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Trash (1970)

By Ian Grey | Posted

Trash opens with pimple-butted, impotent junkie hunk Joe (Joe Dallesandro) getting a blow job from a brainless ditz. It hits its peak of outrage when Joe's faithful transsexual roomie (Holly Woodlawn) fucks herself with a beer bottle while shouting orgasmically, "We're gonna get welfare!" In between, it treats us to running jokes about Joe's visibly disinterested dick, whiny rich girls begging to be raped, dope-injection sequences, Woodlawn seducing an "underage" boy, and other nuggets of offhand bad taste. But like John Waters' early films, the main reaction the Andy Warhol-produced Trash elicits from a modern audience is one of weird nostalgia. The can-you-top-this gross-outs seem almost childlike now. The actors--with the exception of the fabulous, indomitable Woodlawn--lack talent but also lack guile, and so are oddly endearing. While addiction and abject poverty are not exactly laugh city, 30-plus years later these these grotty images offer modern audiences a palpably real time and place all but lost in a world of ersatz everything.

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