The Greasy Strangler


What. What is this. I don't know. I'm laughing, but I'm scared. Someone hold me. I need a shower. Why does that prosthetic penis keep invading my space. Why is there so much grease. I need help.

I've been trying to describe this for an hour and a half now. This is the worst of nightmares told in the most whimsical of ways. This is absolute horrible trash, but at the same time an artistic and cinematic milestone.

Is this brilliant? I don't know. But dozens of people worked to make this. This exists. Let that sink in.

This gets half a star for being so ungodly and unrelentingly stupid, trashy, low-brow, and horrible; but it also gets five stars for meticulously creating a wholly immersive yet deliberately artificial/surreal world in which no one raises an eyebrow to just how strange everything is. The film leaves the eyebrow-raising to us. We don't get the "relatable lead-in." There's no build-up or introduction. The direction takes what could potentially be the worst film you've ever seen and turns it into a hilariously disturbing and fascinatingly unsettling ride.

I have so many questions. Is it commentary on... Media? Comedy? Cinema? Is it even a commentary?

It could be. I don't fucking know.

I cannot in good conscience call this a bad film. Every second is as stupid as it is committed. Everything is confidently uncomfortable from first frame to last. It's unpredictable. It starts at the bottom of the rabbit hole and keeps digging. I never want to see this again, but I want to tell everyone about it.

If Werner Herzog saw The Greasy Strangler, Werner Herzog would make a film about Werner Herzog watching The Greasy Strangler.

The Greasy Strangler = John Waters + Luis Buñuel + Tim and Eric + Salvador Dali + Dario Argento + Stephen Chow + Yorgos Lanthimos + L.Q. Jones + Troma + Terry Gilliam + David Lynch + 10,000 gallons of grease + prosthetic penis.

(Alamo Drafthouse Austin featured this review on their Facebook page and Twitter feed. If this is my claim to fame, so be it.)