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Greasy Strangler, The


Stars: Michael St Michaels, Elizabeth De Razzo, Sky Elobar, Gil Rex

Director: Jim Hosking

Christmas is coming, so here’s the ideal gift for someone you really hate – the DVD version of this uniquely repellent waste of film stock which, I assume, aspires to be seen as an hopeful John Waters-style bad-taste ‘comedy’, but fails on every count.

But why the DVD and not the movie? Because, serendipitously, DVD players possess a fast-forward button.

Jim Hosking, responsible with co-writer Toby Harvard for the driveling screenplay, makes as depressingly dire directorial debut as you could hope to miss.

Miserable middle-aged Sky Elobar lives with his crabby ancient father Michael St Michaels, paying for his keep by cooking oil-saturated meals for his blubber-obsessed dad who, just to make a point, suggests, ““Why not put a little grease in your java?” – and he’s not kidding.

Father and son, bizarrely dressed in floral pink shorts and pink shirts operate the family business leading tourists around the city (it’s not that clear but the film was shot in Los Angeles) to show them the places where (possibly) long-ago music stars were seen.

Unfortunately for his clients, St Michaels is deeply unpleasant towards tourists, which makes the tours even less worthwhile, with some of them later falling victim to the eponymous Greasy Strangler.

Suspense is singularly lacking since St Michaels, who constantly boasts he is the oleaginous killer, is soon revealed as such, a hideous slippery monster with a large, patently fake penis who uses a car-wash owned by a blind man to clean himself up after throttling someone…

Enter a spanner in the already defunct works. When ample-bodied tourist Elizabeth De Razzo begins an improbable affair with Elobar his envious father makes a play for her – and scores.

The dialogue is dire, grossly staged sex scenes combine sleaziness with amateurish embarrassment and wit, credible characterisation or any real reason to stay awake (I did, and suffered accordingly) are lacking.

It is an embarrassment for everyone involved on both sides of the screen.

It’s dire but, since it would be hard to create another movie as uniquely awful as The Greasy Strangler, Hosking has every chance of being hailed an auteur, especially since I imagine that relatively few people will actually suffer the film.

If you have a modicum of good taste and no time to spare, this is the perfect picture to miss.

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Picturehouse Entertainment. Colour.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 07 Oct 2016