WTFW: Drunk and Homeless Horror

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

WTFW: Drunk and Homeless Horror

As Rob Zombie has repeatedly demonstrated, poor white trash is scary.  Tonight we have two films that will prove him correct as well as confuse the heck out of those who dare to view.


Street Trash (1987)

  • Genre: Comedy – Horror
  • Directed: James M. Muro
  • Produced:
    • Frank M. Farel 
    • Roy Frumkes 
    • Edward Muro Sr. 
    • James Muro Sr.
  • Written:
    • Roy Frumkes 
    • James M. Muro
  • Starring: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman, Miriam Zucker, M. D'Jango Krunch, James Lorinz, Morty Storm, Sam Blasco, Bruce Torbet
  • Music: Rick Ulfik
  • Cinematography: David Sperling
  • Editing: Dennis Werner
  • Studio: Street Trash Joint Venture
  • Distributed:
    • Lightning Pictures Inc.  
    • Delta Vidéo Diffusion  
    • Synapse Films  
    • Metropolitan Filmexport  
    • Nippon Herald Films  
    • Avatar Film Corporation Limited  
    • Imagen D.E.A.T.H.  
    • Korporatsiya Arena
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 16 September 1987 (USA)
  • Running Time: 91 minutes
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English

Street Trash is a 1987 comedy horror film directed by J. Michael Muro (The Last Mimzy (2007), Rush Hour 3 (2007), Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)).  It won the Silver Raven at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film.  The film has acquired a status as a cult classic horror-comedy and is one of a number of movies known as "melt" movies.

The owner of a liquor store in lower Manhattan finds a case of cheap wine ("Tenafly Viper") in his basement.  It is more than 60 years old and has gone bad, but he decides to sell it to the local hobos anyway.  Unfortunately, anyone who drinks the Viper melts away in a hideous fashion.  At the same time, two brothers find different ways to cope with homelessness, while an overzealous cop is trying to get to the bottom of all the deaths, all the while trying to end the tyranny of deranged Vietnam veteran Bronson.

The film is littered with darkly comedic deaths and injuries.  It also contains the notorious "severed privates" scene where a group of homeless people play catch with the severed genital of one of their number, as he futilely attempts to recover it.

In an National Board of Review of Motion Pictures profile Roy Frumkes said: "I wrote it to democratically offend every group on the planet, and as a result the youth market embraced it as a renegade work, and it played midnight shows."  The movie was based on a ten-minute student film directed by J. Michael Muro and starring Mike Lackey.  Bryan Singer worked on the movie as a grip.

Deleted scenes include a junkyard dance sequence and a sub-plot involving the relationship between Fred and Bronson; these sequences are included in the documentary Meltdown Memoirs.


The Vagrant (1992)

  • Genre: Comedy – Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Chris Walas
  • Produced:
    • Randy Auerbach 
    • Mel Brooks 
    • Gillian Richardson
  • Written: Richard Jefferies
  • Starring: Bill Paxton, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell, Mitzi Kapture, Colleen Camp, Patrika Darbo, Marc McClure, Stuart Pankin, Teddy Wilson, Derek Mark Lochran, Mildred Brion
  • Music: Christopher Young
  • Cinematography:
    • John J. Connor 
    • Jack Wallner
  • Editing: Jay Ignaszewski
  • Studio:
    • Brooksfilms 
    • Canal+
  • Distributed:
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  
    • MGM/UA Home Entertainment  
    • Shout! Factory
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 15 May 1992 (USA)
  • Running Time: 91 minutes
  • Country:
    • France 
    • USA
  • Language: English

The Vagrant is a 1992 comedy horror film.  It stars Bill Paxton and Michael Ironside and revolves around a yuppie who is being driven insane by a crazed bum after moving into a new home in which the bum had been squatting.

Graham is content!  He has a just purchased a new house which he can afford due to his successful, well okay job which also comes closer to him with a swell chance of picking up a great girlfriend as a bonus feature.  Of course he is something of a suck up yuppie and his potential companion Judy Dansig is sex-crazed real estate agent.

However his new home has unwanted guest, a disgraced destitute shrink, who sees a chance to carry on the mind games that led him to his current situation.  As Graham starts finding pieces of those around him turning up in places like his fridge and with him getting the blame by the law.  Graham struggles hard not to lose it, but that isn't easy as the deaths continue and he starts to even doubt his very own sanity!

Richard Jefferies based the character of the Vagrant on an actual homeless person who lived in a vacant field located across from a guest house Jefferies was residing at in Studio City, California at the time.  Moreover, the script Jefferies wrote took almost ten years to finally be made into a film.  The SWAT raid scene took three days and 1500 bullet hits to set up.  All of which were fired in less than one minute, resulting in less than 10 seconds of on-screen time.

Scream Factory, under license from MGM Home Entertainment, released The Vagrant on DVD for the first time along with The Outing, The Godsend & What's the Matter With Helen? in the All Night Horror Marathon collection on August 20, 2013.

 

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