Sunday, September 01, 2013

Honourable Mention: Street Trash

I knew Street Trash had a very brief vampire moment in it but I had been putting off watching it. By the story description I expected something about the level of the average Troma release but, when I watched it, I was much more than mildly surprised.

Yes the 1987 film is a bad taste movie but, for instance, the camera work is vastly superior to most indie films from the era. This probably has something to do with director J. Michael Muro being credited as steady-cam operator in many a fine movie. He clearly knows his trade. The effects are also surprisingly good for an indie film and, whilst not perfect, hold their own and add to the film… and special effects are needed for the main storyline…

First Melt
There isn’t an overtly involved plot to the film. Rather it throws a multitude of stories together that, in the main, follow the misadventures of Freddy (Mike Lackey) and Kevin (Mark Sferrazza), two brothers living rough in New York scrapyard. The film is thus the events happening around them or involving them (most likely Freddy). In the main storyline, a liquor store owner looks for something to sell cheap to the homeless and finds an old, hidden crate of a drink named Viper and starts selling it a $1 a bottle. Unfortunately, one swing of viper is enough to make a person melt from the inside out over a very short amount of time – the first bottle drunk (sat on an unplumbed toilet) was stolen from Freddy (who in turn had stolen it from the liquor store). The melting flesh will melt another person if they get it on them.

another melt
Other plot-lines include Freddy taking a very drunk woman (Miriam Zucker) back to the scrapyard when she can't tell the difference between him and her boyfriend (Tony Darrow). After they have finished he passes out and the other residents of the scrapyard drag her off, gang rape her and murder her – unfortunately for Freddy she happened to be the girlfriend of a mafia type restaurant owner, who is hungry for revenge (incidentally she is also the subject of a necrophilic attack the next morning, as there is little that this film won't touch on). Meanwhile a New York cop (Bill Chepil) is after psychotic Vietnam Vet and king of the scrapyard’s homeless Bronson (Vic Noto, Innocent Blood). Bronson, in turn, has his very dangerous eye on the office administrator of the scrapyard, Wendy (Jane Arakawa), who in turn likes Kevin. It is with Bronson we get our vampire connection.

Vietnamese vampire
We see him have a post-traumatic stress dream of Vietnam and part way through that dream several Vietnamese villagers seem to crawl towards him, on the chair he uses as his scrapyard throne, their fangs bared because they are all vampires. They reach him in the dream, he screams and the dream goes elsewhere. And that is it. About 20 seconds worth of appearance but they did lead me to discovering a film that is gross out, for sure, but is actually a superiorly shot and worthwhile piece of indie filmmaking.

The imdb page is here.

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