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DVD Review

DVD cover

Street Trash


Starring: Mike Lackey, R. L. Ryan and James Lorinz
Arrow Video
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 11 January 2010

A New York liquor store owner finds an old crate of Viper secreted in a walled section of his cellar, and decides to sell the bottles for a dollar each to the local homeless. Most of them find places to put their head down within the confines of an auto wreck yard. One such man is the first to obtain a bottle, but he is beaten up and the bottle is stolen. The potent alcohol has a devastating effect culminating in the drinker's body instantly, and very graphically, turning to mush. A police murder investigation is on-going as the fatalities mount, but the tough detective might have bitten off more than he can chew when he comes up against the self-proclaimed leader of the homeless...

From the decade of decadence, comes the notorious 1980s video nasty Street Trash. During the watching of this remastered 2-DVD release I changed my opinion several times, and I still don't know if I really like it or not. What I do appreciate is what it sets out to achieve: a tasteless but ultimately fun portrayal of life on the streets of New York's skid row. Rather than loners, this is a community of mostly alcoholic 'street bums', ruled over by a violent but traumatised ex-Vietnam soldier. Although it centres mainly on two brothers, the very loose plot meanders somewhat, following the set-pieces during which Viper-drinking homeless people literally dissolve under the influence. The fight sequences are totally unconvincing (they don't even make contact with each other most of the time, but there are some humorous moments of crudity, such as when one of the homeless men has his penis cut off and the others play catch with it.

Director Michael J. Muro has gone on to be Director of Photography on such prominent film releases as Titanic, Heat and Crash, so it's good that he appears to be almost as enthusiastic about this little movie now as he undoubtedly would have been then. For fans of Street Trash the second disc in this set contains an in-depth and informative documentary, The Meltdown Memoirs, which actually lasts longer than the feature, and an interview with Jane Arakawa, who plays Wendy. Unfortunately, I didn't receive the retail packaging so I can't comment on that.


Ty Power

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