Street Trash is a 1987 comedy horror film directed by J. Michael Muro (credited as Jim Muro). 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 (Bill Chepil) is trying to get to the bottom of all the deaths, all the while trying to end the tyranny of deranged Vietnam veteran Bronson (Vic Noto).
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.
Roy Frumkes wrote the screenplay. In an NBR profile he later 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 (Mike Lackey) and Bronson; these sequences are included in the documentary Meltdown Memoirs.
The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Lightning Pictures in June 1987. They also released the film on VHS the same year.
In 2005, Synapse Films marketed an all-new, digitally remastered version of the film. Included with the DVD were sticker-type "labels" of the Viper wine featured in the movie. In 2006, a second release by Synapse Films was announced, featuring the documentary Meltdown Memoirs by writer Roy Frumkes. The feature includes interviews with most of the surviving cast and crew with the exception of Jane Arakawa. It also contains the original 16mm short version of Street Trash.
In 2010, Arrow Video released a 2 DVD set in the UK featuring the documentary Meltdown Memoirs along with a previously unavailable featurette with Jane Arakawa and the booklet 42nd Street Trash: The Making of the Melt written by Calum Waddell.