Film Review: Street Trash (1987)

Also known as: Horror in Bowery Street (Italy), Trash (Mexico), Violencia en Manhattan (Spain)
Release Date: January, 1987 (Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival)
Directed by: J. Michael Muro
Written by: Roy Frumkes
Music by: Rick Ulfik
Cast: Mike Lackey, R. L. Ryan, Vic Noto, Tony Darrow

Street Trash Venture, 91 Minutes, 90 Minutes (cut), 101 Minutes (unrated)

Review:

“Fuck you. Gimme a bottle of booze, here’s my dollar, suck my dick!” – Fred

If you’ve ever wanted to see a movie with shrill, unlikable people, human beings melting into a fluorescent glop and a game of keep away football with a severed penis for the ball, then this is your movie!

If none of that appeals to you, then you’ll probably want to steer clear of this gross out bizarre bonanza.

Street Trash is a movie that focuses on street trash. The title is accurate, as the film goes on to show us the lives of disgusting, filthy people without any moral compass or likable qualities. But that also makes it hard to watch as there is no true protagonist.

I guess there are antagonists and that’s just about every person in the film. But that’s another problem. Nothing is clearly defined in a way that gives this motion picture any sort of structure. The story is an absolute mess, the script itself is deplorable and after seeing this movie, I still don’t know what the hell I watched.

However, there’s something weirdly endearing about the movie. As a big fan of practical effects, there is a lot in this movie that I dig in that regard. If you can get past the gross shit, some of what they pull off here is damn impressive.

Additionally, this movie has some incredibly stellar steadicam work. I mean like top notch shit. I guess that’s why the director, J. Michael Muro went on to be the stedicam operator for James Cameron on The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies and Titanic. He also worked on Dances With WolvesOpen Range and a slew of other movies. But no matter how far up the Hollywood ladder he climbs, he always has to look down and see Street Trash. But we all started out as primordial goo, I guess.

I also love the scene in this movie where the hobo starts stealing food at the grocery store. It’s just a weird sequence crammed into the middle of the movie but it’s comedy gold and it was achieved by people with no acting or filmmaking experience, whatsoever.

It’s also worth noting that Tony Darrow started his acting career in this movie. He’d go on to have a pretty memorable role in Goodfellas. He also does a weird spoken word song over the end credits.

All in all, despite the few positives, this is a hard movie to get through in one sitting. It’s a loud, colorful clusterfuck. But it has stupendous technical wizardry and a few good funny bits that keep it from sinking too deep.

In fact, this is probably the most Troma film that wasn’t made by Troma.

Rating: 5.25/10
Pairs well with: Basket Case, The Stuff, Ghoulies, The Video Dead and Neon Maniacs.

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