Not my usual foray, I decided to get into the stuff that's been sitting on my watch list for who knows how long. I got exposed to this film from some online review of it. Through clever editing and talking the film up they made it looks like a regular effects-packed 80's romp through low budget trash, and naturally I then added it to the queue.
I'm not gonna take a shit on this movie like that made it sound, this movie was fun. But it is also overly long, which killed a little bit of the momentum and fun. Maybe I watched the directors extended cut or something though cause IMDB says 91 minutes, but what I watched was almost two hours. Anyways, some of the minor character stuff that wasn't great or some of the small plot parts could've been cut (and probably was) to make this a bit more fast paced, but I won't sweat the small stuff.
This is an entry into the wonderful genre of body horror. Body horror is when dis-figuration comes through in the film, oftentimes leading to death, though not always. The plot is based around some low-class booze that some store owner finds and decides to sell for $1 a bottle. No information is uncovered about this booze, called Viper. Viper causes immediate death though, and in grotesque body destroying ways.
Usually the people who drink Viper start to melt...Their fingers and toes rotting away in yellow or purple puss, their torso collapsing, etc. It's all done with overblown but truly awesome looking effects, and one almost wishes there was more death in this simply because they did such a great job with it all.
To further embrace their body horror, the movie also decided to dial everything else to 11. The language, the characters, the dirt and slime on everything, the nudity, it's all there. In a modern version of this, they'd probably do a bit more nudity and ridiculous racism and CGI, but this was the 80's when shit was still balanced and the plot was actually given time. Not only the plot, but characters are given plenty of time in this one, and that's awesome.
Main character Fred is a likable hobo. He just wants to drink, hang out, bum food and money from people, and get his rocks off like any bro. He navigates the dangerous jungle of the other hobos, corrupt cops, shop vendors with a sadistic streak to them, and horny but dangerous girls who you might not wanna get on the bad side of. There's also an evil hobo whose name I don't remember, and there's a whole supporting cast that are more than just some guys you see once or twice.
I liked it, and I think repeat viewings is perhaps necessary for a film like this. This is one to remember, to show others and then you can notice the smaller stuff that maybe passed over your head the first time. For that, 3.5 stars.