Elijah Taylor used to own a chain of video game stores in Denver, Colorado. Now he works with Laser Party, a poster printing collective, and travels the world, eating, fighting, and attending film festivals.
GREASY WEEK: “GREASY STRANGLER” Producers SpectreVision talk their Top Five Greasiest Horror Films!Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Elijah Taylor
It’s Greasy Week here at FANGORIA.com, which we’re celebrating by offering specially curated content leading up to the release of this year’s most hilariously demented horror-comedy, Jim Hosking’s THE GREASY STRANGLER. Yet to truly understand the method behind the madness, FANGORIA had to dig into the brains of those behind THE GREASY STRANGLER itself. And with both FANGORIA and GREASY STRANGLER production entity SpectreVision, comprised of Daniel Noah, Josh Waller, and Elijah Wood, on the scene at the 2016 Fantastic Fest, the two companies sat down to discuss the top five greasiest horror films of all time, as well as some insight into THE GREASY STRANGLER…
FANGORIA: Gentlemen. We’re here to address one topic. It’s a pretty straightforward thing, but…we need to get to the bottom of it. What are the five greasiest horror films of all time?
DANIEL NOAH: Funny you should ask. [Produces list] These are not in order.
JOSH WALLER: This is all of us conferring.
NOAH: [Meng Hua Ho’s] THE OILY MANIAC.
FANG: That’s a good contender for a number one spot.
NOAH: It’s probably number one, yeah. Then, [William Lustig’s] MANIAC. Which is sweaty-oily.
ELIJAH WOOD: It’s sweaty, and nasty, and gritty.
FANG: Why didn’t you sweat as hard in the remake?
NOAH: He did; it was just off-camera. Next, we’re gonna go with [Greg Lamberson’s] SLIME CITY. Then we’ve got Cronenberg’s THE FLY. And last, not a lot of people have seen this yet, but Flying Lotus made a film called ROYAL, that–
WOOD: That might be one of the greasiest things I’ve ever seen in my life.
NOAH: Yeah, we’re gonna hit that one as number five.
WALLER: And these were the greasiest, just films of all time, right?
FANG: We were doing horror, but…
WALLER: I was just thinking of something that’s not on the list, which is a huge box office success and very famous, but it’s kind of slimy, which is GHOSTBUSTERS.
NOAH: It’s true!
WOOD: Wasn’t it GHOSTBUSTERS II where they go under the–
WALLER: It has the river of slime under the entire city.
WOOD: It’s pretty greasy.
NOAH: We have six now. Are we going to have to knock one off?
WALLER: It’s got a lot of slime.
NOAH: We probably should knock off MANIAC, then, since it’s not actually grease. It’s sweat.
WALLER: Has anyone actually said GREASE?
NOAH: It’s not a horror movie, dude.
WOOD: There’s very little grease in the movie! It’s only on their hair.
NOAH: It’s next to none. There’s not one scene of someone combing grease into their hair.
WALLER: We need one with more hair grease. Maybe O, BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
WOOD: You know what’s a greasy movie? BARTON FINK.
FANG: Oh! That might be the Coen Brothers’ greasiest film.
WOOD: It’s hot and sweaty and greasy and icky.
NOAH: It’s sticky!
WOOD: Pulling the wallpaper off the wall. That’s a greasy movie!
FANG: John Goodman dripping in the hall.
NOAH: Pressing the glue out of the wall; it’s all on his hands.
FANG: Alright, let’s talk for a minute about THE GREASY STRANGLER, which I’m sure on release will skyrocket to the top of everyone’s personal greasy lists. What drew you to this project? What was the first stage in the greasy saga?
WOOD: It started with the script. We’re all fans of Ant Timpson, with Timpson Films. He e-mailed me about the script and asked if I’d read it. I was familiar with Jim Hoskings’ work from his shorts and commercials, and I read the thing and immediately fell in love with it. I’d never read anything like it. And then I sent it to these guys.
NOAH: And our protocol for taking on a project is that all of us have to be unanimous, and it was the only time that one of us ever broke ranks. Waller and I got an email from Elijah that said “We’re doing this.”
WALLER: He was obsessed with it the moment that he started reading it.
WOOD: Reading it and knowing Jim’s aesthetic, and the characters that tend to populate his universe most of the time, you could very easily make the leap to what the film would be, I think. And his work, as weird and funny and sort of “other” that it often is, it’s also quite beautiful. RENEGADES is a beautiful short. He’s very focused on composing beautiful shots and there being a sort of art to his work, as well. And that juxtaposition of the sort of grossness of the film, and the ridiculous scenarios that these characters get themselves into, with a sort of lyrical, beautiful approach was an exciting notion as well.
FANG: Speaking of grossness, I was wondering about some of the grease in the film. I feel like there’s a few shots where people are eating some of this oily… stuff.
WALLER: We just created a concoction. It wasn’t grease. There were several different types of grease. There’s the Greasy Strangler grease, which has a very specific flavor, for Big Ronnie. That’s got some oatmeal, it’s truly a cocktail.
FANG: While we’re on the subject, can we talk about the cocks in the film?
FANG: How many prosthetics did you go through before you found the right dick look?
WALLER: About a dozen. Jim would go over it with our makeup artist several times, at Illusion Industries. And there were some heated discussions, over the course of three or four weeks, about the cocks and making the cocks look right. Jim would be like “No, no, no! That’s not right!” He really wanted to go for the giant mouse head look, which is ultimately what we have. They had several different molds, and Jim would go over there and it either wouldn’t have the right shape, or the right elasticity, or it wasn’t jiggly enough. It was one of those things, Jim just… He just knew it when he saw it.
FANG: So, a performance I want to talk about is Elizabeth De Razzo. She also got greased up; she gave a very brave performance.
WALLER: We’ve talked about doing an Oscar campaign for her, for Best Supporting Actress.
NOAH: Brave is the key word there. Elizabeth not only came in and delivered a very honest performance in a surreal film, but there’s no hesitancy there. You don’t read any bit of her being timid or anything. It’s like “If I’m gonna do this film, I’m going to do it and give it everything I’ve got.”
FANG: No discomfort in some very uncomfortable scenes? It’s maybe one of the greasiest sex scenes, come to think of it.
NOAH: One of?
WOOD: The greasiest.
WALLER: Maybe HOT SHOTS: PART DEUX. Didn’t they mock the 9 ½ WEEKS scene?
WOOD: Yeah, and it’s all food. That’s right.
FANG: I just want there to be as many references to other greasy films as possible. I want people to read this, and make a little playlist for themselves to just get good and greasy over the weekend.
WALLER: You know, not only was it brave for her knowing it’s going to be in theaters and everything, but it was just brave being on set. Actually in front of people, doing this kind of thing. And Jim does long takes. It’s not necessarily like there’s tons of improv on the actors’ part, but there was almost improv going on in Jim’s head as a take is going on. There’s a scene where they’re both laughing, and it’s this weird laugh, and Jim is yelling, “Don’t move your mouth when you laugh. No, no, don’t move your mouth at all when you’re laughing.”
NOAH: He’s a greasy conductor.
THE GREASY STRANGLER hits select theaters this Friday, October 7th, from FilmRise.
Header Image Artwork courtesy of Joe Oliver.