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Street Trash

Street Trash (J. Michael Muro 1987)
Trash rating

Street Trash isn't easily definable by genre, it's neither a straight horror movie, nor is it science fiction. The old 80's vhs cover proudly proclaims that Street Trash is in fact a 'melt movie', hardly a prolific sub genre of film. I can only think of two other examples, namely William Sachs's 1977 crapfest The Incredible Melting Man, and Philip Brophy's yawn worthy 1993 effort Body Melt. Street Trash is certainly better than those films, but that's hardly a stellar recommendation, so let me elaborate.

The plot (what there is of it) concerns a group of bums who live in a scrap yard and their generally depraved day to day activities. These include shop lifting, beating each other up, and of course drinking themselves to death. When Ed the local shopkeeper finds an old crate of liquor called 'Tenafly Viper' behind a wall in his basement, he knocks the stuff out to the bums for one buck a bottle. Only problem is the stuff is incredibly toxic and melts whoever drinks it into a pile of colorful slime. Naturally he doesn't get many repeat customers, and when bums start turning up dead, enter Bill the cop (yup that's his name) to investigate. Bill is nastier than the bums, and makes Dirty Harry look like Snow White. Anyone who gets in his way (including the local mobsters) get beaten up, and in one scene, vomited on in a public toilet. Thing is, Bill isn't the only bad dude on the block, as the bums are led by Bronson, a thoroughly repellent Vietnam Vet with a knife carved from a human femur, and a girlfriend to give you nightmares.

Street Trash is probably the most disgusting, grimy, depraved film I've ever seen, you simply must watch it. It's a real fringe piece, and doesn't pull any punches in the bad taste department. We get everything here from a man playing piggy in the middle after his penis is ripped off, to necrophilia, gang rape, gore, and of course melting bums. All the leads in the movie are terrible, but the support from the likes of Tony Darrow as Nick Duran the local mob boss, Vic Noto as Bronson, and James Lorinz as an obnoxious doorman are all rather good. The makeup effects are above average too, as vagrants by turns melt and explode in vivid rainbows of slimy goo. Jim Muro's camera work verges on the virtuoso at times and is often reminiscent of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. It's also worth noting that James Cameron went on to employ him as a cameraman for Terminator 2 and True Lies. Street Trash is an underground favourite amongst gore aficionados and fans of extreme cinema. They simply don't make films like this anymore, so if you like bad taste gore trash and haven't seen it, then I highly recommend picking up the R1 special edition dvd. I guarantee, good or bad, it'll be an experience you wont forget in a hurry. Oh, and the closing credits are hilarious.