Saturday, August 29, 2015
SWEET TRASH 1970
So, Alamo Drafthouse in Kalamazoo had this really cool thing once a month where they would show movies being released by Vinegar Syndrome. Vinegar Syndrome releases movies that no one would ever expect. This last Thursday is apparently the last one.
Now, don't think that the good old IMDB was a lot of help with this damn thing. The description is slim at best so, I will rely entirely on my faulty memories of watching the film to bring you the spectacular awesomeness that is SWEET TRASH.
First, if you have seen the film GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE with Michael Pataki then you kind of know what you're in for. Same director.
In this case we have the tale of Michael Donovan. A dock worker. He works hard, drinks hard and gambles hard. The last one has put him in big trouble with the local syndicate and they frame him for a bigger debt to try and get him to work for them.
He wants nothing to do with it. So, he goes on the run and they are after him to bust him up...or worse.
In a final showdown, the gangsters lay siege to his lady friends house, but Michael Donovan has a huge old quail rifle that puts really big holes in the bad guys. Not really a fair fight.
This sounds like a pretty normal, exploitation flick, doesn't it?
Yeah, then we add a sub plot involving a kinky sex mansion and the fact that every move by the gangsters is monitored by a computer. The computer tells them to bust Michael's fingers. To set up a stripper at a local bar. To cut Michael loose when he kills too many gangsters. The computer determines everything.
Sweet Trash also serves, as do a lot of low budget exploitation films, as a time capsule of New York of the 70's. There is one haunting scene of the homeless on the streets just sitting in despair and the actor who plays Michael helps another man move a passed out wino from the middle of the sidewalk.
Director John Hayes revels in the red stuff when Michael shoots the bad guys the red stuff flies in an explosion of gore. No neat, red bullets holes for this guy.
Finally, about half way through the film Michael's idea of hiding out from the bad guys is to go on a bender and drinks as much booze as possible. It seems to work because they don't manage to find him until he looses it and in a case of the DTs throws himself out a window after a group of dock workers beat a half naked Puerto Rican neighbor of his to death with baseball bats.
Yeah, that might have been his DTs manifesting. It didn't seem real to me.
This was a good movie. I might need to buy the double feature from Vinegar Syndrome in the near future.
If you do decide to watch it always look at the floor. The houses they shoot in are gorgeous with beautiful hard wood floors. In every shot there are carpet remnants on the floor with no attempt to hide them and the stairs have carpet tacked to them. It starts to become comedic after a while that no attempt to hide the protection of the floors is done. I think they thought that the plethora of naked women on the screen would prevent any one from noticing.
Yeah, I noticed.