One of the sleazier films we’ve ever stumbled across (a tall order) 1987’s Street Trash is pretty much as advertised.
A liquor store owner Eddie, comes upon a crate of dusty decades-old hooch called Tenefly Viper and sells it to scrapyard-dwelling New York City hobos (My how things change. The movie was shot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and The Daily News recently called one its thoroughfares a “hipster highway.”)
Anyway, the filth and squalor here predates even them.
The hooch causes faces to melt and bodies to blow up (enterprising Synapse Films even included a sticker in the Blu-ray of the 30-proof liquor). Shots on us everyone.
The dirty goon overlord of the scrapyard is Bronson, an ironic nod to Charles (who famously cleaned up the streets if not literally, then vigilante-style in Death Wish). He is a Vietnam vet who has his way with the gaunt local ladies of evening while trying to keep his violent and very elaborate flashbacks under control.
The dirty denizens are kept in check by the feared hot-head detective Bill (terrifically portrayed by Bill Chepil) and our antiheroes are a vagrant brother act Fred and Kevin, one of whom whores around with abandon and is just as grubby and debauched as Bronson (there’s also a hilarious subplot involving a two-bit mobster).
To comprehend just how sleazy the film is, a bunch of bums play keep away with another’s member after it’s lopped off by the local junkyard gang leader. A homeless fellow melts on a fire escape, and drips gross goo on a yuppie passerby and another shoves greasy chicken parts down his pants in an ill-fated attempt to rob a grocery store.
This is some great grilled cheese, a movie written, according to the screenwriter “to democratically offend every group on the planet.” (it doesn’t, Poultrygeist does, but it comes pretty dang close).
Anyway, much to recommend. Terrific, unrelenting, filthy.
***1/2 (out of 5)
CHECK OUT OUR DISCUSSION OF STREET TRASH ON THE REALLY AWFUL MOVIES PODCAST.