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Film / Street Trash

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Things in New York are about to go down the toilet.

Street Trash is a 1987 horror/splatter movie written by Roy Frumkes and directed by James Muro. Neither are well known for anything else, although Muro's steadicam work in this movie was so impressive that he later found regular work as a Hollywood camera operator. You may have heard of one of the films Muro worked on - Titanic (1997).

The plot, loosely defined in this context, follows two young homeless brothers, Fred and Kevin, who live in a junkyard ruled by Bronson, a psychotic and traumatized Vietnam veteran. One day, the owner of a nearby liquor store discovers a crate full of Tenafly Viper: bottles of booze from the 1920's that had been stashed away behind a grate in the basement. Seeing an easy way to make some money, he decides to sell the Viper for a dollar a bottle. The local homeless population, needing to spend their money frugally, take advantage of this offer. There's only one catch: anyone who drinks the Viper melts into a streaming, day-glo ooze while screaming in horror.

Provides examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Just about everyone who dies, but especially Nick Durand and Bronson.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bronson, the ruler of the junkyard, has no qualms about using his knife. This would be a knife he made from a human femur bone.
  • Black Comedy: This is probably the best category available for this movie and virtually every scene in it.
  • Black Comedy Rape:
    • Frank Schnizer, the owner of the junkyard, makes an attempt with Wendy, his young assistant. The tone of the scene, along with the background music, makes it clear this effort is meant to be Played for Laughs. This goes into Crosses the Line Twice territory when that same music plays while Frank sees a woman's corpse...
    • Rape as Drama: Another scene in which a crowd of derelicts brutally gang rape a poor drunken woman to death has a much, much darker tone.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Virtually every scene in which someone drinks the Tenafly Viper could qualify; of particular note is the shot of a bum melting into a toilet bowl.
  • Body Horror: Every time someone drinks the Viper, they melt into a gruesome puddle of colors.
  • Briar Patching: How Fred tricks Wizzie into drinking the Viper.
  • Camping a Crapper: The hitman hired by Duran tries to do this to Fred.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Fred and Kevin make good use of a bottle of Viper and a compressed air cylinder, respectively.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Most of the characters.
  • Excrement Statement: Bronson urinates on Bill's corpse.
  • Exploitation Film: Let's see ... exploitative use of controversial themes (homelessness in this case)? Check. Over-the-top gore and violence for its own sake? Check. Explicit nudity and sex for its own sake? Check. Muro himself has stated that he made the film to "democratically offend every group on the planet."
  • Fat Bastard: Mister Schizer, the junkyard owner.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: When Wizzie, Bronson's smarmy sycophant, is captured by the police, they threaten to give him a shower. He is horrified.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Burt, a friend of Fred and Kevin, does a little "shopping" of this nature. He's quickly caught with chicken in his pants.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Fred throws a bottle on Bronson's face when he comes to help Kevin.
  • I Love the Dead: Frank is heavily implied to have molested the corpse of Duran's girlfriend.
  • I'm Melting!: Anyone who drinks the Tenafly Viper meets their end this way.
  • Imagine Spot: Bronson's flashbacks, which vary between "plausible", "implausible", and "John Rambo's masturbation fantasies".
  • Jerkass: Most of the cast. Fred, one of the protagonists, is an especially prominant example of this.
  • Keep Away: Perhaps the most memorable scene in this movie involves this game. It's played with a severed penis.
  • Losing Your Head: After Bronson is decapitated, his brain lives long enough to take a look under Wendy's skirt and die smiling.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Mentioned by a concerned bystander when Bill the cop won't help a partially melted businessman. Bill's already handling the incident of the guy who got thrown into his own car's windshield by Bronson:
    Bill: "Lady, I can only save one person at a time!"
    Woman: "Why? Because he's male?"
    Bill: "No, because he's an asshole!"
  • Motor Mouth: The doorman at Nick Duran's restaurant, while sitting in a police station next to Duran himself, won't stop slinging insults. He evidently thinks the police will protect him as a witness. Even when he's told they can't, he still keeps mouthing off. The fact that the role is played by James Lorinz from Frankenhooker has a lot to do with his apparent death wish.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: One of Bronson's flashback dreams features Viet Cong Vampires!
  • Off with His Head!: One of the most unusual decapitations in cinema takes place near the end.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. One of Nick Duran's Mooks is also named Nick (Duran calls him "Nicky," though).
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: One fat Viper drinker inflates and bursts instead. Why? Why not?
  • Riddle for the Ages: The origin of Tenafly Viper and why it has its effects on people are never even discussed, let alone revealed.
  • Title Drop: Bronson calls Kevin "street trash" when he's chasing him during the climax.
  • Urine Trouble: One unfortunate derelict does this to Bronson, who reacts by removing his manhood. This leads to the aforementioned game of Keep Away.
  • Villain Song: The final credits feature the song "We Do T'ings My Way", a version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" performed by Mafia boss Nick Duran.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: After winning his battle with a Mafia hitman, Bill the Cop sticks his fingers down his throat and barfs on his opponent.