I don’t know why, but Street Trash is one of my favorite movies. To be completely honest, it is not the greatest of films. It was supposed to be the director Jim Muro’s thesis film for school. So you would think he would have tried harder, but he made the movie he wanted to make. It wasn’t accepted. For good reason.
For starters, there’s the plot: the owner of a liquor store finds a crate of booze hidden in his basement. The alcohol – Tenafly Viper – makes you melt when you drink it. Homeless people drink it and start melting. There’s also a crazy homeless Vietnam vet (Bronson) who, with his henchmen, rule a junkyard. There is also a cop who is trying to figure out what the heck is going on and how to get to Bronson. There are some incredibly disturbing scenes in it involving necrophilia and a disgusting game of keep away. I don’t want to give away the ending, in case you actually want to see this film. I’ll just say that you probably won’t see it coming.
Second, there are a lot of characters. It is a lot to keep straight. Many of the characters are supposed to be homeless, and they often die or commit terrible crimes before you even really understand what is going on or why. There are so many characters, in fact, that some of them don’t even interact with each other. For example, I didn’t even tell you about the mobster yet.
Third, there is a lot of gore. The homeless guys kill a guy and smash his brains all over a windshield. It is just gross. They don’t try to make it look authentic. The logic was, I think, that the budget wasn’t going to allow it to look realistic anyway so they just went the opposite route. It’s like dayglo craziness.
Fourth, oh boy can this movie be offensive. It is pretty racist. It’s got a lot of terrible language. You could say that it is street language from that time period but it is still rough. The one thing you can say about that is in this particular film, the discrimination is spread around equally, everybody hates everyone else – which is part of the tone, I guess, without offering any kind of morality tale in either direction. There’s also a really offensive assault scene, which I am not going to go into detail about but I would rather just have it never have been in the film in the first place. It really just feels like it was there to offend the people who managed to not be offended by the racism.
Having said all of that, there’s a lot of humor in it. It’s gross and nasty humor, but the darkness in it can be viewed as a really dark comedy. Also, if you have any desire to see what New York City looked like back in the 80s, you are in a lot of luck! It was filmed all around the city.
If all of this sounds appealing to you, you are going to want to check out the Meltdown Edition! One quick tip: don’t eat while you watch it. You’ve been warned!