One of the most outrageous and offensive midnight movie classics of the 1980s, the schlock horror comedy Street Trash, is now out on DVD as a special two-disc edition – restored, uncut, and packed with features, making this gore-fest a truly must-have collectible of a bygone cinematic era.
Set in New York City’s poverty row and nearby scrap-yards, a group of homeless people are sold cheap and nasty liquor (the expiry date was some 60 years ago). But the ‘gut rot’ has a terrible side effect: one sip turns the drinker into a melting mass of liquefied flesh and bone – albeit in a range of suitably nasty Day-Glo colours. How very 1980s.
Gross, funny, and sick in a John Waters kind of way, Street Trash was the directorial debut of James Michael Muro. He may not be the best director in the world, but he certainly makes this insane indie look good. The transfer here is excellent and the gore effects really pop out at you. Today, Muro is a hugely respected cameraman, having lensed Cameron’s hit movies Titanic and Terminator 2, amongst others.
Like Waters’ cult 1977 classic Desperate Living, Street Trash revolves around a group of hobos eking out an existence on the very fringe of society. The crazy cast of characters include Bronson, a traumatized Vietnam vet who carries a knife made from human bone; Fred, an unwashed bum looking after his younger brother Kevin, who looks so out of place here; and Wendy, a junkyard worker who has her eye on bedding the cute Kevin. Rounding out the ‘story’ are two cops investigating the strange deaths, and a nightclub owner/mobster who has a particularly weird relationship with his club doorman.
But forget the story and let the gross-out set pieces do their job. From exploding tramps to playing catch with a severed penis, there’s plenty of sick laughs to make this a truly entertaining 102minutes. Would make a great companion piece with other melting horrors: The Stuff, Body Melt or even Robert Fuest’s underrated The Devil’s Rain.
Released 11 January (Arrow Video)