M.L. Miller here! As I go into my tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Seven of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2016 and going through September 30, 2017. I have posted Best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on October 7, 2016! Available On Demand, digital download, & DVD here from Filmrise!
THE GREASY STRANGLER (2016)
Directed by Jim Hosking
Written by Toby Harvard, Jim Hosking
Starring Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, Abdoulaye NGom, Holland MacFallister, Sam Dissanayake, Joe David Walters, John Yuan, Matt Yuan, Sal Koussa, Jesse Keen, Carl Solomon, Dana Haas
Find out more about this film on Facebook here
You’re probably going to characterize your life as; what I had going on before watching THE GREASY STRANGLER and how to put my mind back together after watching THE GREASY STRANGLER. I know I am.
There is not an easy way to describe THE GREASY STRANGLER, but I’ll try. The story revolves around a father (Big Ron played by Michael St. Michaels) and son (Big Braden played by Sky Elobar) who live together and work together on a walking disco tour that attracts gullible clientele. On one of these walks, Braden meets Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo) on one of these tours and the two immediately fall for one another, which causes Big Ron to don a layer of grease from head to toe and go out strangling people. Things get complicated after that.
This is not a movie for those who live a conventional, logical life. It’s a film for folks who are willing to take a leap into the insanity pool and try to touch the bottom even though there may not be one. It’s the kind of leap of faith film that you just kind of go with, despite the fact that no one in the film seems to be from this planet and the world they live in certainly isn’t our own. If you have difficulty disconnecting from the reality we all live in, I’m sure you’re going to be one to check out of this film early.
Even if you sit with THE GREASY STRANGLER and wallow around in all of its grease, it still will try its damndest to annoy the shit out of you or nauseate you or both. The cast repeats lines over and over. There are long uncomfortable pauses between characters in scenes that should cut to another scene, but instead forces us to uncomfortably sit there with these people you wouldn’t want to share space with on an elevator. And just in case those qualities don’t repel you, THE GREASY STRANGLER bathes itself in every kind of body fluid and greasy substance you can and can’t imagine. Things are tasted. Things are spat forth. Things are lathered around on all of the nethers and this film shows it all in graphic and gross detail. I winced more than once at this film and even joined in the crowd and cried out “Nooooo!” and I consider myself to have an iron constitution.
All of that said, this is probably the most memorable, most quotable, and most unique film I’ve ever seen. I can’t get it out of my head. I can’t stop repeating lines to the friends I saw it with. This is a film that, like it or not, burrows into your brain and nestles its greasy buttocks in and refuses to get out. All of the gratuitous nudity (Big Ron likes to walk around naked to show the world his enormous and misshapen schlong), the cartoonish kills, the uncomfortable family relationship interactions, and just plain goofy bits and pieces are undeniably creative, unique, and hard to forget.
Michael St. Michaels (who most will not remember from THE VIDEO DEAD, I sure didn’t) is the epitome of the creepy old man as Big Ron. Blatantly flaunting his large penis around Janet, he tries his best to be the disco superstar he used to be without much regard for his son’s feelings. Both St. Michaels and Sky Elobar offer up star making performances here and I hope to see their offbeat style and humor again soon. Elizabeth De Razzo is also pretty brave in this film, baring all, despite being not your Hollywood ideal when it comes to body shape. The three of these stars are going to be seen again, I guarantee. They are just too infectious not to.
In the end, THE GREASY STRANGLER manages to be rather sweet within all of its absurdity. Big Ron is obviously lashing out as the Strangler and hitting on Janet because he is frustrated and scared that his son is leaving him with no one to make him greasy meals. It’s a story of a father and son, getting to know one another at a late stage in their lives after simply functioning for all these years. It’s a tale of love…and grease. So despite all of the disgusting things going on, those who look through their fingers and choke down their own lunch will find some redeeming and even heart-warming qualities about it.
You’re going to want to have repeated trips to the car wash sans car after watching THE GREASY STRANGLER. It’s an unforgettable movie experience that feels like it lives in the same universe as NAPOLEON DYNAMITE at times and embraces its absurdity much like Quentin Bupieux’s RUBBER did. THE GREASY STRANGLER is the film equivalent of an inappropriately tight and uncomfortably long low hug and I love every second of this film for that very reason.
WARNING: This trailer is not safe for anyone to view anywhere at any time! You’ve been warned!
THE 2016-2017 COUNTDOWN!
#18 – THE GREASY STRANGLER
#19 – I AM THE PRETTY THING IN THE HOUSE
#20 – ANNABELLE 2: CREATION
#21 – SPLIT
#22— TRASH FIRE
#23 – 47 METERS DOWN
#24 – HELL HOUSE LLC
#25 – THE SUBLET
#26 – PATCHWORK
#27 – IT STAINS THE SANDS RED
#28 – GERALD’S GAME
#29 – LAKE BODOM
#30 – NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE
#31 – THE EVIL WITHIN
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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