Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Street Trash: Special Meltdown Edition (Synapse)

Funny story. I went to a bar one night to see my buddy's band play. He introduced me to this fella, and made it clear that we were going to get along famously because we both adored horror movies. I had just watched Street Trash based on my brother-in-law's recommendation, had enjoyed it thoroughly and was all excited to discuss it with a fellow horror nerd. So, in an arm outstretched gesture of camaraderie, I offer up Street Trash as conversation starter. So whaddya think of Street Trash? Doesn't it feel more than a little like a Troma movie? ... ... Whoops! Turns out that comparing or discussing Street Trash in the context of Troma is a major faux pas. One does not cross their Kaufman's and the Muro's. Lesson learned. I haven't spoken of it since, but the verbal castration I endured post naive comment was enough to keep my Street Trash discussions to family and in the context of the beautiful Crayola hobo melting... and of course, what the Hell does Viper taste like? Synapse Films has given me something new to discuss.

Basic concept: Liquor store owner finds a box of an obscure, cheap-o liquor in his store and decides to make a quick buck by selling it to the local homeless/drunk population. Little does he know that his new wares will melt and dismember those that consume it in a colorful and absolutely gross way. Um... hobo turf war ensues?

This is not the Synapse Films version

When I think of Street Trash, I think of The Stuff. Here,we have a product that isn't exactly what we are supposed to believe it to be. It's highly desirable due to its packaging and cause catastrophic harm when consumed. Granted each product is marketed to a different segment of the population; it's safe to assume those who would eat The Stuff might not drink a fifth of Viper, but anyone who's drank a pull of Viper CAN'T enjoy The Stuff. I think you can blame any number of consumer protection groups in the late 70's and early 80's for creating a culture of paranoia that allowed films like Cohen's Stuff and Muro's Street Trash to become cult classic successes. If there are two things that I can think with certainty that American adore, it's ice cream and booze. Both of them are "bad for you". Both of them can "kill you", and in Street Trash, it's almost moral death. Karma or a cautionary tale. We love food so much we must be absolutely terrified by it.

While it's fun to discuss the finer points of the socio-political origins of a cult classic movie about booze that melts people, I don't think you came here to listen to me regurgitate strange psychological theories about why we love food based horror. Street Trash has never looked better in this Synapse Special Meltdown edition. That's what every reviewer is going to tell you, and if anyone starts to nitpick the disc for slight flaws, you can call bullshit. These are people who either never saw the film before the Synapse release or who are diehard tape heads looking to preserve the supremacy of the VHS tape (I adore VHS, but THIS is the edition to watch on repeat).

I encourage you to enjoy the original 16mm short from which the full length movie was drawn. It's highly entertaining and full of unique special effects. The quality is not hi-def. It's not supposed to be. The true fan will enjoy the full length documentary (appropriately entitled Meltdown Memoires).  and the commentary by Producer Roy Frumkes and Director Jame Muro. Deleted scenes and an interview with the iconic femme star of Street Trash, Jane Arakawa.

Best part of the package? The thing that separates this from any other release? How about the ability to make your own Tenafly Viper! It comes with a bottle label sticker; great at parties. Terrify your hip friends.

This release has enough new goodies to entertain the Street Trash collector, but is the perfect introduction to the cult of Viper the new S.T. fan. The bottle label will sell them. From the iconic toilet meltdown to a rather humorous decapitation to the obese trying to molest women on chairs... you have something to watch. Enjoy watching something so B on Blu-ray.

You can pick up Street Trash at DiabolikDVD Here or Visist the Synapse Films website and scan their entire catalog (don't forget.... DEMONS 1 & 2 this autumn!)

-Dr. TERROR (covered in Crayola purple, blue and yellow paint).


  1. I saw this on the old Dragon DVD when it came out and it sure looked like a Troma movie. Ignore the uppity fanbags.

    In the new restored edition however...more like a Full Moon production? Naw... ;)

  2. Isn't the story that Troma hate Jim Muro for making a fake Troma picture, with melting, Jennifer Aspinall (Toxic Avenger) effects and Pat Ryan (Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke'em High)