Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#193. Street Trash (1987)

Directed By: J. Michael Muro

Starring: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto

Tag line: "Things in New York are about to go down the toilet..."

Trivia:  Bryan Singer worked as a production assistant on this film

The opening sequence of Street Trash is really quite impressive. In it, we follow a hobo named Freddy (Mike Lackey), who's on the run from a number of people out to hurt him (including a guy from whom he just stole a bottle of booze). The camera tracks along as Freddy runs through the streets of New York, dodging danger at every turn until finally eluding capture by jumping into the back of a garbage truck. The director employs a number of exciting shots to keep up with Freddy on his survival run, and it's a wonderful introduction to the world of this film. But be warned: Street Trash is not a movie you'll remember for it's innovative camera tricks or snappy direction. Simply put, no amount of creativity will be able to draw your attention away from a street person melting into a pile of bubbling goo. 

Following a band of homeless who reside in a New York City auto wrecking yard, Street Trash will quickly have you squirming in your seat. The carnage begins when a Manhattan liquor store owner (M. D'Jango Crunch) stumbles upon a case of “Viper”, a liquor he found hidden beneath the stairs of his storeroom, placed there long before he himself bought the business. Sensing an opportunity to make some fast cash, he starts selling his new-found wares to the local street bums for $1 a bottle. Unfortunately, 'Viper' does have one rather unfortunate side effect: anyone who drinks it starts to melt. 

And it's a slow, agonizing death, too. The first poor guy to take a sip of 'Viper' actually stole his bottle from Freddy (who himself stole it from the liquor store only moments earlier). Sneaking away to a corner of the junkyard, the doomed hobo takes a seat on a discarded toilet, then downs his first gulp of the toxic drink. First, he oozes blue liquid from his mouth, which promptly changes color to red when it starts seeping through his skin. His outer layers melt away, and eventually his leg bones snap, separating his feet from the rest of his body. Soon, he's a quivering mass of jelly, slowly slipping into the toilet. As on-screen deaths go, this one's pretty original in how gross it gets, and it won't be the last (or even the grossest) we'll witness. 

J. Michael Muro, the director of Street Trash, spent most of his career working as a cameraman, and his visual prowess serves him very well in this film. The various camera tricks he throws in from time to time bring a real excitement to the film, not to mention a genuine sense of fun. At least as much fun as you can possibly have watching street people melt in front of your eyes.


Anonymous said...

Finalized Ep.6 and was a hoot. Got to hand it to the hosts, such a wonderful and inciteful show. This sounds interesting Doctor, going to write it down and grab it the next time I am at Blockbuster.

Dave Becker said...

Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to Planet Macabre.

I'm glad you enjoyed the episode, and thanks also for the kind words. I'll pass your feedback along to the other hosts as well.

Finally, when you do get a chance to see STREET TRASH, please stop back and let me know what you thought of it!

Thanks again