I’ve talked a few times this week about an obscure little movie called Street Trash. I described my fascination with the articles and pictures I’d seen in Fangoria magazine in the late 80s and the fact that I was never able to find a copy to watch nor was I ever able to find it on cable. So, like I did with Rawhead Rex, I found a copy of this movie and I am now about to fill a giant hole in my 13 year old self’s soul by watching this movie.
For, as I mentioned the last few days, this week’s Fangoria Movie Friday review is Street Trash.
This movie started out as a film school project that received a bit of buzz in some grindhouse theaters in New York. The director was offered seed money to make it into a very low budget feature length movie. It’s gore and shock factor lead it to be a small cult hit in 1987.
As I said, I remember the Fangoria article about this movie fondly. If for nothing else than the described toilet melting scene and the picture of the blond makeup artist with a (now vintage) Coke bottle filled with gore.
Well, I have now finally watched the movie and I’ll talk about it…..right…..now.
This movie, at its heart, is a Troma film. Not surprising since Toxic Avenger was released only 2 years prior. All the hallmarks and tone are there, even if this wasn’t made by Troma proper you can tell it’s influenced by their style. The movie is super gory. And, honestly, the gore effects are actually pretty good considering the rest of the production is bare f**king bones. The ubsurd, gory, dark humor is there throughout as are the surreal, dirty, grungy characters that populate the world. To be fair, I’m not a huge Troma fan. I really like the original Toxic Avenger but I haven’t really liked anything else they’ve released. So, Troma-style isn’t necessarily a slam dunk for me.
This movie is just all so bizarre. But in a weird way it works. Essentially, the story begins when a sleazy liquor store owner finds a 60 year old case of Viper wine sealed up in his store room and decides to sell the bottles at $1 a pop to the dirty homeless guys that come in. One bottle is sold and passed around and we see that the decades old wine will immediately disintegrate anyone who drinks it. Lots of gruesome deaths happen on a fire escape and, awesomely, on a public toilet. There’s even a scene in which a homeless guy has his penis cut off and tossed around “keep away” style as he runs around trying to retrieve it and put it on ice. It’s gory and gross and just a wild ride. And, like I said, bizarre.
There are a few other weird subplots going on like two brothers trying to cope with being homeless, a violent cop out to solve the mysterious melting murders and the brutal antics of a deranged Vietnam Vet named Bronson who rules the local junkyard.
I told you, the movie is bananas. But in a fun way. I definitely had fun with it and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in these types of movies (you know who you are).
Here’s a look at some choice moments in this movie.
This is the sleazy liquor store owner finding the case of Viper in his storeroom. Looks like vintage Ron Jeremy, doesn’t it? That could very easily be a version of Spanish Fly and he’s going to use it to bang all the chicks.
The infamous toilet melting sequence. This looks a little weird in static images but I assure you it actually comes together in the movie. It’s gross and fun. There’s another scene where a bum actually melts through the bars of a fire escape. Very imaginative.
I mentioned this film is populated with Troma characters, here’s one of them. This is the guy that owns and/or runs the junkyard. He hates bums, despite the fact that the junkyard is full of them. He’s a fat, disgusting slob and reminds me of the mayor character from The Toxic Avenger.
More Troma characters! This is the crazy Vietnam Vet Bronson (left) who seems to control the junkyard and his disgusting, dirty bum whore (right). She is seriously gross. And Bronson treats her like sh*t throughout the movie. He even hilariously belts her one right across the eyes. It’s so Looney Tunes that I had to make an animated gif of it. Check it out:
Hilarious. For some reason the cops actually think this Bronson is a threat. A threat to dirty bum whores, maybe. But not much else.
On the left is a sign at the entrance of the junkyard which warns against bums. That’s funny because the junkyard is FULL of bums. As you can see from the pic on the right.
At the end of the movie, this homeless guy doesn’t just melt, he f**king EXPLODES in an awesome firestorm of wino gore. If nothing else, the effects on this movie are seriously great.
So, that’s Street Trash. I did mention earlier that this started out as a short for film school. I was actually able to watch that original 14 minute short and the movie is a lot better. The short, you can tell, was a rough draft of the feature length movie. If you get a chance, give it a watch, otherwise, the movie is the way to go.
I’m so glad this turned out more like what I was expecting than the disappointing Rawhead Rex. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by next week’s movie as well?
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.