Tuesday, October 13, 2015

31 Days of Gore: Street Trash

It's October. Time to talk horror. This year I'm reviewing a different horror movie each day of the month. 


"I wrote it to democratically offend every group on the planet," says screenwriter Roy Frumkes. I'm not sure if he manages to offend every group on the planet, but if you're a man, a woman, or someone who enjoys finely structured writing, you'll probably be offended by Street Trash.

Here's a movie which plays the kind of dopey score you would expect from a slapstick comedy even though it's dealing out themes as perverse as gang rape, castration, and necrophilia. The severed penis alluded to in the previous sentence, by the way, ends up becoming the subject of a game of hot potato.


I'm not pretending I'm above such things. I just would have preferred that scene without the silly music. Kind of feels like director James Muro, who's otherwise the perfect director for a film like this, is elbowing us whenever something funny happens. "Eh? Eh? That's funny, right? Right? Come on! That's funny!" 

Don't get me wrong. There's a lot that is funny in this movie. When a policeman beats the shit out of a suspect, leaving the assailant unconscious, he doesn't just kick him and shove his head into a urinal as one would expect. No, the cop finger-forces himself to puke on the back of the man's head. There's a violent, punk rock energy about Street Trash, and it keeps the picture swiftly moving (and seriously entertaining) despite the fact there are too many characters, too many plot angles, and very little to do with the toxic hooch which causes the human meltdowns promised in the promotional material.

And nothing's off limits in Street Trash. Although it treats the homeless and Vietnam vets with all the emotional complexity of a Smokey and the Bandit sequel, you can tell the filmmakers feel a kinship with them. The hobos aren't just there for the filmmakers to poke fun at—they're the heroes of the film, the people we're supposed to be rooting for. 


The only major fault I can find with Street Trash, other than the out-of-place music, is the fact it tries a little too hard to flesh out characters who probably don't need to be anything more than stereotypes in a film like this. The effort is appreciated for sure—I rather like that the villain of the film is a dishonorably discharged vet who carries around a knife fashioned out of a human femur—but what we end up with is a movie which ultimately scrambles to give us closure for every one of its many characters before getting to its hilariously bonkers climax.


Even so, I loved this movie. If you're into great sleaze, you're going to love Street Trash, too. It's the Troma movie that Troma never made... and probably would have made if they weren't so damn cheap. This one tops every Class of Nuke 'Em High film ever made.

"Don't drip on me, man!"


Come back at midnight Central Time for the next movie.

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