Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE GREASY STRANGLER

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

I am thinking this movie will not win any “respectable” movie awards this year, but it certainly deserves an award for being the weirdest comedy of the year.  The quotables alone will definitely earn this film a well-deserved cult status.  And though I, in my right mind, cannot give this film a higher rating, I will credit the filmmakers for making one of the more memorable movies of the year.  Certainly not for everyone’s taste, The Greasy Strangler could possibly be an acquired one, or one that could leave a nasty aftertaste.

Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels) and his son Big Brayden (Sky Elobar) run a disco walking tour in their town.  Their already troubled relationship grows even more combative as the two compete for the love of Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo) a woman they meet on their tour.  As Ronnie and Brayden fight over Janet, a serial killer covered in grease stalks the streets of their town at night.

Written and directed by Jim Hosking, who co-wrote with Toby Harvard , this movie feels like it belongs among the crazy, bizarre, and abrasive cartoons of Adult Swim.  The humor is often dirty, sometimes disgusting, and puerile.  The style of the movie and the caricaturesque portrayal of the characters play out similarly to a hard, R-rated Napoleon Dynamite without the heart.  The film is definitely an oddity that will find (and has already found) its die-hard fans and its disparagers.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  Though I applaud its dedication to its style and its unapologetic approach to the material, I also feel like the filmmakers where going for shock and awe for cheap thrills.  The movie does have a good amount of laughs and some hilarious moments, but is too cartoonish and over-the-top for its own good.

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