Judge Paul Corupe says this disc has more trailers than Kentucky!
Our reviews of 42nd Street Forever: Volume 2 (published October 31st, 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.
Weird, wild and crazy theatrical trailers from around the world!
A longtime staple of any cult video label's cheap newsprint catalogue of VHS oddities, the trailer compilation always guaranteed adventurous viewers dozens of bite-sized morsels of skin and sin dressed up in outlandish hyperbole—exciting clips that were often more entertaining than the film they were trying to sell. Unfortunately, the trailer tape has thus far made a poor showing on DVD, with just a handful of releases like Something Weird's Extra Weird and Wild East's A Fistful of Trailers giving trailer junkies their sleazy fix. Well, movie ad fans rejoice: Synapse's 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 is another solidly entertaining trailer compilation that spans almost every conceivable subgenre of grindhouse cinema for more than two hours of offbeat cinema fun. This release collects 47 exploitation film trailers from the '60s and '70s that played the infamous theatres on New York City's legendary Deuce:
• The Undertaker and His Pals
What a great list! There's a little something for every sleazehound on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 whether your slightly off-center bag is giallo, mondo, sexploitation, black action, or Spanish horror. Especially exciting is the fact that many of the trailers featured on this disc are for films not yet released on DVD, which means that this is the only place you're likely to see them.
There are many acknowledged cult classics represented on this disc like The Green Slime, Destroy All Monsters and Shocking Asia, but a few obscurities do stand out. The double bill ad for I Dismember Mama and The Blood-Spattered Bride, though seen on many compilations throughout the years, is always great—a fake TV newscast that offers a "report" of an audience member driven insane by the onscreen horror, prominently featuring a fun promotional gimmick, the "Upchuck Cup." The incredible trailer for the infamous kung-fu flick The Crippled Masters has a pair of physically-challenged protagonists kicking ass with their remaining limbs, while The Pink Angels is a largely unseen gay biker flick that looks mind-blowingly great. Also of note are trailers for Raiders of Atlantis, an incredible post-apocalyptic sci-fi disaster, the mindless Terence Hill superhero/cop comedy Superfuzz, and Ironmaster, an intriguing-looking Italian-shot battling caveman film.
Lots of great, eye-popping outré cinema in there, but by far it's the "adult" portion of the program that remains the most memorable, with peeks at a variety of films of both the soft and hard variety that really gave 42nd Street its notorious reputation as a den of iniquity. Ads are here for the 3-D sex romps The 3 Dimensions of Greta and Hard Candy, as well as the violent exploiters Ginger and They Call Her One Eye that spiced up the onscreen sex with a heavy dose of ass-kicking female violence. Panorama Blue also looks like a fascinating blue movie that boasts impressive production values—Panoramic widescreen and four-track sound. There's even a trailer here for Italian Stallion, a "lost" porn film starring Sylvester Stallone that has probably long been destroyed, or at least buried in shame. Classic!
Each of the trailers on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a few that even open up to the full 2.35:1, 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.
I always have a ton of fun with trailer compilations, and 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 is no exception. From the notorious to the obscure, this feast of grindhouse goodness makes a nice addition to any cult collection worth its weight in blood and nudity. Bring on Volume Two already!
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