“I normally shoot about six ropes of cum and then a little bit of the clear stuff,” actor Michael St. Michaels yells as “Big Ronnie,” mid-simulated coitus. “But tonight I’m all about the ropes, baby!”
“I’m the Spider-Man of cock town!” Big Ronnie then yells.
“You’re the Tarzan of cum jungle,” coos coitus partner Elizabeth De Razzo (previously: Stevie’s girlfriend on Eastbound and Down), as Janet.
“You’re so much more than a hot, wet pussy, baby. You could be my forever love.”
That’s just a sampling of the kind of dialogue you’ll find in The Greasy Strangler, and that was actually a part that made me laugh. This is one of the grossest movies ever made, which is neither an insult nor a compliment, just the truth. It’s barely a movie at all, with a thin premise and a thinner fourth wall. There’s cum, farts, giant fake penises, tiny fake penises, and closeups of buttholes. Why? I don’t know.
Brayden (played by Sky Elobar) is a fat, middle-aged manchild with a mangy head of shoulder-length hair and upside down glasses who lives with his overbearing father. Big Ron, Brayden’s dad, is a leonine gray-hair with a loud mouth, a resonant voice, and a massive horse phallus. I say horse phallus not because it’s huge, though it is, but because it’s actually big in the middle and pointy at the end, like a horse’s. (How do I know what a horse’s penis looks like? Ask your mother.)
Brayden and Ronnie have a family business. “Big Ron’s Disco Tours,” involves the two of them dressing up in idiotic pink turtle necks and sparkly hot pants to take foreign tourists to gas stations or abandoned hospitals. “Donna Summers once shat there,” they’ll say. (That’s not a real example from the film, but trust me it’s exactly like one.)
One day on a tour, Brayden meets Janet, a plump Latina in a ridiculous Annie wig. Brayden and Janet start dating, but Big Ron and Big Brayden eventually begin fighting over her. Their favorite insult is “bullsh*t artist.” All the while, Big Ron indulges his predilection for greasy food, to the point of stealing grease traps to dunk his food in them.
Now, at this point I have to explain that I have a strange constitution, where I can happily sit through two hours of chewed-off dicks, real life surgery footage, corpse f*cking, and boil draining, but anything gross involving food I find impossibly revolting. Messy or loud eaters make me homicidal. The Nathan’s hot dog eating contest I find about as repellent as Holocaust footage. And so with The Greasy Strangler‘s constant references to greasy food, close-ups of grease-dunked food, and stylized squish sound effects (I almost puked just typing that), it was a constant battle not to turn it off. I’d have my finger hovering over the button, and then just as I was about to click it’d win me back with some belly laffer about cum ropes. Yep, that’s a real sentence I just typed.
I can’t really explain it. The film is deadpan, proudly pointless, stilted and stagey, like some kind of exploitation kabuki. Most of all, it’s deliberately, relentlessly obnoxious. I’d watch it with a pained expression, hanging on just to see what gross thing they’d do next, and find myself laughing at something in spite of myself. It’s gross gross gross and then all of a sudden there’ll be some poetic vulgarity, or repetitious gag that lulls you into a trance and makes you wonder how high you are even if you haven’t smoked anything.
Directed by Jim Hosking and written by Hosking and his writing partner, Toby Harvard — who hooked up with The Greasy Strangler‘s producers while making a short for ABCs Of Death — Strangler almost feels like a film festival experiment to see how many people they could make walk out. Big Ron moonlights as a grease chunk-covered serial killer called “The Greasy Strangler,” who kills one guy while he’s pooping. Big Brayden’s best friend is a guy with a pig nose covering a bloody hole in his face. He’s named “Oinker.”
But details of “plot” are mostly beside the point. The Greasy Strangler is above all else, a singular experience, like if GG Allin directed Napoleon Dynamite. If you ever watched an early John Waters film and thought, “This is good, but I wish he’d go there,” then this is the film for you.
Vince Mancini is a writer, comedian, and podcaster. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.