by Scott Oakes
Elderly Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels) lives with his middle-aged son Big Brayden (Sky Elobar). Together they host Ronnie’s not-so-popular Disco Tours. It is on one of these tours that Big Brayden meets his potential true love, Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo). However, we learn that Big Ronnie has an equally big thing for her – all while a monstrous murderer known as The Greasy Strangler is on the loose and ready to kill.
The film boasts a uniquely bumbling, retro-disco horror theme that is sure to turn heads. There’s nothing quite like this out there, and you’re wondering (initially at least) why there ever would be. Then you watch it…
The monster, the titular Greasy Strangler, is in fact just Big Ronnie covered head to toe in thick grease – naked, of course. Still, this simplistic idea for a monster is significantly more impressive, grotesque and creepy than what you see in mainstream horror today. The character may leave very little to the imagination – even what his anal cavity looks like. You’ll find yourself turning away in combined horror and disgust several times throughout. This is the kind of experience we just don’t get anymore.
The writing, though unintentionally clunky at times, does work in its favour. Remarkably, you’ll find yourself repeating many memorable lines from the film, despite them being some of the most lame insults in history. “Bullsh*t artist” – Big Brayden’s most frequent line – will also become yours after hearing it a few dozen times.
Similarly, a “hootie tootie disco cutie” not-quite dance routine will seemingly remain with you days, weeks and possibly years after viewing. The film really should be commended for its outlandish plot, style, dialogue and characters; it is rare to find a horror film so uniquely memorable now.
It may be an outlandish and bizarre cinematic experience, but at its heart this is a story of father and son, and there’s more to be said about this film than its grotesque nature. The Greasy Strangler not only kills the people that have irritated him in his routine life as Big Ronnie, but also wants to kill those who threaten his home life with his son Big Brayden. It’s an unapologetically flawed paternal relationship, but it is made clear that Big Ronnie just isn’t ready to let his son go.
There are points, however, where the film makes diversions – even the most open-minded audience members won’t be able to comprehend what has happened or why. It is almost acceptable simply for just how strange the premise was in the first place.
There’s plenty of grease in this eye-popping, micro penis-featuring film. You certainly won’t be able to shake the twisted, unsightly imagery from your now tainted mind. It’s an experience for sure, neither positive or negative, but certainly entertaining.
Dir: Jim Hosking
Prd: Daniel Noah, Andrew Starke, Ant Timpson, Josh C. Waller, Elijah Wood
Scr: Toby Harvard, Jim Hosking
Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, Abdoulaye NGom, Holland MacFallister
Music: Andrew Hung
Country: United States
Running time: 93 minutes
The Greasy Strangler is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.