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  • 42nd Street Forever (Blu-ray)

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by M. W. Phillips on May 24th, 2012

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    “His name is Samson. He’s big with his cat, with mama and with his stick. Black Samson… he’s mean and clean and rules the scene.”

    In the 70s and 80s, filthy little theaters littered New York’s 42nd Street, sandwiched between adult bookstores, porn theaters, and peepshows. These dens of celluloid sin hosted an endless loop of “B” movies affectionately known as grindhouse films. They ran exploitation films, drive-in double features, and European softcore of every subgenre, ranging from Blaxploitation to Sexploitation, from Euro-crime to Sci-Fi and Horror. Some theaters projected these movies 24 hours a day, seven days a week! 42nd Street Forever collects nearly ninety (approximately three hours and forty-five minutes) of sensational vintage trailers from these grindhouse classics.

    42nd Street Forever makes a perfect party complement. Your guests will be amazed these unbelievable trailers were real movies in the first place. Warning, these trailers are not politically correct. In fact, many of these movies could never be made in today’s socially correct climate, and some probably should never have been made in the first place. Some of these previews might leave you feeling little dirty, exploited, and in need of a shower, giving a lurid subtext to the term “Coming Soon.”

    I doubt many of these films even still exist. Synapse Films presented this amazing collection of trailers in a series of 42nd Street Forever DVDs, this blu ray incorporates the two in the series as well as an additional, previously unreleased sampling of grindhouse trailer insanity. I dare you to watch these and not want to acquire some of the titles for your personal collection. Many of them I just wanted to see to claim I had. These are not great films, but they are unforgettable.

    The set is grouped in genres, starting with blaxploitation, then vengeance films, sexploitation, and so on. I personally wouldn’t have gone this route as things can get a bit repetitive, after about the fifth blaxploitation or sexploitation trailer in a row you start growing numb to the style. The menu interface is frustratingly awkward for a Blu-ray release. It takes forever to scroll through individual chapters and returns you to the beginning of the list after each viewing. However, menu notwithstanding, this rare collection is as wonderful, weird, and compelling as sneaking under the tent of a midnight carnival freak show.

    Complete list of the trailers in the collection:

    1. Black Samson

    2. Savage!

    3. Kenner

    4. The Guy from Harlem

    5. Welcome Home, Brother Charles

    6. Boss Nigger

    7. Honky

    8. Sugar Hill

    9. Rolling Thunder

    10. Act of Vengeance

    11. Ms. 45

    12. They Call Her One Eye

    13. Ginger

    14. Savage Sisters

    15. Chained Heat

    16. Delinquent Schoolgirls

    17. The Pom Pom Girls

    18. The Teasers Go to Paris

    19. The Teacher

    20. College Girls

    21. Street Girls

    22. The Babysitter

    23. Teenage Mother

    24. I, A Mother

    25. When Women Had Tails

    26. The Curious Female

    27. The Tale of the Dean’s Wife

    28. The Minx

    29. The Centerfold Girls

    30. The Depraved

    31. Invitation to Ruin

    32. Helga

    33. The Sun, the Place and the Girls

    34. Fairytales

    35. Flesh Gordon

    36. Starcrash

    37. Dark Star

    38. The Raiders of Atlantis

    39. Matango

    40. The Green Slime

    41. They Came from Beyond Space

    42. The Deadly Spawn

    43. The Dark

    44. The Evil

    45. The Evictors

    46. The Undertaker and His Pals

    47. The Devil’s Nightmare

    48. Deadly Blessing

    49. Rabid

    50. Eye of the Cat

    51. Mark of the Witch

    52. I Dismember Mama & The Blood Splattered Bride

    53. Women and Bloody Terror & Night of Bloody Horror

    54. Dr. Butcher M.D

    55. The Grim Reaper

    56. Dr. Tarr’s Torture Dungeon

    57. Wicked Wicked

    58. The Flesh and Blood Show

    59. The 3 Dimensions of Greta

    60. Hard Candy

    61. Panorama Blue

    62. Italian Stallion

    63. Maid in Sweden

    64. Pornography in Denmark

    65. Secret Africa

    66. Shocking Asia

    67. Taboos of the World

    68. Chappaqua

    69. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom

    70. The 44 Specialist

    71. The Bullet Machine

    72. Death Drive

    73. Spy in Your Wife

    74. Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die

    75. The Last of Secret Angels

    76. The Crippled Master

    77. Shogun Assassin

    78. SuperManChu

    79. Born Losers

    80. Hells Angels on Wheels

    81. Devil’s Angels

    82. The Pink Angles

    83. Werewolves on Wheels

    84. Dixie Dynamite

    85. Mr. Billion

    86. Super Fuzz

    87. Sunset Cove

    88. Van Nays Blvd.

    89. Skatetown U.S.A.

    Video:

    42nd Street Forever is a MPEG-4 AVC encoded presentation running in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio running an average of 23 Mbps. Considering the endless glitches, scratches, color washout, and general low-budget source problems, watching the trailers on 42nd Street Forever is a bit like watching them projected on a dingy dark grindhouse theater screen. There really isn’t any reason this is in HD, but this is no doubt as good as these will ever look. The definition and detail is there, but it only serves to highlight the original film source problems.

    Audio:

    42nd Street Forever is presented with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 soundtrack. There is no surround or even stereo in most cases. Like the video, the audio quality varies trailer by trailer. The low-fi mono helps to establish mood of the original presentations.

    Special Features:

    • Commentary – an audio commentary featuring Edwin Samuelson from AVManiacs, Michael Gingold from Fangoria Magazine, and Chris Poggiali from Temple of Schlock. Interesting and informative, but doesn’t really cut loose until into the third hour.

    Final Thoughts:

    Apparently there are a few trailers on DVD volumes 1 & 2 which didn’t make it to this compilation due to quality issues. That said, this is still the best collection of risky and avant-garde grindhouse trailers ever gathered. It serves as a wonderful introduction into the world of underground cult movies. Watch with friends for an excellent cultural shock treatment.

     “It happens two hundred and fifty thousand times a year. Where is your daughter tonight? This is the story of a girl who wasn’t careful. Teenage Mother means nine months of trouble.”

    Posted In: 1.78:1 Widescreen, 1080p, AVC MPEG4, Blu-ray, Disc Reviews, Documentary, DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English), Synapse

    One Response to “42nd Street Forever (Blu-ray)”

    1. Brent Lorentson Says:

      Sweet batch of revenge trailers Ms. 45 will always have a soft spot in my heart.
      And it would be nice if some of these titles actually got a dvd release.

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