Wednesday, 7 December 2016



It's that time of year when I'm sort of sketching out my Top and Bottom Ten films of the year, and I've more or less picked the films that are making the lists and I'm reasonably happy with them. And then with three weeks to go a Blu plops through the post, and within about minutes of putting the thing on you absolutely know in your heart you're going to have to take one of those lists and shred it.

The Greasy Strangler is genuinely revolting. It's visually revolting, it's artistically revolting, it's musically revolting, it's tonally revolting, it's comedically revolting, it's sexually revolting, it's dramatically revolting, it's morally revolting and it's politically revolting. In a sense that this sordid, witless trash has any plot to speak of, it concerns an endlessly bickering father and son in a Godawful nowhere town who present walking tours of local buildings with (entirely fictional) links to major disco artists. They meet a woman who can't decide which of the two she's in love with; meanwhile a serial killer covered in grease is going around strangling minor characters.

There comes a point where the deliberate mining of the bottom of the grossout barrel for the cheapest of bad taste laughs just looks like desperate attention seeking, and not for one single crass frame did it capture my interest. For all the supposedly excessive and extreme material it's colossally dull: a witless parade of non-comedy swearing, farting and masturbating that's astonishingly puerile. The score is an unlistenable combination of squeaky voices and assorted Bontempi noises; the grotesque sex scenes and nudity are made even less palatable by enlarged prosthetic genitals which I assume to be there for laughs, and the performances are less those of actors than of people humiliating themselves for absolutely no reason.

Watching The Greasy Strangler is like staring at a puddle of cold vomit for an hour and a half. It's a thoroughly unrewarding way to spend your time, you start to sense it contaminating your very soul and I came away feeling soiled and dirty (and not in a good way). It's arguable that a film like Dirty Grandpa, which I abandoned after about twenty minutes, is even worse because you expect a hell of a lot better of people like Robert De Niro and Aubrey Plaza, whereas I've never even heard of this bunch of squealing clowns. Well, to wear my Daily Mail Imbecile hat for a second: it's worth pointing out that this repulsive, artless garbage opens with the logos for Picturehouse and the British Film Institute, two organisations from which one should reasonably expect some level of professional quality control (and, of course, as a taxpayer I end up tossing a few coins to the BFI anyway).

Rubbish I can cope with - hell, I've seen four Sharknado movies - but this is a new and terrifying, yet monstrously boring, dimension of rubbish: ugly, nauseating, tiresome, painstakingly crafted to be as deliberately offputting as possible. I wish I hadn't seen it; I wish I still lived in a world where Batman Vs Superman was the worst it was physically possible for a film to get.


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