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Exclusive comments and first photos: “STREET TRASH” remake gets rolling

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 | Exclusives, News


The splat is back as a reboot of the 1987 cult flick STREET TRASH has begun production in Cape Town, South Africa. It was announced this morning that Cineverse will release the movie as a Screambox Original in early 2024, and RUE MORGUE got exclusive words and photos (see them below) from producer Justin Martell.

Directed and co-written by Ryan Kruger of the festival fave FRIED BARRY, and shot on glorious 35mm film, the new STREET TRASH is produced by Martell and Matt Manjourides (whose EIGHT EYES just premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival) through their Not the Funeral Home company, in collaboration with Bad Dragon and Vinegar Syndrome. In the announcement, Kruger says, “I’m excited to reinterpret the original story, update it to better reflect the times we live in and give it a new and original spin. While our reimagining features new, exciting plot elements that give the film many bizarre twists and turns, the core of the film lies with our diverse and unique cast of characters. As a director, I am very character-centric and I can’t wait to see our strange and hilarious ensemble on screen together as they navigate the hostile streets of Cape Town. Our version of STREET TRASH will be raw, hilarious, packed with vibrant characters and multicolored explosions of gooey greatness.”

Martell and Manjourides are producers on THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS, and when FRIED BARRY played on that show, they knew they had found the right filmmaker for their long-mooted update of Jim Muro’s ’87 flick. “Matt and I thought, based on the directing and editing style of FRIED BARRY, that Ryan would be a great fit for STREET TRASH,” Martell tells us. “We had wanted to do the reboot–which I call a ‘requel’–for some time, and had to talked to [original writer/producer] Roy Frumkes about it. Our original concept was to set it in Los Angeles in the present day, since there is a big homeless problem there.

“Basically, the story concerns the government resurrecting a failed attempt to get rid of the homeless problem that took place in New York in the ’80s, which they revive to wash away the homeless in LA,” Martell continues. “Obviously, that would allow for some interesting commentary on class issues and things of that nature, all through the prism of the gonzo melt-horror of STREET TRASH. So we approached Ryan with it, and he took that concept to a whole new level. It’s now set in Cape Town, and if you look at what’s happening there now, it’s a very similar sociopolitical situation in terms of the homeless issue.”

Cape Town has been a popular shooting site for genre fare over the last couple of decades, but STREET TRASH is one of the rare films to actually be set there. “That’s something we’ve been doing in the last couple of years,” Martell notes; EIGHT EYES both was filmed and is set in Serbia and Macedonia (see story here). “There’s been this tendency to try to use places that aren’t in the U.S. for the U.S., and it never works; you can always tell. We just did one that was written for North America, but we rewrote it to be set in Serbia, and it ended up working, and we wanted to do the same thing here. We didn’t want to say Cape Town was LA or New York, because you’d know it’s not; it would become a JASON TAKES MANHATTAN sort of situation. It’s 2050 Cape Town, and the situation has gotten to the point where people are either rich or they’re homeless. The mayor of Cape Town uses Viper to deal with the homeless problem, and we follow a group of wacky and wonderful characters as they try to figure out what exactly is going on around them.”

That’s all Martell wants to share about the plot at the moment, though he does promise that the action will be just as splattery and melty as in the previous movie. “We’re hoping to deliver something on par with that, if not even on a bigger scale. The scope is much bigger than the original, where you have the city where people are either super-rich or homeless. Based on everything I’ve seen so far and that Ryan and his team are planning out there, it looks like we will achieve it. Obviously, the favorable exchange rate of the U.S. dollar to the South African rand helps us bring up the production value a lot. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out Vinegar Syndrome’s involvement in this project, which is why we’re shooting on 35mm.”

Martell is well aware that some fans of the original have reacted with skepticism (or worse) to the news of the reboot, and hopes to lay their doubts to rest. “I’ve seen some comments on the STREET TRASH forums and elsewhere, with people saying this is the worst news they’ve heard in a long time. I want them to rest assured that for fans of the original, it can be viewed as a sequel, and for people who haven’t seen the original, it can be viewed as a stand-alone. There aren’t any legacy characters, at least at this time; we are trying to maybe figure out a way to have some cameos from people who are still around. Roy is heavily involved, Jimmy Muro signed off on the script, and being the production team behind THE LAST DRIVE-IN, we are of course attuned to the feelings of fans of these films, and aware of how special these movies are to them. We’re keeping that in mind every step of the way.”

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and in addition to his work for RUE MORGUE, he has been a longtime writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. He has also written for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM,, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM, MOVIEMAKER and others. He is the author of the AD NAUSEAM books (1984 Publishing) and THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press), and he has contributed documentaries, featurettes and liner notes to numerous Blu-rays, including the award-winning feature-length doc TWISTED TALE: THE UNMAKING OF "SPOOKIES" (Vinegar Syndrome).