Released by: Synapse Films
Release Date: Sept 6th, 1987 (Theatrical)
July 9th, 2013 (Blu-ray)
Region Code: REGION FREE
Run Time: 1h 41m
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Video: 1080p (1.78:1 Aspect Ratio)
THE FEATURES: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is a massive making of documentary that covers everything from the short film that was shot to show potential investors the type of film the filmmakers plan to make all the way to what everyone is doing now (circa 2005). There are plenty of stories to be had and, like the title says, many memories to be shared.
I really liked this doc. Director Roy Frumkes, who also scripted Street Trash, weaves a great narrative out of the footage that he had (which had to have been a lot.). The interviews are all well shot and the sound is well recorded.
If I were to find any fault with this doc it would be the “where are they now” segment. By the time this doc was made, the internet was well established as the go to for anything. The Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) was the place to go to find out what films an actor has been in, so this segment felt a bit redundant. Outside of that this is one of the best making of docs I have ever seen.
This is the short that is talked about in Meltdown Memories and it is ok. The short is basically a rough draft of the first fifteen minutes of Street Trash, down to story and characters. The short does show a lot of promise, but is held back by its limitations. Definitely worth a look after viewing the feature.
Jane Arakawa Interview (9m 15s, SD)
One of the only people missing from Meltdown Memories was lead actress Jane Arakawa. The whole time I was watching the doc I was wondering where she was. I figured that she either hated the film and refused to be interviewed for it or that she had died. I figured that she hadn’t died because it is never brought up in the doc.
Thankfully, Roy Frumkes was able to locate her and an interview eventually was shot.
Since making Street Trash, Arakawa married a musician and has been travelling the world. She was even surprised to find that there was a cult following to the film. She doesn’t hate the film and has fond memories of making it. This is a nice interview with a very bubbly lady.
Original Theatrical Trailer (2m 10s, HD)
Street Trash is a film that is very hard to advertise. There are a lot of things that take place in the film that can’t really be talked about in a standard trailer. However, the trailer does do a very good job at selling the meltdowns, so not all was lost. This is a better trailer than it should have been.
Street Trash-Rare Promotional Teaser (3m 7s, SD)
This was thought to be lost, but turned up at the director’s house; this is the trailer that was shot to woo investors. This, along with the short film, are what sold investors on the film. I didn’t really like this. It just didn’t do anything for me and didn’t even sell the film like the short film does. It is nice to have though.
Note: All of the deleted scenes are presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and are also in standard definition.
-Roy Frumkes on the Street (:30s)
-Various Hooker Scenes (1m 8s)
-Tony Darrow in the Car (2m 3s)
-James and Mike at the Restaurant (1m 11s)
-Bill and Michelle Talking (2m 30s)
None of these deleted scenes are worth much. They do nothing to advance the film and are mostly filler.
Commentary #1: Writer/Producer Roy Frumkes
What a wonderful commentary. I figured that I would watch a bit of it before I went to bed and then pick it up in the morning, but I watched the whole thing that night. Frumkes is a very well-spoken man who knows how to tell a story. His commentary never grows old and is pack with a lot of info. There is some overlap with the documentary but that was a given. Still, a great commentary.
Commentary #2: Director Jim Muro
The exact opposite of the previous commentary, Muro takes us through the film like he is some sports commentator. He speaks in a very monotone voice and tells us about each scene by describing it. There are some good bits of info but there is so much to wade through to get to the info that it isn’t worth the trip.
Synapse has given us a pretty standard release for Street Trash. The 1-Disc release comes house inside of a non-eco friendly, blu-ray case. Also inside we are given the 2016 Synapse booklet which shows us all of the releases that Synapse has given us over the years (the in print ones only) and gives us a sneak peak at what they are working on for the future. (McBain and Popcorn have been on this list forever). To my surprise, there are also two stickers that replicate the sticker found on the meltdown booze in the film. I thought this was a nice little touch that I wish more companies would do.
Street Trash is a film that came highly recommended to me by numerous people who figured that I would love the film. I grew up on a steady diet of Troma films and anything else I could find in my local video store. I am somewhat surprised that this film didn’t hit my radar until the last few years. I had heard about it, but never anything good. After watching the film I realized that the people who were telling me it was crap are the same people who love all the top grossing films and considered The Big Bang Theory to be a good television show.
I will admit that the first time I saw the film I was indifferent to it. There were some things that I really liked about the film, but I didn’t like the overall tone to the film. It felt very mean-spirited and ugly.
My view changed when the film would not leave my mind. I thought about the film a lot and felt that maybe I didn’t give the film its proper due. I popped the disc in again a few weeks later and found that I was completely wrong about the film. I found the film to be really funny and kind of sweet.
Even though we are not meant to like most of the characters, this didn’t mean that the film was mean-spirited or ugly. There are just some characters that are more ambiguous than others.
I also liked the way the film was shot. The budget for the film was low, but the director, Jim Muro, took all of his filmmaking knowledge and put it up on the screen. There are shots in this film that a normal low budget film wouldn’t even try, but Muro was able to make the shots work. This results in the film aging very well. There are a lot of 80’s films that have a soft look to them. Sometimes this is was on purpose, but there are plenty of times when a film was low budget and the filmmakers didn’t even try to make it look better.
The effects are amazing too. The meltdowns are done with an array of different colors and this make the meltdowns stand out in a sea of other “melt” movies. The effects were done in camera so there is no loss of resolution like when a green screen or a double exposure is involved. Even though the film didn’t cost that much to make, you can tell that the money went on the screen.
Street Trash is an acquired taste, but if people would give the film a chance I think that they would find something in there to like. I found the film to be very funny, inventive, and most of enjoyable. Synapse has gone all out for this release. We get a great commentary track (the one with Frumkes)and an outstanding making of documentary. The picture looks good too, but that is from my eyes only. This is a definite must buy.