Sometimes I come across a movie that entrances me until the very end. Jim Hosking's The Greasy Strangler is the epitome of a film that you watch with your friends late at night and proceed to quote endlessly afterwards. An instant hit in the genre of midnight movies akin to John Waters and Troma films, The Greasy Strangler's slick style solidifies its uniqueness with just the right amount of edge. Rated G by the Greasy Picture association of America for scenes of excessive greasiness, this film is considered unsafe for everyone.
You think I'm joking?
Without spoilers, The Greasy Strangler is the story of a middle-aged son, Big Brayden (Sky Elobar), and his elderly father, Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels), dealing with a love triangle involving a common love interest, Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo). This drama is further complicated by the fact that Big Ronnie has a habit of covering his naked body in grease at night and strangling those who wrong him.
The movie's strongest aspect is its direction and design. With Jim Hosking as director and writer (Toby Harvard also as writer), viewers see a true vision on the screen that isn't meddled by a large studio. There is definitely a "vibe" to the atmosphere and character reactions, similar to Napoleon Dynamite and Pink Flamingos, where the whole world feels slightly off-kilter but everyone in-universe accepts these quirks as the norm. In researching the movie's development, I came across The Horror Show's interview with Michael St. Michaels and Sky Elobar, where interviewer Jaime En Fuego questioned the cast on improvisation techniques. "It's all scripted... no riffing," Elobar stated, alluding to how tight the actors followed the script.
The direction and design are handily supported by the film's bizarre dialogue and no-holds-barred nudity. If watching this movie with friends, make a drinking game where everyone takes a sip once the word "shit" or "bullshit" comes up. For those looking for an extreme drinking game option, chug whenever full frontal nudity appears.
Warning: this optional drinking game option might just kill you
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone who finds gross-out humor offensive, though this movie's execution of gross-out humor is miles ahead of most films in its genre. There is an art house style feel to it, making it a bit "classier" when compared to other low budget films. You will find yourself thinking about this movie and the wild absurdity well after it's over, but that's where the charm lies. Stay greasy, my friends!
Also, Andrew Hung's soundtrack is fantastic!
The Greasy Strangler
Directed by Jim Hosking
Starring Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo