The Greasy Strangler

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The Greasy Strangler
The Greasy Strangler poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJim Hosking
Produced by
Written by
  • Toby Harvard
  • Jim Hosking
  • Michael St. Michaels
  • Sky Elobar
  • Elizabeth De Razzo
  • Gil Gex
  • Abdoulaye NGom
  • Holland MacFallister
Music byAndrew Hung
CinematographyMårten Tedin
Edited byMark Burnett
Distributed byFilmRise
Release date
  • January 22, 2016 (2016-01-22) (Sundance)
  • October 7, 2016 (2016-10-07) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[1][2]
CountryUnited States
Box office$45,878[3]

The Greasy Strangler is a 2016 American black comedy horror film directed by Jim Hosking, and written by Hosking and Toby Harvard. The film stars Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, Abdoulaye NGom and Holland MacFallister. The film was released on October 7, 2016 by FilmRise.


Big Ronnie runs a disco-themed walking location tour in his town, alongside his son Big Brayden. Ronnie allows Brayden to live with him on the condition that Brayden prepares excessively greasy food for him. Ronnie is a pathological liar who fabricates stories about disco groups like the Bee Gees, as well as his supposed friendship with Michael Jackson. Brayden aspires to be a space fantasy author. Ronnie asserts that Brayden drove his mother away, though Brayden says that she left Ronnie for a man named Ricky Prickles. Ronnie and Brayden frequently call each other "bullshit artists".

At night, Ronnie completely covers himself in grease and strangles residents of the town (becoming known as "The Greasy Strangler"), starting with three people he kicked out of his tour group, for heckling him on free refreshments. After his killings, he cleans himself of the grease by standing in a car wash run by a blind man named Big Paul. During one of the disco walking tours, Brayden meets a woman named Janet, and the two begin a romantic relationship. One night, Ronnie buys a hot dog from a vendor and forcibly covers it in grease, against the vendor's pleas. Later, as the vendor is defecating in his trailer, Ronnie strangles him through a window, causing his eyes to pop out of his head, which Ronnie cooks and eats.

Brayden and Janet have sex, and the next morning, Ronnie attempts to seduce Janet by eating a grease-covered grapefruit. Ronnie takes Janet out to a discotheque, threatening to evict Brayden if he does not allow them to. Ronnie attempts to kiss Janet, but she resists, saying that she may be in love with Brayden. Ronnie kills Oinker, one of Brayden's friends, and goes to the discotheque with Paul. Against Brayden's wishes, Ronnie has sex with Janet, and he and Brayden have a heated argument the next day. Ronnie and Janet have sex again, and when Brayden confronts them, they mock him, prompting him to run from the house in despair.

One night, Brayden confronts Janet in the kitchen and admits that he is in love with her. Ronnie overhears this, covers himself in grease, and pretends to stand in the car wash, allowing himself to sneak up on Paul and strangle him. He decapitates Paul with a nearby saw and dances with Paul's head. The next morning, Brayden calls a detective named Jody and reports that Ronnie may be the Greasy Strangler. Jody comes to the house the next day, and Brayden and Janet show him a spot of oil left behind on the carpet as evidence that Ronnie is the Greasy Strangler. Downstairs, Jody concludes that the oil is meaningless circumstantial evidence, and demands that they end all inquiries about Ronnie having committed the murders. Jody removes his glasses in a mirror, showing that he is Ronnie in disguise.

That night, Janet declares her mutual love for Brayden, and they decide to get married. Ronnie, hiding under the bed, reveals himself, claiming Janet as his lover and evicting Brayden. Janet replies that Brayden can stay at her residence, and Ronnie leaves. He re-enters, covered in grease, slaps Brayden, and grabs Janet by the arm, leaving with her. Brayden covers himself in grease as well, and follows Ronnie and Janet to a movie theatre, where Ronnie is strangling her. Brayden strangles Janet instead, causing her eyes to pop out of her head, which both he and Ronnie consume.

The next day, on a beach, Ronnie reveals that he cares for Brayden, despite his annoyance with him, and says that he would rather be with him than co-owning a discotheque with John Travolta in New Orleans. They bond over, in hindsight, their disgust with Janet. They cover themselves in grease and head to a forest where they murder Ricky Prickles. They then witness themselves being executed by firing squad, watching as confetti and Champagne explode from their heads. They venture deeper into the forest, still covered in grease, and primally shake wooden spears at the camera.


  • Michael St. Michaels as Big Ronnie
  • Sky Elobar as Big Brayden
  • Elizabeth De Razzo as Janet
  • Gil Gex as Big Paul
  • Joe David Walters as Oinker
  • Sam Dissanayake as Indian Tourist
  • Abdoulaye N'Gom as Senegalese Tourist
  • Holland MacFallister as Scandinavian Tourist
  • Mel Kohl as Hot Dog Vendor
  • Carl Solomon as Danny The Crooner
  • Sal Koussa as Ricky Prickles
  • Dana Haas as Big Heinie
  • Jesse Keen as Big Thaddeus
  • John Yuan as Hot Dog Mourner
  • Matthew Yuan as Hot Dog Mourner


The Greasy Strangler premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2016.[2] The film was released on October 7, 2016, by FilmRise [4] in the USA and by Picturehouse in the UK.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed to generally positive reviews from critics. It has a 64% score on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 42 reviews. The site's consensus states: "The Greasy Strangler definitely isn't for everyone, but filmgoers in step with its off-kilter stride are in store for a singular cinematic experience."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a 58 out of 100 rating, based on 13 critics, indicating "Mixed or average reviews".[6]

Jordan Hoffman, film critic of the British newspaper The Guardian, described the film as "the relentless monstrosity of a film is rife with fetishized cellulite, disgusting food and firehose penises. It’s not for everyone – but perhaps it should be", in a four-star review.[7]

Peter Bradshaw, film critic of the British newspaper The Guardian, described the film as providing "uncompromising yuckiness" as well as laughs, in a three-star review.[8]

James Franco wrote an article about The Greasy Strangler for his 'James Franco’s Movie Column' in Indiewire: "Fake Penises Aren’t the Only Funny Thing About ‘The Greasy Strangler’." [9]

The Greasy Strangler won The Discovery Award at the British Independent Film Awards 2017. [10]

The Greasy Strangler won Best Comedy at The Empire Magazine Film Awards 2017. [11]


  1. ^ "The Greasy Strangler (18)". British Board of Film Classification. September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Dennis Harvey (January 23, 2016). "'The Greasy Strangler' Review: Somehow Both Disgusting and Tedious". Variety. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Greasy Strangler (2016)". Box Office Mojo. October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  4. ^ Liz Calvario (June 8, 2016). "New The Greasy Strangler Teaser Trailer & Release Date Announced". IndieWire. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "The Greasy Strangler (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Greasy Strangler reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  7. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (January 23, 2016). "The Greasy Strangler review – a playful oasis of filth and depravity". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (October 6, 2016). "The Greasy Strangler review – a grossout comic smack in the face". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Franco, James; Franco, James (October 7, 2016). "James Franco's Movie Column: Fake Penises Aren't the Only Funny Thing About 'The Greasy Strangler'". IndieWire. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  10. ^ "British Independent Film Awards 2016: the winners in full". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  11. ^ "Three Empire Awards 2017: Rogue One, Tom Hiddleston And Patrick Stewart Win Big". Empire. March 19, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2019.

External links[edit]