THE GREASY STRANGLER **** USA 2016 Dir: Jim Hosking 93 mins
Evidently influenced by the collective works of John Waters, Herschell Gordon Lewis and Troma, Jim Hosking follows his engagingly perverse “G Is For Grandad” from THE ABCS OF DEATH 2 with a feature debut rich with peculiar charm, wit and surrealistic non-sequiturs.
Foul mouthed, big-dicked, grease-loving Dad Michael St Michaels and schlubby, pitiful, small-dicked son Sky Elobar run a low-rent disco tour for ungrateful tourists and, in between bickering, both fall in love with a voluptuous customer. Things are complicated by the fact that, St Michaels is the eponymous grease-slavered serial killer. Hosking achieves his mission to make everybody uncomfortable with frequent repulsive nudity, grimly grease-assisted sex acts and scenes or individual shots that last disconcertingly longer than they should. Resisting the urge for crowd-pleasing splatter (the cartoonish kills are light on gore) and never stooping to the self-conscious, abrasive level of too much of Troma’s output, the movie is sharp-looking and cleverly acted by its unique cast. Offbeat tangents about Michael Jackson, ridges in crisps and vending machines are oddly funny and characters, both peripheral and otherwise, have a weirdly engaging habit of repeating certain phrases, as if keen to embed a catchphrase into our psyche. If you’re not saying “I could lose my license!” or “Bullshit artist!” to strangers after watching this, check your pulse…or better yet, stop being such a bullshit artist.
Review by Steven West