We are in Brooklyn’s decaying slums, and the year is 1987. The state of the streets is described in a nutshell by the title itself. Not a place that you’d go barefoot. An old dusty box containing the mysterious drink “Tenafly Viper” is found in the basement of Ed’s little liquor store. A green liquid from way back in the 1920s, that Fred sells to the local hobos for a buck. The one who gets the first bottle, is Fred: a runaway who lives with his brother in a small homeless community by a car wrecking yard, run by former Nam Vet Bronson. He’s a raging nutcase who’s lost his mind completely due to PTSD and severe paranoia, and have constructed the place as his own kingdom and safe space. Here he lives in his own grandiose, delusional bubble where he is the king and everyone fears him. He also shares the throne with his “Queen” Winette, a schizophrenic vegetable who constantly screams and begs him to have sex with her. Sound like a cheery place, doesn’t it. So maybe this mysterious drink will make the hellish daily life a bit easier for the poor hobos? Well, they could only wish, as the drink turns out to be a corrosive, toxic acid that melts the one who drinks the first drops, in seconds. As homeless people start dropping dead in every corner due to the liquid, a brute cop named Bill is trying to get the bottom of the source. And good luck with that.
On the surface, Street Trash may look like a more polished Troma film that could easily share the same universe with The Toxic Avenger. But instead of a guy running around and serving justice in a mutant costume, we get a bunch of mentally unstable hobos doing stupid, random shit. Things like necrophilia, penis severance, shoplifting and gang raping… those are some of the daily doings we get to witness. There isn’t much of a plot to be found here. It’s basically just a series of skits, more or less, that are randomly stitched together. Street Trash is based on the short film of the same name, a fun concept that worked better in a short dosage than a very stretched-out feature film where it is far between the major highlights. The film’s biggest, or fattest highlight if you will, is the guy who explodes like a big balloon. A pretty juicy and messy scene you’ve probably already seen on YouTube. The effects here are pretty inventive and deliciously gooey, to say the least, and arguably the film’s main strengths. Even though most of the effects give some exaggerated, over-the-top cartoony vibes, I have to give Street Trash an extra credit for having of the most memorable decapitations scenes I’ve probably ever seen.
Director: James M. Muro
Country & year: USA, 1987
Actors: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman, Miriam Zucker, M. D’Jango Krunch, James Lorinz, Morty Storm, Sam Blasco, Bruce Torbet