Monday, October 24, 2011
Street Trash is a tongue-firmly-in-cheek exercise in exploitative extremes. Trying to explain the concepts and storylines that make up this 1987 cult classic, is like calling Ted Kasczynski for tech support. But what I can tell you about this neon green slime covered cult gem is that it's worth seeking out. So many things in this movie go above and beyond the normal expectations of the gore bag, gross-out, sub-genre of horror made popular by movies like Dawn Of The Dead, Peter Jackson's Bad Taste, The Toxic Avenger. First off, Street Trash showcases some of the best and most frenetic camera work in a low budget film of it's era. In fact, after Street Trash, Jim Muro became one of Hollywood's best steadycam operators working on such big budget sets as Field Of Dreams, Terminator 2, Casino, and even Titanic! Not bad for a guy who once made a movie about how a toxified form of cheap alcohol causes human beings become the equivalent to gore-spewing, Jackson Pollock paintings. Secondly, The acting is completely over the top and by unknowns, which always lends a real sense of credulity to almost any indie film. Apparently, some actual homeless people were cast for authenticity. Which makes it hard to know when lines are actually being delivered, or if the audience is just witnessing the rantings of a chemically addled, mentally ill derelict. Thirdly, like it's crazed homeless characters, Street Trash prides itself in being a completely random and rough customer. A sense of deliberate depravity pervades every frame in this film. So don't get too bent out of shape over inconsistent motives, plot holes, or the overall weirdness of the script. This movie was made for midnight movie geeks and the cult flick addicted cinephiles who have seen it all and are in need of a new fix, even if the needle is dirty.
Maybe listing a few of the delightfully disgusting gags that Street Trash offers, may explain the heart of the situation?
My eyes have seen the glory gory of booze that causes multiple melting and exploding vagrants, a man dematerializing until he is nothing but a floating head in a toilet, full frontal male and female nudity, Nam vet hallucinations, mortuary humor, the homicidal use of a knife made from a human femur bone, hilarious banter with mafia goons, one of the most hilarious shoplifting scenes ever, a roid-raging cop's celebratory vomit on a subdued mafia goon after a fight, a game of keep away with a severed penis, gang rape, necrophilia, and decapitation by a Co2 tank!
If the above mentioned scenes sound too disgusting, absurd, or tasteless, it's because they are, and that's exactly what the team who made Street Trash was going for.
Fun Facts about Street Trash:
Usually classified as a cult horror-comedy, Street Trash is also considered a "melt" movie. Other notable melt movies are The Incredible Melting Man, Slime City, Body Melt, and The Devils Rain.
Thunderbird was the original volatile vino used in the short film that Street Trash was based on. It was changed to Tenafly Viper for the feature.
Bill the Cop was played by a real NYPD officer named Bill Chepil
Bryan Singer, the man responsible for directing House M.D., The Usual suspects, X-Men, X-2, and producing X-Men: First Class, Apt Pupil, and Trick 'R' Treat, was a production assistant on Street Trash
Tony Darrow, an actor who's career almost exclusively consists of being typecast in mafioso roles, plays another mafia type in Street Trash named Nick Duran. He also performs the song "We Do things My Way" that plays during the closing credits.