Review of The Greasy Strangler

By Pedro Proença 

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We usually don’t get a lot of the more obscure, non-mainstream movies down here. So you can imagine my happiness when I discovered that THE GREASY STRANGLER was playing at the Rio Film Festival.

I loved this film. It gave me the same feelings when I read Bizarro Fiction for the first time. It’s so creatively refreshing to see something so devoid of pretension, something that’s made just for the sake of entertainment itself.

This movie is like CALVAIRE, but funnier. It’s completely absurd and surreal. The Hottie Tootie Disco Cutie scene is incredible and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen during, even though I was cringing inside like crazy. The scene reminded me instantly of the dancing scene in CALVAIRE.

Behind all the weirdness, this movie hides  a touching theme of acceptance. The main character Brayden wants to be accepted by his father, who hates what his son has become: lonely, overweight, and socially awkward. But trying to extract some kind of deeper meaning to this movie is pointless. Every time we get close to a meaningful moment, absurdity takes over, and that’s a beautiful thing.

This is pure entertainment for weirdos like me. The ending is completely absurd, echoing any Carlton Mellick III novel. You don’t feel cheated at any point, because the movie is completely face value: what you see is what you get. Don’t go in expecting some kind of deep analysis on human condition or any other crap people try to cram down our throats because they don’t want to admit their movie is entertainment for entertainment sake. THE GREASY STRANGLER is pure, unadulterated fun. Go watch it!


Pedro Proença writes, plays Magic: The Gathering, is a bassist, and works at an hospital (but try not to remind him of this last one). His first book is BENJAMIN, part of the 2015-16 New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press. He has been published by Fireside Press and Dynatox Ministries, as well as having stories appearing in Bizarro Central and Flash Forge. He lives in Rio de Janeiro with his girlfriend Sarah Sindorf (who did the cover art for BENJAMIN), his family, and their assorted pets.

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