Film Review: ‘The Greasy Strangler’

Director Jim Hosking’s feature length debut has audiences in shock and awe as they laugh and cringe at what could be the next great cult classic.

Things get extra greasy in Jim Hosking’s new film The Greasy Strangler which made plenty of waves at the Sundance Film Festival and deservedly so. The film was included in the festival’s midnight lineup, which seemed appropriate due to its risqué and bizarre story incomparable even to something one would expect to find on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup. If you’re familiar with Hosking’s previous short films then you know that’s just what you can come to expect, but if not his love for awkwardness and singularity that are key to his voice as an auteur will definitely take you on a thrill ride where you’d want to close your eyes at times but somehow can’t help but keep them open.

The film stars Michael St. Michaels as Big Ronnie and Sky Elobar as his son Big Brayden, who soon become entangled in a love triangle with a woman they meet on a tour that they run played by Elizabeth De Razzo. Brayden’s childlike innocence is constantly juxtaposed with Big Ronnie’s rude and overbearing nature. Father and son battle to win the affections of De Razzo’s character, Janet as the threat of the greasy strangler looms over them and everybody they know. As his dismay for his father grows, Brayden starts to suspect him of being the titular killer, who’s slayings get more gruesome as the film goes on.

The Greasy Strangler has a heart, getting its pulse from the shenanigans and misfortunes of Ronnie and Brayden. The plethora of bloody violence and grease coupled with decent effects and absurd dialogue will either leave audiences loving the film or hating it if you can’t handle the cinematic journey Hosking sets us on. The film defies a lot of genre traditions and drifts into the strange territory at times. You’ll find yourself wondering what it is your watching, but the awkward plot has a charm that keeps audiences on the edge of their seat wondering just how this story will conclude. The beauty of Hosking’s approach to his feature debut is he doesn’t even know how viewers will receive it and looks forward to see how people will respond to his latest piece. One thing is for certain, you won’t be able to forget what you see.

The Greasy Strangler releases in theaters and on demand October 7th.

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