If I was pressed to describe 2016's The Greasy Strangler, I would remove my pants and shout arbitrary words. Repeatedly. That wouldn't tell you the plot, but you would feel like you had just watched the film. I try to pay attention to tone and texture. The tone here is slapdash sadism. The texture? Flabby, pendulous sheathing. Ugh, I'm trying to keep it classy here. We see a lot - A LOT - of naked flesh, and none of the actors are trim. Again, I'm trying to use hospitable language, as the bare-skinned cast members are male and female. Elizabeth De Razzo plays Janet, the picture's love interest. She's right cute, but her frame isn't exactly...trim? Yeah, I'll stick with "trim" since I've used it once already.
I want to make something clear, not that I'm under any social obligation to explain myself. Personally, I prefer curves. I draw the line at morbid obesity (for reasons predicated on health), but I don't consider Janet to be morbidly obese. Some might, I'm sure. Father-and-son contingent Big Ronnie and Big Brayden impel The Greasy Strangler forward. Obviously, they are the main characters; the anchor, the embryo, the seed, the nub, the heart, the nucleus...they don't look great naked. Ronnie, the Big daddy, looks particularly rough, and I couldn't count the seconds of screen time allotted to his prosthetic member. Floppy fake dicks are all over the place. Ronnie is packing a massive third leg, while Brayden sports a micropenis because comedy.
Technically, the genre tag is "horror/comedy," but the horror is expatriated to laconic kill sequences. I'll give director Jim Hosking one thing; his effects crew devised a handful of amusing gore twinklings. So there's that. I still haven't said much with regards to the storyline because the synopsis will tell you everything you need to know about The Greasy Strangler. It's an experiment in drollery and travesty. Imagine a collaboration between John Waters and Tim Heidecker. I'm a fan of both gentlemen, but most of this lark's quirks coasted past me without registering so much as a simper. It should be noted that I don't do gross-out humor (with very few exceptions). If an old man farting in the general direction of his son sounds funny to you, then by all means, have at it.
The title is a reference to some creep squelching lives around town. The only problem is that it's not a whodunit. We know precisely who done it, and as a matter of fact, he/she admits to doing it in the first scene of The Greasy Strangler. With ten percent more effort, the script could have been somewhat clever. Y'know, it's strange; this is the kind of oddball fuckery I'd normally favor. I dig aspects of it. Sky Elobar and Michael St. Michaels are fucking committed as Brayden and Ronnie, respectively. I questioned their sanity. The score is memorable, if not...well, it's memorable. I'll leave it at that. To be (im)perfectly honest, I'm grappling with how many Z'Dars I should assign such a grody, disruptive undertaking. I almost want to create a different rating scale. Almost.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 8:41 PM