Street Trash (1987)
By: Mr Intolerance on November 10, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Synapse (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0 Mono. 102 minutes
The Movie
Director: Jim Muro
Starring: Bill Chepil, Mike Lackey, Vic Noto, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Miriam Zucker, Mark Sterrazza, Clarenze Jarmon, R.L Ryan, James Lorinz, Tony Darrow
Screenplay: Roy Frumkes
Country: USA
External Links
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Who would have thought about writing a horror/exploitation film set amongst the homeless winos of the Big Apple? Roy Frumkes, that's who! From the evil genius who brought you Document of the Dead, here's a tale guaranteed to make you laugh until you barf.

Freddy's a young bum about town who's pissed off a few of the bum hierarchy – yes, even the lowest of the low have a hierarchy – and he's just trying to keep himself in hooch (listening to him give health tips to another hobo was a bit rich, I thought…). The local sleazy liquor store owner has found a crate of stuff called Tenafly Viper, and is selling hip-flasks of the stuff for a buck each. The unfortunate thing is that Viper has a rather nasty side effect. In the film's probably most infamous set-piece (it's towards the beginning of the film; it's not a spoiler) – and there are a few of them – a bum steals Freddy's botlle o' Viper and melts down the toilet, flushing himself as he goes. It is one gooey motherfucking scene, let me tell you. It's also hysterically funny.

Enter sub-plot #1: Frank is a big fat surly cunt who runs the auto-graveyard that the bums live on, and he wants them out. Wendy, his go-fer (just like Scooter, from The Muppet Show!), takes pity on the bums, well, the young runaways, not so much the likes of Bronson, the crazed Section 8 Vietnam vet who oddly enough keeps a big old femur-bone sharpened to a knife-blade in a holster as a weapon.     

Enter sub-plot #2: a cliché tough guy New York cop, Bill James, who's investigating the Viper-related deaths. The deaths keep mounting up with no visible clue as to what's causing them, apart from the fact that the victims all turn into large pools of multi-coloured goo. His temper's not the best to begin with (at an early point of the film he addresses one female bystander with this gesture of courtesy: "Lady, I ain't that sure you ain't got a cock!"), he seems to get more belligerent as the film progresses.

Enter sub-plot #3: Bronson obviously has a hankering for some Asian food – he's definitely making eyes at Wendy, Frank's Eurasian secretary with awful fashion sense – then again, this was made in 1985; I'm old enough to remember that everybody had awful fashion sense back then.

Enter sub-plot #4: Freddy's younger but equally homeless brother Kevin is obviously besotted with Wendy, the, as Freddy puts it, "gook whore". It's a forbidden love story as old as Romeo and Juliet.

One moment I truly love in this film, and never fails to put a smile on my face: Bert, the token negro character, who inexplicably wears a gas mask, goes "shopping" at the local supermarket (and in a racially unsound moment is sorely tempted by watermelon…but then considering he's on the hunt for some fried chicken, should I really be surprised? No, Massa Baws…). An old lady spots him "shopping" and we get the following exchange:

Woman: (horrified reaction)
Bert: Well, what you starin' at, bitch?
Woman: You're robbing the store young man, and I'm telling the manager! Thief…
Bert: Yeah, you do that – old wrinkled honky motherfucker.

It gets even funnier when Bert is confronted by the equally afro-American manager for shoplifting, and Bert complains of racial discrimination, before stomping out of the supermarket, indiscriminately cussing everyone out, with chicken down his trousers. Absolute comedy gold.

Our cop is down at the forensics lab and we get another moment of absurd hilarity – they've somehow managed to transport the toilet our first victim was melted on down to the lab for examination, complete with melty arm still connected to the flush-chain, while the lab assistant is calmly munching down McNuggets and sushi. Really sensitive of the police force, huh? Still, it's a step above the hot dog-munching coppers in The Toxic Avenger

Bronson's having flashbacks to Nam, and his desire for Wendy suddenly becomes a lot more understandable. I don't mean what he wants to do to her, but why he wants to fuck her – now we get it. Is this an attempt to humanise the character? Naaaah. Just a quick and cheap exploitative jab, is all. Titillate the audience, meine freund.

And that is indeed what the director intends to do. Freddy somehow manages to get a hot chick from the real world back to his..umm…"pad". The rest of the gang are also keen on some high-class tail, even if she does have the kind of minge that'd make a yeti blush. What better excuse for seeing tiitties?  Mercifully, when she gets gang-raped by the hoboes, it happens off-screen. No-one needs to see that.

Frank, in the meanwhile, tries to rape Wendy – seems rape's all the go here, disturbingly enough. She's understandably not interested, advising Frank to take a shower and fuck his dog – strong language, sure. But understandable, given the context. Frank gets his balls licked by a dog – yes, you read that correctly – and then  decides on a bit of casual necrophilia. How much more tasteless can this movie get?! Watch and learn, chillun. Yes, I have become Chef from South Park.

Just when you thought this film could not get any nastier, we hit the second most-memorable set piece of the movie. Some sad, sorry-arse motherfucker takes a piss through a hole in a wall, and unfortunately hits Bronson, who is in the process of tearing Freddy a new arsehole. Bronson decides that a radical new castration method is necessary to right this wrong, and cuts the guy's cock off. Ouch. Said cock is then used in what is possibly the funniest game of "pass the baton" I have ever seen. The final sequence in this scene is so damned funny I nearly had a hernia watching it. Hoboes playing "catch the cock" is pretty hysterical, but when it's being played to sub-Benny Hill style music in Chariots of Fire-style slow motion, it's utterly superb, and the last moment when the victim is on the back of a school bus, the kids shrieking and trying to get away from the cock – fucking brilliance, in a twisted kind of way.

Enter subplot #5: a Mafioso type whose girlfriend is the one Freddy found and fucked. He's into finding out who the dirtbags were who killed his gal. To do so, he sends hitmen.

Freddy gets busted (rather than fingered, if you get the reference) and both the cops and the bad guys are after him. He's not having a real howdy-doody-happy day with his brother either. This is nearly the end of the film, so I shan't spoil it for you, but it's great gooey, and I mean UBER-splatter fun and deserves your support. Violence, and I mean top-shelf violence, ensues. Watch and have a fucking blast – and a blast is definitely what you'll be seeing, given the last couple of victims of Viper.   

Seriously, crystal clear, re-mastered from the original negative. A pristine picture, presented in a 16:9 enhanced 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
The original mono audio track has all the mono charm of an 80s movie, but none of the snap, crackle and pop. A top shelf presentation. 
Extra Features

The single disc release under review here comes with a theatrical trailer, some liner notes and that's about it. Oh, and some Tenafly Viper stickers, so that you can have bottles of the infamous brew yourself! Although who'd want to drink it, given the rather disastrous results is a different question… 

Synapse also released a 2 Disc "Meltdown Edition" that includes 2 audio commentaries and a 2 hour documentary.

The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
This the film that out-Troma's Troma. Filled with ultra-gooey special effects, a completely nonsensical plot, outrageously bad acting and dialogue so bad you'd think it was written by a five year old who's just learned how to say "bum", Street Trash is the kind of film you wished you'd made yourself. It's dumb, it's gross, it has no redeeming features of any kind, except that it's more fun than a barrel full of monkeys, and if you haven't seen it, you're a fool.

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