1h 50min | Drama | 18 February 1971 (West Germany)
The story of Joe [Dallesandro] and his lover-protector, Holly [Woodlawn], who is something to behold, a comic book Mother Courage who fancies herself as Marlene Dietrich but sounds more like Phil Silvers. Joe and Holly try to make a go of things in their Lower East Side basement, from which Holly goes forth from time to time to cruise the Fillmore East and to scavenge garbage cans, while Joe’s journeys are in search of real junk… Trash is true-blue movie-making, funny and vivid.–Vincent Canby, The New York Times. Written and directed by Paul Morrissey, “presented” by Andy Warhol.
What in the hell is this? Well, lets see, Independent, improvised. Only one word can truly describe Andy Warhol’s Trash, Hilarious. This story of sleaze begins with a close-up shot of Joe Dallesandro’s ass.This time Joe plays a heroin addict, who, after years and years of heroin abuse, has lost all ability to enjoy anything, or to even get an erection. Did I mention that Joe is only 18? Also, Joe looks as healthy as a horse, seriously, he looks like hes been hitting the weights. way to go, guys. After ten minutes of nudity, and incoherent conversation, we’re finally introduced to Joe’s girlfriend, Holly. Thats right, you guessed it, Holly is a trans-gender, I mean a trans gender, who is playing the role of a real woman, otherwise, that would just be weird. Holly is actually, by far, the trashiest thing about Trash. Joe and Holly, broke and lazy, living in some crummy basement, stealing whatever they can, dealing with his addiction and her nymphomania. Their ultimate goal? Welfare.
If the people in this film gave just a little bit of a damn about their performance, then Trash just wouldn’t be the diamond in the rough, that it is. Joe Dallesandro’s natural indifference to everything, and everybody, more than makes up for his non-heroin addict appearance, although, he really just acts like a stoner, I guess. Strangely, the most horrifying thing about Holly would be that massive over-bite, which seems to grow as the movie progresses. Of course, the highlight of Andy Warhol’s Trash would be the hilarious, Jane Forth, she makes it all worth it, with her inability to decide whether she’s playing a crazy house wife, or a brain-dead nymph, her “performance” will leave you speechless, Trash will leave you speechless. Normally, when something is improvised, like Reno 911 for example, there is usually some basic idea of what’s supposed to occur, I don’t think Trash even has that. Unlike one of John Waters’ trash epics, the trashiness of Trash is (a little) more subtle, which gives our brains more room to take in exactly how funny all this is. Aside from Frankenstein and Dracula, this is probably Paul Morrissey’s best work. The only thing, I just wish they hadn’t stopped playing this on the Disney Channel.
Director: Paul Morrissey
Writer: Paul Morrissey
Stars: Joe Dallesandro, Holly Woodlawn, Geri Miller