Judging a film like STREET TRASH is quite problematic. Normally, one would not hesitate to praise the debut of interesting new young talent Jim Muro, a director who can take a budget of less than $100,000 and produce a professional-looking film of cinematic excitement and verve.
Unfortunately, STREET TRASH also happens to be one of the most repugnant exploitation movies ever filmed, one that offends the sensibilities and will shock even the most hardened veteran of so-called "cult" films. Pushing the boundaries of bad taste, STREET TRASH is perhaps the most revoltingly
funny film since John Waters' PINK FLAMINGOS. As "Midnight Movies" go, STREET TRASH is the most fiercely original and inventive in years, although only those with strong stomachs should dare to investigate. Inspired by Akira Kurosawa's DODES'KA-DEN, the film is set among the homeless of Brooklyn
and concentrates on a group of winos living in a trash heap just outside a junkyard. The virtually plotless action loosely revolves around a case of contaminated wine that a local liquor-store owner has discovered in his basement and sold to the derelicts for $1 a bottle. Unbeknownst to all, the
so-called "Tenafly Viper" is so potent that one sip causes the unfortunate drinker literally to melt into a puddle of paint goo (the well-executed gore effects are colorfully cartoonish and relatively inoffensive). STREET TRASH has something to offend everyone, including lots of misogyny and shock
humor. Besides directing, the industrious, 21-year-old Muro operated his own steadicam--an expensive and relatively complicated piece of camera equipment that allows supreme mobility while maintaining a smooth, gliding shot. As a director-cinematographer, Muro seems most influenced by EVIL DEAD
director Sam Raimi and has a good eye for composition, movement, and color. This is renegade cinema, made to offend the establishment. The fact that STREET TRASH is so very offensive says much about what young talent must do to get noticed.
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