Even the title of Jim Hosking's risqué experimental indie horror, The Greasy Strangler, is enough to spike morbid curiosity in the most prudish of prudes. It's a film with a DNA make-up that is designed to get a reaction; just what kind of reaction is a different matter.
With the release of the brief but unforgettable teaser trailer, the internet is justifiably going into meltdown, asking questions like "what the hell did I just watch?", "what on earth is a greasy strangler?" and "wait a minute was that what I think it was?" (Spoilers: yes.)
All of this is understandable. The exploitation film has been causing a stir since its premiere at the midnight selection for this year's Sundance Film Festival. Granted, it's been referred to as "depraved," "disgusting" and "brutal," but it's also a film praised for honestly expanding the shock genre, and an original (albeit completely messed up) cinematic experience.
We're still some months away from the film's theatrical release, but let's take a look at what we know so far about the shocking sensation:
1. The Story Centers Around A Father And Son Love Triangle
There are essentially two story arcs to the movie. The first focuses on Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michael) and his son Big Brayden (Sky Elobar), a bizarre pairing who run dodgy tour of disco landmarks in LA. When a woman enters the tour and entices both father and son, the three end up in a peculiar love triangle.
2. Oh, And Big Ronnie Is Also An Infamous Serial Killer
Love triangles are the mere tip of the iceberg. The second focuses on Big Ronnie's alter ego, the titular Greasy Strangler, a serial killer who enjoys nothing more than killing complete strangers by strangulation, while covered in grease. Apt name, by the way.
3. We Get To See An Abnormally Large And Elderly Prosthetic Penis
Well, come on... If you're covered in grease, you have to cleanse yourself after, right? Big Ronnie does so by walking full frontal nude into a car wash numerous times throughout the movie.
4. It's Super Gory
See above gif for details...
5. The Film Was Written By Jim Hosking And Toby Harvard As An In-Joke
Originally, the writer/director hadn't expected the movie to be released. In an interview with Daily Dead, he said:
"It started out like a private joke between me and my friend Toby [Harvard], who I was writing with, and trying to make each other laugh without really thinking of it going out into the world."
6. Elijah Wood Helped To Produce The Movie
The famous A-list Lord of the Rings actor was instrumental in getting the film made. Wood claims the script was the "most f*cked up" thing he's ever read, but was clearly impressed. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said:
"I read the script and I f*cking pissed myself. It is honestly the most — I don’t know — the most f*cked up, funny, disturbing, gross thing I’ve ever read. At its core it’s a relationship between a father and a son. That tells you nothing. And it was sort of on me to get these guys to read it and get them on board the Greasy Strangler train.”
7. Fuck Buttons Band Member Andy Hung Made The Soundtrack
Yeah, they're really called the Fuck Buttons, an electronic music duo including Hung and Benjamin John Power, from Bristol in the UK.
The Greasy Strangler is released on 7 October.