Mar 30, 2011

Street Trash

Originally visualized as a 16mm short film directed by J. Michael Muro, Street Trash eventually bloomed into one of the greatest masterpieces of high-class-trash cinema. Showing his commitment to capturing the less-than-flattering examples of the American dream, Street Trash writer/producer Ray Frumkes stated regarding how he developed the film's script, "I wrote it to democratically offend every group on the planet, and as a result the youth market embraced it as a renegade work, and it played midnight shows." Indeed, leaving no group unscathed, Street Trash is a wildly creative indictment of the daft lifestyles (from castrated hobos to humdrum cops) that play imperative roles in the culturally-mongrelized American way. It was no revelation from me to find out that perverted Hollywood blockbuster director Bryan Singer (who had a lawsuit brought against him for taking unnecessary nude photos of adolescent boys during the production of his film Apt Pupil) had one of his first jobs in filmmaking working on Street Trash as a grip, as the film is dripping with unrestrained libertinism and packed with expertly calculated vulgar wit. After watching Street Trash, it will be no wonder to the viewer why Islamic fundamentalists felt it necessary to fly planes into the financial heart of NYC.

Street Trash is surely a film that lives up to its politically incorrect name - featuring a virtual army of delinquent alcoholic hobos who fall prey to a deadly drink - "Tenafly Viper" - a prohibition era vintage wine that melts the flesh of the unsuspecting drinker's body in what seems to be 60 seconds time. Street Trash is a wonderful combination of gritty urban horror and blacker-than-a-firebombed-Somalian comedy, guaranteed to give the viewer a gore-geous cinematic ride of the most subversively sinematic kind. Pretentious New York city intellectuals have always presented their own city as the cultural epicenter of the United States, completely ignoring the fact that the big rotted apple is probably best known for its diverse assortment of metropolitan trash contained within a virtual battlefield of crime. If you think Martin Scorsese has painted a bleak picture of New York City during his fruitful career in filmmaking, you have yet to experience the dire pandemonium world contained in Street Trash - a film featuring an apocalyptic vaudeville act starring totally dehumanized unintentional performers. Street Trash is the kind of film Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman has always dreamed of making, for it offers quality trash without totally degrading the viewer (like a Troma film always seems to accomplish) in the process. Street Trash features a megalomaniac wop mafioso, a charismatic hobo Negro shoplifter, and a junkyard Vietnam vet dictator: all of which make up the outstandingly outlandish ingredients which no other film can proudly flaunt. 

I have no problem admitting most gore bores me nowadays, yet I was highly impressed by the Tenafly Viper wine induced bodily explosions featured in Street Trash. Out of all the things a person sees in America on a everyday basis, few are more repulsive than a morbidly obese slob who feels no shame resembling the blob. In Street Trash, one gets to experience an undeniably therapeutic scene where an obese hobo's stomach boils to the point of a climatic gut-gushing explosion. Street Trash also features some of the most gruesome, yet frolicsome Vietnam flashbacks ever committed to celluloid. If Street Trash accomplishes anything besides the perversely jovial - it manages to capture everything that is intrinsically ugly about America - from the Third-Worldization of American cities to the public neglect of mentally unstable war veterans to the American obsession with committing any abhorrent crime just to make a buck - this is a film about America the unbeautiful - where the dishonorable are the most honored and benefit from the grandest of luck. At the most fundamental level, Street Trash is a raunchy celebration of America - the land of the morally-free and the home of the collectively mentally depraved.  For more info on Street Trash, check out Synapse Films.

-Ty E


The Diary of a Milkman said...

Haa, nice review. I never actually put any real thought into Street Trash, but when you say it's a 'film about America the unbeautiful' I can't help but to nod. It really does paint a disgusting and thought-provoking picture of America.

I'm not in love with it as much as most people as the film has this headache inducing quality (not a bad thing - Meet the Feebles has this quality as well), but I'd be damned if I didn't own this film. Hell, I would have bought it even if there wasn't tons of the bubbly stuff. Kicking someone's ass and then puking on said person = Insta-buy!

Unknown said...

I haven't heard of this film, but your wicked take on it has made me want to check it out.

Unknown said...

Excellent review.

Buschly said...

This movie and your review actually have been on my mind lately as I deliver beer for Budweiser and saw a bunch of Mexicans sleeping by dumpsters today drooling into cheap bottles of tequila and thought about how funny it would be to set on fire and throw him in the dumpster. I really want to make a film (or more realistically a DV short) in this vein, but more of an Exterminator series type of plot, I know a train hopping gore FX guy and other film fiends so why not you know? That artwork by Putrid at the very top appears in the album Dreadful Pleasures by death metal band Revolting on Razorback Records, a very underground label that specializes in horror themed death/punk, its good shit if its your thing. As always keep up the good writing.