Rep Pick: Street Trash 

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Street Trash (1987)
Directed by J. Michael Muro
February 17, 18 at midnight at the Nitehawk

Today, Street Trash is primarily remembered as the film that heavily inspired Jason Eisener's lifeless pastiche comedy Hobo with a Shotgun, but it's a delightfully vile and thoroughly tasteless movie entirely populated by derangoid scum. In Street Trash, homeless Vietnam vets literally explode after drinking poisonous liquor. Imagine a campy skid row horror comedy that combines elements of They Live, Jacob's Ladder and The Toxic Avenger. Rutger Hauer aside, Hobo with a Shotgun looks positively chaste when compared to Street Trash.

Life is fleeting and cheap in Street Trash, and so are the film's lowbrow yuks. Set almost entirely in junkyards, cheap liquor stores and back alleys, the film's plot, if one can call it that, focuses on the spread of Viper, cheap booze that blows drinkers up.

There are no heroes here, only survivors. Almost everyone in the film, from the bum who takes advantage of a drunk girl and covetously guzzles suspicious rotgut liquor to the scrupulous liquor store owner who sells him that rotgut, is an immoral asshole. Even the no-nonsense, ass-kicking, brickhouse cop that's investigating the Viper case is corrupt. In one scene, he brutally beats up an assailant, drags his body to a urinal and then willfully barfs on his now prostrate opponent. And this is the closest thing the film has to a righteous good guy! The concept of restraint is for lesser pictures.Complete with rape-related slapstick and lots of exploding viscera, Street Trash is pure, un-self-conscious exploitation gold. It's stupid and it's unpleasant and it's pretty funny, too, often all at once.

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