The Greasy Strangler

2017 movie viewings, #126. To be clear, the reason I reacted badly to Jim Hosking's feature debut The Greasy Strangler was not because it was gross or weird or absurdist, nor because it relies so much on retro pop-culture or deadpan line delivery; I loved both Napoleon Dynamite and Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, for example, which trades exactly on these aspects for their own success. No, my bad reaction comes from the exact opposite direction; there wasn't a single solitary moment in this movie that I hadn't already seen done better in Napoleon Dynamite and Tim and Eric, and while that would've been fine in 2005 when this kind of filmmaking was daring and original, it comes off as the ultimate example of tired, passe and cliche when done in 2017, 12 years and an entire half a cultural generation later. In fact, history may very well show The Greasy Strangler to be the very first moment when the Millennial generation got old enough to become sad and out-of-touch to the next generation younger than them, insisting on shoving their own culture down the throats of a bunch of high-schoolers actively rebelling against it; after all, this movie's famously high-profile producers, actor Elijah Wood and director Ben Wheatley, were respectively 35 and 44 when it was made last year, and it's quite easy to imagine that they thought they were embracing something that in their head was edgy and controversial, just to be greeted with angry yawns by current 18-year-olds and sarcasm-dripping comments of, "Yeah, whatever, taste the rainbow, dude." As a member of Generation X myself, let me now officially welcome all you Millennials to the "Nothing But Sneers And Contempt From Teenagers Club;" and The Greasy Strangler is strong evidence that you have in fact officially arrived, an instantly dated film that immediately feels a decade too old from even the moment the opening credits roll. Welcome to my world, chumps.

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