A friend of mine I work with at Naro Video recommended The Greasy Strangler, mainly so we could then use each other as sounding boards for the what-the-fuckedness of it.
Now, obviously our weirdness bar here at Castle Blogferatu is set PRET-ty damn high. Every so often though, something comes along that clears it while wearing heels–something so indescribably weird, it even makes us go, “Wha…?” and tilt our heads like a dog who’s heard a high-pitched noise.
How then does one go about trying to describe this wonder of joyously unrestrained ugliness?
Maybe all the ickiest parts of John Waters meet all the seedier parts of David Lynch and/or vice versa. Throw in some of the more vile aspects of Bukowski. But take away any sense of, for lack of a better word, style.
It takes a certain amount of style and oily (heh) suavity to carry off louche to the degree John Waters does. And there’s a certain amount of style to even the seamiest, most bedraggled and noir-y David Lynch character. Watch Wild At Heart if you don’t believe me.
Still, let’s slide (heh heh) in a few, uh, “highlights.” Gore? Minimal. But there’s something to be said for the comic-book-like levels of violence. At least a couple sets of eyes pop out as victims get strangled, for example.
The repeated car wash scenes are sickly funny as well.
I do have what I guess is a physics concern in that it seems like it should be really difficult to strangle someone whilst covered in grease.
It’s interesting that the problem I have with the endings of The Greasy Strangler and Big Man Japan is the same problem I have with all of The Favourite and The Lobster. Each leaves me with nothing but a profound sense of “I. Don’t. Get it.”
It’s one thing if I just straight up don’t understand or I’m just not pickin’ up what the director is layin’ down, like the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I know there’s something there. I’m just not finding it.
It’s another thing when I start to suspect the director is purposely trying to make me not get it.
I mean, I’m not always the smartest person in the room. Certainly I’ve got my intellectual shortcomings. There are a few gaps, some legitimate, many chemically induced.
But I’m not stupid, and “Look at me being clever and artistic” starts with the same desperate three words as “Look at me being repulsive and graphic.”
Given the choice, I’ll take the latter.
P.S. I suppose this is sort of a preview announcement/fishing expedition. I’m considering starting a podcast based on the content/theme of this blog. I’d love to know what folks think and get some help and suggestions, so fire at will.