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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

Street Trash

Posted by: Steve Billings
Date Submitted: Saturday, June 14, 2003 at 23:24:04
Date Posted: Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 01:36:09

Ever since Jim Muro's uncle took him to see "I Drink Your Blood" when he was six years old, he had wanted to direct a horror film in the worst way. Well Jim, you sure made it! Here is a horror film directed in the worst way.

Edited with a hatchet, which should have been applied to the script, this shot-on-video suckbomb explodes onto the screen like one of those deliberately awful flicks someone made just to see how bad bad could get. In that sense, Street Trash was a success; it took first place at a national bad taste film festival in the year of its release, 1988.

Our story opens in a neighborhood that appears to be an endless landscape of crumbling slums, junkyards which are home to warring legions of drunken bums, fetid sewage creeks, and not much else. Our heroes, if they can be so called, consist of an easy-going young wino named Freddy and his younger and even filthier brother Kevin.

Ed,the owner of the local wine and spirits shop, depicted by stock-footage shots of at least two or three totally different buildings, discovers an ancient case of Prohibition-era booze called Tenafly Viper walled up in the cellar and holds a buck-a-bottle liquidation sale. The store gets a genuine bum's rush, but -- surprise! -- the sauce is spiked, causing the derelicts to explode into splattering Technicolor meltdowns within seconds. Freddy steals the first bottle of Viper but is inadvertently saved from drinking it by another bum, Paulie who steals from him. A derelict of distinction who prefers to do his sipping while sitting on the john, Paulie ends up simultaneously flushing himself and his acting career straight down the crapper.

Other sadly memorable characters hitting the skids in this crunchy production include: Bronson, a Vietnam vet who is surely the best poster boy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, his mean-spirited sidekick and bill collector Wizzy, and Bronson's psychotic girlfriend, Clara. The most tender sentiment Bronson can find for his beloved, as he's slapping her across the collision yard, is "At least she's better looking than the rest of the [bleep] running around here!" Mercifully, we don't see any of the "rest," as one look from Clara could probably turn Medusa to stone.

There's also Freddy's pal Bert, a good-natured black wino whose "hand-crafted home brew" leaves his fellow bums with a greater appreciation for their store-bought rotgut, and a tough guy cop named Bill, in charge of investigating the rash of deaths. Then there's Nick Duran, a small-time Godfather-wannabe whose restaurant is so vile that even the rats leave his dumpster alone -- or perhaps they've already become tomorrow's veal chops.

Nearly half the main characters are killed off in the final twenty minutes of the picture, many by a crazed Bronson before he himself is horribly decapitated by Kevin. Clara disintegrates in a particularly horrific meltdown, which in her case is practically just a makeover. Wizzy gets offed too, indirectly by Freddy, who tricks him into sampling the diabolical hooch. Other scenes in this movie deal with all manner of perversions: things are defiled, eaten, and severed that most of us would really rather not see defiled, eaten, or severed.

The film's many inconsistencies do not include its highly accurate depiction of the hopeless hell on earth that is the real-life lot of skid-road derelicts, leaving me to wonder just how many of the cast and crew were hired off the street for an old blanket and a jug of Night Train. Another mystery involves whole scenes cut from the finished picture without the deletion of their now-absent characters from the credits.

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