Blu-ray Review: The Greasy Strangler (2016)

March 23, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Prize-winning bullshit artist, and greasy food enthusiast Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels) lives with his son Big Brayden (Sky Elobar) and runs a walking tour of supposed disco hot spots around town. That’s all fine and dandy, but there is also a grease covered strangler stalking the streets…which is also Ronnie. As all that greasing and killing is going on, Brayden starts a relationship with a woman named Janet ( Elizabeth De Razzo), huge quantities of grease are consumed, we meet a man that wears a paper pig nose, cocks fill the screen (prosthetic, outrageous ones at that), Ronnie washes himself in Big Paul’s (Gil Gex) car wash…I mean basically a better synopsis would be; Penis, grease, murder.

Look, I’m not going to mince words with you fine freaky fuckers…The Greasy Strangler will not…repeat WILL NOT be for everyone (some would argue anyone). It’s crude, disgusting, annoying…so who will it appeal to? Well, me for starters, but also lovers of Troma, John Waters, and the ultimate in absurdity and weirdness. This film creates it’s own warped and wicked world building (courtesy of Director/Co-Writer Jim Hosking along with Toby Harvard) where twisted cartoon violence, deviant sex, and serial killers are the norm, and no one bats much of an eye over any of the bizarre goings-on…okay, maybe that’s not much different than our world on the surface, but trust me, it’s cranked to the nines here. There’s also surprising undercurrents of heart and sweetness to be discovered by those brave enough to take this cinematic journey.

With a production such as this, the entire affair can be made or undone if the actors aren’t totally vested in the insanity…and that is certainly the case here with Elobar, De Razzo, and Gex all playing their supremely off-beat characters with undeniable aplomb…but this is well and truly St. Michaels’ showcase and he devours the scenery like a starving man at an all-you-can eat buffet while dialing up the strangeness to astronomical levels (so much so that it’s absolutely jarring to here him sound so normal on the included audio commentary…but more on that in a bit…).

Adding to the madness is the “Atari 2600 with demonic insect on vocals by way of a circus calliope” score courtesy of Composer Andrew Hung, and the Cinematography of Mårten Tedin that brings beautiful lighting and composition to one hell of an ugly world.

For those of you wanting more after the final frame fades, FilmRise and MVD Entertainment have included a few extras on this Blu-ray release. Included are: the aforementioned commentary track which features Hosking, St. Michaels, and Elobar detailing the film’s production, as well as interviews with St. Michaels, Elobar, De Razzo, Actors Carl Solomon, Abdoulaye NGom, Holland MacFallister, and Sam Dissanayake, Producer Ant Timpson, Production Designer Jason Kisvarday, and Art Department member Zack Carlson, and a handful of trailers for the film.

If you have ever wondered what a Troma produced version of Napolean Dynamite would be like; this flick will give you a good idea…but in the end The Greasy Strangler is 100% fiercely unique…as well as off-putting and perverse and I couldn’t take my eyes off from it, no matter how much it challenged me to do so!






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