Director: Jim Hosking Writer: Toby Harvard
Cast: Michael St Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex
93min | Drama Comedy | US
Jim Hosking’s debut feature can best be described as repulsive; at worst – a simply awful con intended to perplex and intrigue audiences with its ambiguous title, the fantasy is none other than a repetitive series of vile visuals exploring the relationship between a dysfunctional father and co-dependent son who inhabit the seedy backwaters of Los Angeles. These grotesquely sordid scenes exist merely to flesh out a vapid narrative that serves no other purpose other than providing a salacious talking point between critic and cineaste, some of whom postulate that the feature may appeal to kids – which is frankly insulting, as most kids have a modicum of taste and know when they are being taken for a ride.
The plot is simply thus: Big Ronnie (St Michaels) and his son Big Brayden (Elobar) are forced into romantic competition over Janet (De Razzo) a pleasant participant in one of their bizarre walking tours while the murderous activities of the soi-disant serial killer the Greasy Strangler, play out in the hinterland.
Visually and technically The Greasy Strangler is well-crafted with Marten Tedin’s camerawork capturing the low-life lassitude of nighttime Los Angeles. Performances are lacklustre in an outing that transcends even the cult status of being camp or kitsch. Endless stomach-lurching bodily functions are frequently thrust into our gaze – if The Greasy Strangler were an exhibit it would smell like a fetid cesspit in downtown Dakar – that said – if you get your kicks from fetid cesspits in Dakar – this is your flick – and no offence to Dakar which has a delightfully dry year-round climate and some wonderful street markets. Catch the boat to the nearby island paradise of Gorée for its fascinating history and idyllic beaches!. MT
NOW ON RELEASE AT SELECTED CINEMAS | SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL LONDON | 2-5 June 2016