Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Sundance ‘16: The Greasy Strangler
is a SpectreVision production, but it would not be surprising if the American
Heart Association were secretly involved. After watching all the gelatinous
grease ooze across the screen, viewers are likely to opt for nothing but raw
vegetables for the rest of the year. For gross-out reasons, a serial killer
slathers his food in grease and lathers his entire body up in oily fat before
going out on the prowl. You would think his fingers would slide off victims’
necks, but somehow he manages to rack up a ridiculous body count in Jim Hosking’s
The Greasy Strangler, which quickly achieved
infamy at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Ronnie is constantly bullying his socially maladjusted son Big Brayden,
particularly regarding his supposed insufficient use of grease when cooking. Somewhere
in the back of Big Brayden’s tiny mind, he sort of suspects his father might be
the notorious Greasy Strangler, perhaps because Big Ronnie periodically feels
compelled to deny it, for no apparent reason.
Big Ronnie and Big Brayden make ends meet by conducting cut-rate bait-and-switch
historic disco tours. Big Ronnie still likes to go out clubbing decking out in
a leisure suit with a strategic hole in the crotch to reveal his laughably long
member. Do not get the wrong idea. It’s sickly yellow color cannot be all that
enticing to reasonably healthy women, but it certainly intimidates his son.
Poor Big Brayden is not exactly a chip of the old block in the respect, as we
see only too well. Nevertheless, the vaguely Jeffrey Tambor-looking man-child somehow
starts dating a former tour patron, but the loathsome Big Ronnie is determined
to steal her for himself.
you have a whole lot of grease and prosthetic junk in Strangler, but that’s about it. Frankly, it represents all the
worst instincts of midnight movies. Basically, Hosking just keeps beating the
same couple of jokes into the ground like a pile-driver. A lot of people at
midnight screenings probably convinced themselves they enjoyed it. Obviously,
that is the only suitable venue for a film like this. When buoyed-up by the
crowd, you might start laughing at Hosking’s sheer gall and your own endurance
for its conspicuous crappiness, but that is a pathetically cheap way to get
makes John Waters look tasteful, Troma look
sophisticated, and Ed Wood look accomplished. It is also literally review-proof,
as evidenced by the ironic trumpeting of Strangler’s
withering trade reviews. Regardless, all Strangler
leaves behind are some unpleasant grease-stains (and a cool one-sheet).
Consider yourself warned as The Greasy
Strangler continues to build on its notoriety following its premiere at
this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Labels: Serial killer movie, Sundance '16