The Greasy Strangler, it is fair to say, is not your normal horror film. Nor your normal comedy. Or indeed, even a normal film at all. Imagine the bit inside the radiator in Eraserhead where the woman squishes foetuses under her feet, but for an hour and a half, and played for laughs. Then you may have a vague understanding of what this piece is all about. Although in all probability not.
In keeping with the abnormal presented here, it is also impossible for me to even review the film in any standard fashion. There’s no point in making any judgement on what the acting, script, cinematography, effects or direction are like as they are all done exactly how director Jim Hosking want them done (unless something went horribly, horribly wrong). If you or I don’t like The Greasy Strangler then that is our own problem. Its a singular vision, a singular, parallel universe based vision where this kind of thing probably goes on all the time.
I better tell you the basics of the plot – help you decide if this is for you I suppose. Hold on to your hats.
Middle-aged Big Brayden lives in some trashy part of Los Angeles with his father Big Ronnie. By day they run a disco tour for confused tourists. They take them around disused warehouses and back streets and make wild claims about the BeeGees performing their first gigs there. At night the tourists are prayed upon by some hellish killer. He’s known as The Greasy Strangler, because he’s covered in grease and strangles his victims. Brayden suspects that his father might be the notorious killer because he has a tendency to slather everything he eats with oil, fat and, indeed, grease. They both meet a beautiful young woman called Janet who gets in between them and threatens the really quite unpleasant bond between father and son. Or at least shags them both in revolting ways.
That’s the basic version of the story, and if that sounds conventional to you then a) you watch some weird fucking movies and b) you are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. And a twat.
The main thing you have to be aware of is that Ronnie and Brayden may share a house like normal father and son shouldn’t do at their age, but they do most of it in very tiny underpants. And it is not like these guys are the epitome of masculinity. They both have skinny legs, sagging guts and man boobs. Old Ronnie also has far too much hair where you don’t want it and Brayden doesn’t have enough on top. Also Ronnie has a need to flash his flaccid arse on a regular basis and its clear he doesn’t wipe properly.
Then there are the penises. Oh god, the penises…
Old Ronnie spends a lot of time wandering around naked (usually just after having the grease washed off him at the local car wash) and his massive cock and balls dangle out of a suspiciously dark and hairy bush. Even when he gets dressed up for the disco, Ronnie wears a deeply unsavoury purple spandex jumpsuit with, I think, a see through area around his crotch so you can see his manhood dangling down the side of his legs. Either that or its a painted on image of the same member. Big Brayden on the other hand is far from big, having a tiny, little red willy with a couple of minuscule testicles protruding from his over abundant pubic zone. He has tiny, little wanks with it too.
If you thought I gave away who The Greasy Strangler was in the last paragraph then trust me when I say it is really quite obvious who it is. This is partly because he keeps on denying that he’s The Greasy Strangler when no one even mentions it, partly because of his grease obsession and partly because The Greasy Strangler looks just like him but covered in grease.
There’s a lot of weird characters, all of whom tend to shout their lines at each other as if they are in a wind tunnel rather than standing three inches away. Then the whole film looks like a terrible month I had twenty years ago when I mixed too many wrong, er, items in my head – all bright colours, moments of time disappearing and slime dripping down the walls . Also if you’re not put off by what age and bad food does to your body by the end of this film then you are either the healthiest person in the world or blind. And if you are blind that won’t save you either, as a blind man gets, strangled, has his head sawn off and thrown at a basketball net, which it misses.
Do I recommend The Greasy Strangler? Yes of course I do, if only to see your faces afterwards…