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Trash (1970)

This was arguably the first product from the Andy Warhol studio to resemble a mainstream film. It has a conventional narrative, with actors playing parts as opposed to themselves, and it is “properly” edited.

The story of a heroin addict rendered impotent carries a clear anti-drugs message, but this did not impress the British censor, who originally cut a shooting up scene.

As the junkie, Joe Dallesandro enjoyed his finest hour, although he and others still stumble over their lines and have trouble sustaining their characters. Transvestite Holly Woodlawn, playing Dallesandro’s roommate, has the funniest scenes.

Holly shoots up a high school kid from Yonkers (whom she picks up outside the Fillmore East) and blows him, Joe takes a bath, Holly masturbates with a beer bottle, Joe shoots up for various people, Joe and Holly try to get on welfare and don’t make it – A day or two in the life, Warhol style.

The final scene in the film would be heartbreaking if it wasn’t so funny: Holly feigns pregnancy by stuffing a pillow into her dress, and a welfare eligibility investigator (Michael Sklar) comes by to check them out for welfare.

Joe has agreed to kick his habit if they can get on welfare, but the eligibility investigator explains that they can’t get on welfare because Joe is a narcotics addict. If Joe got into a Methadone program they could get welfare, he says, but the Methadone program has a months-long waiting list.

However, the eligibility worker offers to get them on welfare anyway, if Holly will give him her silver Ruby Keeler pumps so he can make lamps out of them.

“But they’re my only shoes,” she says.

“You can buy new ones with the welfare money,” says the welfare worker.

“Fuck you,” says Holly, and throws him out.

“What’ll we do now?” asks Holly.

“Oh, the same as we did before,” says Joe.

“Joe, let me suck your cock,” says Holly. And that’s more or less where we came in.

It’s too long but too startling to be boring.

Joe Dallesandro
Holly Woodlawn
Jane Forth
Welfare investigator
Michael Sklar
Go-go dancer
Geri Miller
Rich girl
Andrea Feldman
Boy from Yonkers
Johnny Putnum
Jane’s husband
Bruce Pecheur
Hollys’ sister
Diane Podlewski
Boy on street
Bob Dallesandro

Paul Morrissey