SXSW Film review: ‘The Greasy Strangler’

Brayden (Sky Elobar) feels the paternal wrath of his father Big Ronnie (Michael St Michaels). Credit: Maren Tedin

Brayden (Sky Elobar) feels the paternal wrath of his father Big Ronnie (Michael St Michaels). Credit: Maren Tedin

What do grease, stuntcocks, disco, pink and sex have in common? Well, they all figure heavily in “The Greasy Strangler.”

I have never quite experienced a film like this. Not since “Eraserhead” have I been so thoroughly irked, entertained and disgusted at the same time.

Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels) and Big Brayden (Sky Elobar) are a father and son duo who run a walking tour of disco lore in Los Angeles. A beautiful woman shows up for a tour one day and incites a competition for her love between Big Ronnie and Big Brayden, while an oily stranger also shows up leaving cadavers and grease in his wake.

Strange would be an understatement, but “The Greasy Strangler” is not just strange for strange’s sake. There’s a method to the madness of director and co-writer, Jim Hosking.

The film is hilarious at times, revolting at others, a slasher rom-com turned on its head, set to an awesome original electronic score.

At the very least Michaels’ and Elobar’s on-screen dynamic is worth the hour and a half, and Michaels’ performance alone is something to behold in all its greasy splendor.

Stay greasy.

You can catch “The Greasy Strangler” again at 10:30 p.m. Monday at the Alamo South.

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