in Shocktober

Street Trash (1987)

On our last episode of “Top Ten Thursdays,” I briefly mentioned a bizarre horror sub-genre known as “Melt Movies.” Yes, movies built around nothing more than the idea of bodies melting into gooey piles of fleshy mush. The Incredible Melting Man may be the most famous, despite being an awful movie, but Street Trash is a film with an avid cult following. How did this happen? With some of the most over-the-top, vomit-inducing scenes of bodies melting into colorful piles of human slop ever put to celluloid.

Street Trash doesn’t follow your typical horror movie plot. Check this out, a sleazy liquor store clerk discovers a mysterious case of 60-year-old liquor in his basement. The liquor is called “Viper” and being the sleaze-ball he is he decides to sell it to bums for a buck. The only problem is Viper doesn’t go down smooth. In fact, when you drink it your body erupts in a sludgy pile of guts and goo. Yet the alcohol finds its way into the homeless community. If it wasn’t already bad enough to be homeless and in danger of drinking killer booze, an enraged veteran now hobo named Bronson is terrorizing the streets.

The closest we have to a protagonist is a naive, homeless young man and his rat-like brother. I couldn’t tell you their names to save my life. The film is more of an ensemble of various bums and hobos. Sounds awesome, right? No, it’s not. There’s not much conflict in the film and the melt scenes (although awesome) are too few and far between. Maybe there’s an important message here, but after awhile I found myself counting down to the next melt-scene.

Who isn’t fascinated by melting? This is the main reason Street Trash is remembered. Not only because it features melting, but the ways the bodies melt. It’s never a slow dissolve of blood and guts. These bodies explode into violent flurries of blue, purple, and green. The melt scenes are like watching Jackson Pollock drink paint and then vomit and diarrhea the paint out in a drunken fury. Truly a sight to be seen.

Most of Street Trash is a bunch of meandering good homeless vs. bad homeless fights. Luckily, the last half is a gut-busting display of well… Guts busting. This is one of those weird films you need to see to believe.

“Ooey, gooey, rich and chewy inside! Golden flaky, tender caky outside!”