s humor is apparent from the first scene of the movie and, like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going; quips so not funny that they end up becoming gut rolling, blatant displays of comically sized genitalia and pubic hair, and disgusting food.

While grotesquely comedic, they also manage to tell a sad and sweet tale in The Greasy Strangler. After re-watching their short in ABC’s of Death 2, it’s apparent that Hosking and Harvard like to follow the theme of nude father figures and their weird ass, loser sons. Which isn’t necessarily bad, “G for Grandad” was one of the few enjoyable shorts in the sequel to ABC’s of Death.  The actors Michael St. Michael, Sky Elobar, and Elizabeth De Razzo dedicate themselves to their characters with often over the top situations and dialogue i.e. “Hootie-Tootie-Disco-Cutie”. The characters are completely fucked up but it works so well with the film. Sky Elobar portrays the man baby Brayden who still lives at home with his dad Ronnie. And to add to his pitifulness, he’s still a virgin. He makes the character so pathetic, yet you can’t help but like the guy.

However, his luck with women changes when he meets Janet who is played by Elizabeth De Razzo, who suits the depravity and cheekiness well. Michael St. Michael steals the show as Ronnie, who has a ferocious virility at an older age. Everyone in the film is over the top but St. Michael shines bright like a grease fire. The gore feels sparse but is done well by Illusion Industries (G.I. Joe Retaliation). The stomach churning effects caused people to leave during its premier at Sundance. The Strangler has affection towards eyeballs and it feels uneasy watching what he did with them afterwards. The grease suit they have The Strangler wear looks like coveralls dipped in rancid pancake batter but, again, it works for the film. Also, the background music and score, written by Andrew Hung, is phenomenal in this film. It totally brings the viewer back to the 80’s and helps give the film its exploitation tone.

Throughout its 93 minutes, the entire theater collectively thought “What the fuck am I watching here?” Literally, people loudly exclaimed “What the fuck?” during the run time. It’s hard to expect anything going into this film from the trailer and with the end product, it sure as shit is unexpected. At first, it’s difficult to decide if the film is likeable but it undoubtedly leaves a lasting and shocking impression on the audience. Now a few days later, it’s certain that The Greasy Strangler will become a cult classic amongst horror and exploitation fans. The content and humor is so over the top and out-of-left-field that you can’t help but laugh even as someone is getting their eyeballs popped out. The Greasy Strangler is an exploitation film done right. It has so much heart that you can’t help but love its weird ass. It is a far out B-film that is going to cement its cult status as a midnight movie.