When a liquor store owner finds a case of "Viper" in his cellar, he decides to sell it to the local hobos at one dollar a bottle, unaware of its true properties. The drinks causes its consumers to melt, very messily. Two homeless lads find themselves up against the effects of the toxic brew, as well as going head to head with "Bronson" a Vietnam vet with sociopathic tendencies, and the owner of the junkyard they live in.Written by
Liquor store owner Ed (M. D'Jango Krunch) is nosing around in his basement when he finds some VERY old booze labelled "Tenafly Viper". He figures, what the hell, he'll sell it to his customers for $1 a bottle. But this booze is deadly stuff: when people drink it, they explode into goop in all colours of the rainbow. While the body count rises, the story focuses on two street denizens who are brothers: Fred (Mike Lackey) and Kevin (Mark Sferrazza) who take up residence in a spacious auto junkyard along with various other hobos.
"Street Trash" marks, to date, the only theatrical directing credit for James M. Muro, who went on to Hollywood and became one of the most in-demand Steadicam operators in the business. Basing this movie on a short subject he'd made, he clearly has some real fun with the material. The Manhattan-based production makes some excellent use of locations, and has some very striking characters. Among them is the almighty Bronson (Vic Noto), a psychotic Vietnam veteran with a bunch of flunkies. Sexy Jane Arakawa, a gal with a great pair of legs, is the secretary who takes sympathy on Fred & Kevin and their cronies. Pat Ryan ("The Toxic Avenger") is her horny, scuzzy boss. And Bill Chepil is the surly, hard driving detective working these streets.
The makeup effects are wonderfully gross and effective. There are scenes here so memorable that they remain favourites for fans: Burts' impromptu shopping trip, and the entire "penis keepaway" sequence. One brilliant gag occurs early on when Bronson manhandles a nerdy motorist. The two best characters are thuggish restaurant owner Nick Duran (Tony Darrow) and his smart mouthed doorman (James Lorinz of "Frankenhooker"). Muro and company know that their scenes are some of the funniest here, so they keep their story going during the end credits.
While "Street Trash" took about 13 weeks to shoot, its journey to movie screens took about three years. It proves that filmmaking finesse isn't always everything: sometimes gung-ho enthusiasm and the willingness to pull out all the stops can go a long way too.
Eight out of 10.
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