Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reader Recommendation: Street Trash

"Street Trash is one of those rare films that has you laughing at all the wrong moments, as well as giving you utterly sickening pits in your stomach for some of the vile filth contained within the film. It is a downright ugly film, full of gore, sleezeball humor, a simple but well-executed plot, and some of the most memorable lines of dialogue one will ever find in a movie. Does anyone with a big name star in this film? NO! In fact, I can only remember one actor ever being in another decent film (by my standards, anyways!) and that is James Lorinz (Frankenhooker), whom did a phenomenal job in the film and really stole the show along with the main bum in the film. This film is funny as hell, filled with ultra-gory scenes of melting and dripping bodies oozing all over, reaches my quota for nudity and bush (me loves bush!), and was a film I watched incessantly growing up as a young boy disturbingly interested in horror films. Street Trash reminds me of a Troma film, but with far superior ORGANIC gore effects (no crappy CGI here, dear!), well developed characters and dialogue that is funny without all that potty humor thrown in (but there is some of that, too!), and something that one can watch over and over and over again. It is always a treat for me to watch this film with a virgin to it, for I get as much satisfaction out of their reactions to the film as I do to the film itself. It always has gotten a great reaction from folks. Throw this film to the top of the list of films needed to be seen ASAP! You definitely will have wished you had seen this film far earlier than now." 


Quick Plot: Or ten. Because for a low budget film not made with grand ambitions, Street Trash has an awful lot going on. To break down by character:
-Bill the Cop, a true Brooklynite trying to solve the murder of an unlucky motorist and the girlfriend of a maybe mobster

-The maybe mobster, who spends his time running a questionable restaurant, seeking his own justice, and antagonizing a punky doorman

-Wendy, a kind-hearted secretary with a weakness for underage homeless boys, who works for a junkyard owner and spends most of her on the clock hours trying to avoid being raped

-A pair of hobo brothers who have several zany adventures. They also have a friend with a talent for calling old women honky bitches and stealing groceries from the local C-Town

-Bronson, a crazed burly Vietnam vet who enjoys flashbacks and killing random people in entertaining (for us) ways

-Ed, the local liquor store owner with a killer bargain bin, who finds a box of incredibly old wine and decides to sell it for a buck a piece. Herein begins the cycle of melting

I won’t even bother trying to tie all these threads together. The film doesn’t, and that’s just fine.
Street Trash is rightly infamous for its gritty charms and wacky humor, and while 85% of movies made are probably better, this one is a darn good time that never quite backs down. There is, as you may have heard, an extended keep away scene with a hobo and his penis. There are, as the cover shows, plenty of rainbow hued body melts and stomach explosions executed with impressive expertise. Sure, we also get gang rape, ethnic slurs and necrophilia, but none of it feels particularly mean-spirited, misogynist or racist. You might even call it an equal opportunity offender.

High Points
Sure, the story is a mess and the acting more than patchy, but it’s hard to deny how well shot Street Trash is. Jim Muro has more cinematography and camera credits than anything else (this was the only film he directed) and clearly, he knows how to handle making movies
Tone isn’t always easy in low budget horror comedy, but Street Trash finds its voice immediately and holds up strong. A lot of movies like these--trashy and cheap gorefests--go for easy sight gags, dumb one-liners and ridiculous characterizations tossed in for surface entertainment. The world of Street Trash, however, is almost perfectly pitched. It’s sort of the wrong the side of Sesame Street, a self-contained community filled with real, albeit insane residents that are only slightly more than mildly surprised to find their favorite new alcohol causes bodies to ooze into brightly colored candle wax

The song that plays over the credits is an original, lounge style ditty performed by Tony Darrow (aka Nick the Dick). It is awesome
Low Points
Considering the deluxe DVD treatment this movie got (two discs!), would it have taken that much more work to add some subtitles? Especially when the script is actually funny but so much of the dialog is lost to the wind
Lessons Learned
The Witness Protection Program is a tad more complicated than you probably think

It’s nearly impossible to take a man seriously when he’s proudly sporting a Mickey Mouse t-shirt
In the 1980s, some hookers preferred to dress like high school majorettes
When your boss makes a morning habit of attempting to rape you, the logical step when you’ve had enough is to call the Better Business Bureau

When fleeing a fire, always grab your most prized possession, whether that be a stuffed animal, your Mets keychain or a plain house lamp
As much as I want to say this is the ‘duh’ lesson of the film, personal experience with a 90 cent bottle of Korean alcohol proves me guilty of not following this rule: never, really never, buy the hard stuff if it’s priced under a dollar

I borrowed my 2-disc special edition from my treasured public library, since Netflix currently lists Street Trash as a Save only. Is it buyable? Certainly, providing you have a soft spot for Basket Case-like tones and 1980s bargain horror. Street Trash is funny, tasteless, and a pretty ridiculous blast, even if the twenty three subplots don’t all find any resolution. Seek it out with a bottle of your favorite malt liquor on hand...just check the expiration date first.


  1. >>I borrowed my 2-disc special edition from my treasured public library

    I want to buy your librarian a drink! :)

  2. Well the librarians themselves are generally moody & mean old women or punchable 20somethings, so instead, you should send your liquor to the library itself.See, a lot of homeless people spend a great deal of time inside them (even the ones that specifically don't have restrooms...probably because a lot of homeless people would spend even MORE time in them) and thus, the patrons would seriously appreciate the booze.

    Again, as long as it wouldn't make them melt. People are so touchy about that nowadays.