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Andy Warhol's Trash - DVD - Tartan Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Wednesday, 02 October 2013
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Cover Art for "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

AKA Trash, Roskaa, Skoupidia, Trash- I rifiuti di New York, O Vicio

Directed by:
Paul Morrisey
Written by:
Paul Morrisey
Produced by:
Andy Warhol
Cinematography by:
Paul Morrisey
Editing by:
Paul Morrisey
Cast:
Joe Dallesandro, Holly Woodlawn, Diane Podel, Geri Miller, Andrea Feldman, Jane Forth, Bruce Pecheur
Year:
1970
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 50 min

Distributor: Tartan Video
 

Attending an art exhibition in our home city of Hull devoted to Andy Warhol, we noticed a few original posters of the underground movies proudly stating 'Andy Warhol Presents...'.  We had watched Paul Morrisey's retellings of "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" many years ago and enjoyed Udo Kier's ham quite a lot, but whilst discussing the posters we realised that for some reason our collection was missing his earlier works, such as "Heat," "Flesh," and "Trash."  The trailers looked okay, so thanks to the now faded Tartan label from the UK, we purchased all three as a collectable boxset.  Process of elimination via reviews and clips, we decided to review "Trash" above the other two.

Paul Morrisey's trilogy all star the boyish Joe Dallesandro and "Trash" opens with him nude, with spotty ass cheeks on show as his girlfriend gives him head.  Due to a serious heroin habit he's struggling no matter what she does and unfortunately she has a really shouty late 60's voice.  Next thing we know, she's stripped off and dancing as projector screens move up and down behind her in a random moment.  Joe's still limp.  A second blowjob achieves nothing other than him drawling, “That's nice.” and she gives in.  “It woulda turned me on if I wasn't so down.” he says.  Both of them discuss in a very matter-of-fact way how she wants to leave him due to lack of sex.  Thinking politics might turn him on, they sit naked and chat about the news.  Lack of money is a factor, so she states she'll pay him $10 if he'll do it.  My Horror Soulmate pointed out that if you tried to make this film now, it wouldn't work, but in that era it was just right.  The acting, the scenery, the conversations, all so 60s/70s.

So he settles with a new girlfriend, Holly, who collects garbage and trash to decorate her apartment.  We meet her telling Joe about a set of drawers she's seen by the church and needs a hand to carry them.  She also mentions that they could rob the “poorbox” whilst there.  I could imagine Abel Ferrara maybe watching this at one point because it felt a lot like "Driller Killer," especially that wall drilling scene -- anyone who's seen it remembers it, nuff said.  Though Paul Morrisey wrote the script for "Trash," one gets the feeling the cast were left to fill in many blanks with ad-libs and it works very well.  Joe's scenes are acted heavy lidded, almost in a slumber constantly nodding out.  Holly freaked us out because she looked like a cross between Tim Curry and Jim ("TCM") Siedow.  Weird.

"Trash" is so underground that as we watch Joe take his dog for a walk along the NYC streets, you can catch glimpses of the camera crew in various windows and doors, riding a Scooby van!  So underground that the camera blurs throughout the movie and sometimes the audio cuts out.  It's so incredible that it adds to the ruff appeal of Paul Morrisey's style.

Along the way we follow his day to day life, talking to various freaks and misfits, like the girl who carries a toy alligator in her bag with other items, trying to score acid from him.  Also, like Johnny, the high school lad who thinks he's overdosed when injected in the ass, whilst Holly is practically raping him.  Joe shoots up, he nods out, he fights, tries to have violent sex, he breaks into houses and one of the best sections in the film has him come face to face with the housewife, Jane.  “The only thing worth taking is this plant, worth $300.  Are you gonna take my plant?”  She then invites him to rape her but her hubby, Bruce, comes home.  Instead, Joe is invited to have a bath whilst she watches.  Jane tries to talk him into a threesome.  “You don't want to sleep with my husband?”  Joe frowns, “Erm, no, not really.”

The way the couple acts with him, in another film, you'd expect them to stab him and eat him.  Instead they thrill seek his habit, helping him shoot up whilst having a domestic argument.  When Bruce thinks Joe's nod is an overdose he makes Jane throw him out of the house naked.

Joe's life is empty and directionless, like Frankie Dunlan in Buddy Giovinazzo's "Combat Shock."  Both films feel the same and create the same emotions even though there's nearly twenty years between them.  As a matter of fact "Trash" is akin to Buddy G's "Life is Hot in Cracktown," being a collage of lost people who have to be content in their small worlds because nothing will ever change.  It's a snapshot of the late 1960's and early 1970's in  lowlife New York but something hasn't dated Paul's work.

"Trash" doesn't actually have a plot or a formula (apart from the credits and the insane dance sequence at the beginning -- it doesn't even have a soundtrack) but towards the end builds a small story wherein Holly decides to adopt her sister's unborn baby to claim welfare (“I was born on welfare, I'll fuckin' die on welfare!”)  It's all a black comedy and probably one of the most down-to-earth realistic junkie films ever made.  Holly is especially outstanding with her obsessive rubbish collecting, as are smaller characters, such as the welfare officer who sees everything as “Groovy” and likes Holly's shoes a little too much.

It's quaint how the main actors and characters all keep their first names, and I noticed in the cast Sissy (Carrie) Spacek makes a brief appearance as 'Girl extra at bar' according to IMDb, but I cannot recall seeing her due to the scene being cut (says Wikipedia).  Joe Dallesandro still appears in movies including "Sugar Hill," and "The Limey."  Holly Woodlawn (I suppose you can think of him/her as a more serious Divine) is still busy in small roles here and there.  Andrea Feldman wasn't so lucky, overdosing a few years later, and poor Bruce Pecheur was stabbed by an intruder at his home, but did manage to kill the attacker beforehand, again only a few years later.  Michael Sklar who played the bizarre welfare officer succumbed to lymphoma in 1984 according to an article in The New York Times, March 1984.  He'd turned to writing and retailing.  Paul Morrisey seemed to retire throughout the nineties and most of the naughties but has in recent years made a small comeback.

Tartan's extras seem to concentrate a lot on "Flesh" and "Heat" with regards commentaries, but there is a booklet about "Trash" included, plus deleted scenes.  Paul Morrisey provides introductions for his films.  The boxset also adds a handful of short rare Morrisey films as well.

 

 

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Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from "Andy Warhol's Trash" on DVD from Tartan Video on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
 Region: PAL R0
 Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Deleted scenes with commentary
 - Newly created Paul Morrisey introduction
 - Booklet: All Fixed Up – the story of "Trash"

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 October 2013 )
 
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