Amazing! Exciting! Enthralling! Don't miss Judge Paul Corupe's thrilling review of this collection of classic exploitation film trailers! Now playing at a computer terminal near you!
Our reviews of 42nd Street Forever: Volume 1 (published January 12th, 2006), 42nd Street Forever: Volume 3 (published January 29th, 2008), 42nd Street Forever: Volume 4 (published December 12th, 2008), and 42nd Street Forever (Blu-ray) (published June 1st, 2012) are also available.
Sex, Monsters, Madmen, and Machines!
Trailer compilation junkies who got their sleazy fix of skin and sin from Synapse's recent 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 DVD can finally make a return trip to the Times Square's depraved film haven. 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce is another solidly entertaining comp that collects 55 exploitation film trailers from the '50s though to the late '70s, spanning almost every conceivable subgenre of grindhouse cinema.
This release features trailers for the following eye-popping trash films:
• Ms. 45
Packing in just a few more trailers than last time, 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce is overflowing with short spots for peplum, nudie cuties, blaxploitation, and teen trash. There's a little something for every sleazehound here, including several trailers for films which aren't on DVD—and may never be!
Without doubt, the most interesting portion of this genre-hopping disc are the spy knock-offs, vague European-shot films that go to extravagant lengths to try and tie themselves in with the 007 franchise. In addition to a distinctly James Bond-ian title, the ad for Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die is careful about not showing too much of its Connery look-alike star in hopes that the audience might not notice. Spy in Your Eye stars beefcake actor Brett Halsey as a bumbling secret agent with a camera in his eyeball, and there's even a trailer for Allen and Rossi misfire spoof The Last of the Secret Agents?, featuring a lengthy sound bite of Nancy Sinatra's toe-tapping theme song. Amazing! Other highlights include the still-unreleased searing revenge tale Rolling Thunder, the wildly obscure creature feature mash-up The Monster of Piedras Blancas, and the dumb disco comedy Skatetown U.S.A., featuring a baby-faced Patrick Swayze.
There's surely some great stuff on this volume, but this disc was not without a few disappointments—especially in comparison to the truly impressive rarities unearthed in 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1. 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce certainly covers more ground than its predecessor, but it also includes trailers for films that every serious genre fan will have already seen. If viewers really wanted to check out the trailers for Rabid and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I'm sure they could have just pulled those DVDs off their shelf. Likewise, Crown International flicks The Pom-Pom Girls and Van Nuys Blvd are cool, but they aren't too hard to track down. Two of the disc's 1950s monster flicks, The Giant Gila Monster and The Hideous Sun Demon, are pretty ubiquitous as well. For that reason, a slight edge must be given to the earlier release.
Each of the trailers on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic and the quality is impressive—colors are bright and bold and detail is excellent. Scratches and other source artifacts pop up occasionally, but they add to the experience and shouldn't be counted against this excellent release. Audio is also pretty clean all around. As with last time, there are no extras included.
Trailer compilations are always tons of fun. Although 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce doesn't quite live up to the first volume, it's still a worthy purchase for anyone who likes to sample a bit of everything at the grindhouse buffet. Here's hoping that Synapse continues to crank out more of this unique series.
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