Monday, February 22, 2010

'Street Trash'

Frank Schnizer- "I don't need this. I already got trouble with my kids, my wife, my business, my secretary, the bums...the runaways, the roaches, prickly heat, and a homo dog. This just ain't my day."

The above snippet of dialogue is from the outrageous and offensive 'Street Trash' (1987), an opus of gore and bad taste. Catching this exploitation epic at February's Cinemacabre Movie Night put on by Rue Morgue at the Bloor cinema was the most fun I've had at the movies in a long time. The following laundry list of lewd acts and scenes only begins to describe the vile hilarity and sleazy insanity of 'Street Trash': melting and/or exploding hobos, a penis castration and subsequent game of 'monkey in the middle' played with the severed dick, the gang rape and murder of a drunken rich woman, a "homo dog" licking his obese owner's crotch and a cop finishing the job of violently beating up a hit man by jabbing his fingers down his own throat and vomiting on the man's unconscious body. My favourite scene aside from the classic toilet melt consists of a homeless black man attempting to shoplift mass amounts of food (melons and packages of chicken thighs!) in his pants from a supermarket. An old white woman snicthes on him, leading to a side splitting confrontation including these lines:
Burt- "Well, what you starin' at, bitch?"
Old Woman Shopper- "You're robbing the store, young man! And I'm telling the Manager."
Burt- "Yeah, you do that. Old wrinkled, honky motherfucker. Telling on me... Well, what she think this is, Junior High?"

The central story line of 'Street Trash' is pretty straight forward. An unscrupulous yet opportunistic liquor store owner discovers a box of bottles containing mysterious, 60 year-old booze called 'Viper' in his basement and begins selling the stuff to homeless veterans and vagabonds. Unfortunately for them, 'Viper' brings new meaning to the term "gut rot" as it causes everyone that drinks it to melt and/or explode, allowing for some exceptionally vibrant, neon tinged gore. The rapidly depleting hobo population and discoveries of electric coloured, acidic goo puddles sets the ridiculously inept police department on an investigation. From here the plot branches out all over the place, depicting various inane issues plaguing the demented denizens of the inner city.
Apart from all the splattering viscera, racism and sexism oozing from the script, 'Street Trash' also contains a somewhat confused but heartfelt social commentary on the treatment of veterans and the misconceptions surrounding 'combat-shock.' Surprisingly, what the film lacks in good performances, it more than makes up for with inspired cinematography, especially the Steadicam work.

Check out the trailer:

The End

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