Street Trash (1987), or Funny/Slightly Offensive

13 10 2009

I’m not gonna get too in-depth on this one, much to your chagrin, I’m sure. But Street Trash is the kind of movie where multiple words aren’t really necessary.  Street Trash is a low-budget affair in the vein of Bad Taste or Dead Alive; it’s not a film about the rights of women and minorities, the philosophical connotations of existentialism, or the slow degrade of joy in our golden years. It’s a movie about melting people, blowing them up, or cutting their genitals off. Simple enough, right?

So in Street Trash, we have a liquor store on the shitty side of Manhattan, and its owner is sifting through the contents of his cellar when he makes an odd discovery; there is a case of some seriously cheap wine that he must have forgotten about. It’s called “Tenafly Viper”, and it actually looks kinda dangerous. So what does he do with it? Why, what any self-respecting business owner would do; he gives the odd-looking wine to some homeless dudes for only a dollar! They’re grateful for the booze, but unfortunately, the problem with Viper soon becomes apparent when the people who drink the stuff start to melt! Seriously! The homeless are trying to fight the effects of this horrible concoction while defending themselves against evil cops, psychotic Vietnam vets, and each other! Will our two homeless “heroes”, Fred and Burt, be able to survive the day to panhandle some other time, or are they just shit outta luck?

This is one of those weird movies where nobody is extremely likable, so we’re strapped to jerks and scumbags for 90 minutes. Not that we have much time to digest anyone as characters, because every 90 seconds, somebody is saying something crazy, doing something stupid, or melting! Jim Muro created an American version of the over-the-top violence that exists in international gross-out horror with a success that cannot be underplayed. This movie is damn disgusting! The special effects create a slapstick, almost comedic version of gore and violence that is fun for the whole family. For fans of the genre, there are tons of bloody guts, human goo, and vomit to go around for the whole family!

But it’s also kind of offensive. If you’re black, Jewish, a woman, or anybody with good taste, you might be floored by Street Trash, a movie that gives no apologies to anyone. It’s not malicious as much as it is satirical, but when satire is clothed in seven different layers of filth and gore, it’s hard to tell the difference. I just don’t think that anybody really expects a movie this rock stupid and base to actually say something, so it really doesn’t, but when you hear some of the more raucous dialog, keep in mind that it’s all in good fun, I think, so sit back and have a good time.

I’m not going to delve into this one too much, as I said. Chances are, you already knew whether you wanted to see it or not by the time I said “people” and “melting” in the same sense I would use “snowman” and “melting”. It’s raucous, ultra-violent, and silly as hell. Street Trash is not exactly high art, or even terribly good, for that matter. But it’s the comedy that’s not afraid to kill a homeless guy by shoving fingers down his throat in anger. How does that sound to you? I’m more than fine with it. I guess I just have the sense of humor that allows me to laugh at a portly man literally exploding on camera. Yeah, that’s the kind of guy I am. Either way, I think that’s worth a trip to Netflix to peruse. I give Street Trash 5 forcibly-removed genitals out of 10. Why not?

Stay with me tonight, folks, as I get a little spooky with Paranormal Activity! Until then!

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