The Greasy Strangler (2016)

The Greasy Strangler
Director: Jim Hosking
Writer: Toby Harvard, Jim Hosking
Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels) and his son Brayden (Sky Elobar) give 70s-Disco-themed city tours together. They also live together and generally spend most of their time together. They are rather settled in their lives, but things do get shaken up a bit, when oiled up serial killer The Greasy Strangler starts to haunt their city. Around the same time Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo) takes their tour and Brayden quickly falls for her. But Ronnie may be interested as well.

The Greasy Strangler is a weird animal of a film. I could go along with some of its weirdness, but definitely not with all of it. Altogether I wasn’t particularly taken with it.

Before the film was shown, we got a video message from the director who basically just danced for a while wearing nothing but a towel. that was both one of the best video message I’ve ever seen and an excellent preparation for the film that is dominated by a repetitive but fun soundtrack and a very weird sense of humor.

Part of that humor is that all the jokes are done to death and then some, stretched over every limit. Some of the jokes originally made me laugh, some didn’t at all, but all of them were repeated many, many times and with every repetition they grew less funny. That worked for a while regardless, but after a while it was simply exhausting and tiring.

Plus, some of the jokes where just blatantly racist like the (as everything else, overly long) “potato” exchange which basically boils down to “ha ha, this brown person has an accent that can’t simply be understood, at least not by this black person who is too stupid”. And Janet – the only woman in the film who gets more than passing screen time was also a pretty sexist stereotype, apart from the fact that she was fat and was still treated as a sex symbol by Ronnie and Brayden (which I loved on the one hand, on the other hand it was used to cement their weirdo status that they would find a fat woman attractive, so…). But sex symbol or not, [SPOILER] she was yet another fickle bitch who’d sleep with the father just as much as with the son because women don’t care, amirite, and then she gets quickly killed for the sake of the father-son-relationship. [/SPOILER] And that is misogyny at its finest.

It’s even worse because it all culminates in an ending where that misogyny and aggression leads them to a return to (male) nature which was all kinds of problematic. All of that means that despite the moments where the film did make me laugh, I couldn’t really get into it or trust it enough to go with its flow.

Summarizing: Watch the video I linked above. If you think it’s hilarious, you’ll probably enjoy this film a lot. If not, you better stay away.

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