42nd Street Forever: The Blu-ray Edition

42nd Street Forever BDSynopsis: Synapse Films’ best-selling 42nd Street Forever DVD series has been a favorite of grindhouse and exploitation fans around the world. Presented here for the first time on Blu-ray, this colossal “best of” collection combines a selection of vintage theatrical trailers from the first two DVD volumes of the series, and mixes them up with some all-new selections! Remastered in true 1080p high definition, this mind-numbing dose of classic original coming attractions will have your Blu-ray player exploding with more than three and a half hours of sex, exploitation, action, horror and science-fiction advertisements from around the world! Can your brain take all this sleaze in one sitting?

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42nd Street Forever: The Blu-ray Edition 8.0

eyelights: the intelligent construction of the compilation. the variety of films being highlighted. the originality of some of the plots. the outrageousness of many of the trailers. the unfathomable amount of beautiful naked bodies.
eyesores: the sameness of many of the plots. the quality of the productions.

I honestly don’t remember how I got wind of ’42nd Street Forever’. I suspect that I first heard of it by reading the review of ‘The Blu-ray edition’ on blu-ray.com. It was intriguing to me, but it seemed like too much b-movie fodder in one sitting; I can handle b-movies in moderation, but four hours of the stuff would no doubt challenge my enthusiasm.

So I made a mental note of its existence and moved on to more likely challenges. But I kept stumbling upon references to it online, and had even seen a couple of the DVD editions in stores, so when I stumbled upon the Blu-ray edition for a song, I decided to give it a shot, figuring that I would chip away at it casually instead of in one go.

…and, if I didn’t like it, I could stop midway and get its value back by selling or trading it.

Turns out that I needn’t have worried: ’42nd Street Forever’ was a total gold mine of oddities and hilarity – most of it unintentional, of course. I found myself bursting out loud, alone in the dark, relishing every bad line, terrible stunt, and corny idea that was thrown at the screen. There was so much of it that it was almost overwhelming, but I loved (almost) every minute of it.

The following is a list of all 89 trailers included in this programme, along with a few notes/first impressions and subsequent ratings. (Please note that the ratings represent my level of interest in the movie after having watched the trailer. I’m a mega curious film buff, though, so anyone who’s more critical/demanding should knock 3 points off each rating)

  1. Black Samson: A ‘Shaft‘-type movie 7.5
  2. Savage!: A black Chuck Norris (think: ‘Missing In Action’) 6.0
  3. Kenner: Shaft goes to India? Hilarious! 7.5
  4. The Guy from Harlem: So cheap. All bad. Funny as heck. 7.0
  5. Welcome Home, Brother Charles:  “They tried to take everything, even his manhood!” Say what…? 6.5
  6. Boss Nigger: Black cowboy. A fine film, I’m sure, but the title and theme song are too much. 6.5
  7. Honky: inter-racial drama, like a black and white Romeo and Juliet? 6.0
  8. Sugar Hill: A voodoo Cleopatra Jones. It’s go Zombies and everything! 8.0
  9. Rolling Thunder: A revenge story featuring a one-armed man. It’s filled with tons of stars. Seriously. 7.5
  10. Act of Vengeance: the story of the Rape Squad: The ‘Angels Revenge’ of rape? Weeeird. 7.0
  11. Ms. 45: Female Death Wish with an Argento-like score? Hmmm… 8.0
  12. They Call Her One Eye: It’s a revenge story. The title says it all. 7.5
  13. Ginger: “The very private eye!”. It features a Kim Basinger-esque bleach blonde sexbomb. 8.0
  14. Savage Sisters: Prison break film featuring three women: black, white, asian. 6.5
  15. Chained Heat: A women in prison drama featuring Linda Blair. 7.5
  16. Delinquent Schoolgirls: Is it a sex comedy? Don’t know. Does it have bosomy naked girls and escaped convicts? Yessum. 7.5
  17. The Pom Pom Girls: Looks like a sex comedy à la ‘The Cheerleaders’. 7.0
  18. The Teasers Go to Paris: A poorly-dubbed foreign film. 6.0
  19. The Teacher: “Her best lessons come after class!”. Hahaha! 7.5
  20. College Girls: Black and white film with LOTS of nudity and sex. A must-see, basically. 8.0
  21. Street Girls: Crummy drama about strippers and prostitution. 6.0
  22. The Babysitter: “She was great with kids, and even better with daddy!” Hah! 6.5
  23. Teenage Mother: “Teenage mother means 9 months of trouble!”. What? 5.5
  24. I, a Woman: Boring black and white foreign drama. 4.0
  25. When Women Had Tails: Say wha…? A caveman comedy featuring a Playboy centerfold with a tail? 6.5
  26. The Curious Female: A computer dating sex comedy. 6.5
  27. The Tale of the Dean’s Wife: A campus sex comedy “The Dean’s wife is trisexual – anything that’s sexual she’ll try!” 6.5
  28. The Minx: “A man-eating female in the concrete jungle” 6.5
  29. The Centerfold Girls: “How far is it from beauty to ugliness?”. Crime thriller. 6.0
  30. The Depraved: Manipulation of a girl, à la ‘Eugénie‘. 7.0
  31. Invitation to Ruin: Dungeon fun with sex-starved sadists. Weee! 7.5
  32. Helga: On-street interviews with passersby about sex and mores. Claims to show conception to birth. 8.0
  33. The Sun, the Place and the Girls: Some film about nudists. Lots of nudity. Who needs plot? 7.5
  34. Fairytales: An odd low budget fantasy setting comedy with orgies and sex. And musical numbers too! 7.5
  35. Flesh Gordon: A low budget parody of the sci-fi classic. Ray Harryhausen-style animation. Ambitious. 7.5
  36. StarCrash: A Christopher Plummer low budget sci-fi vehicle with beautiful babes. 7.5
  37. Dark Star: “They’re not lost in space, they’re loose!”. What? Lame. (and yet, it’s John Carpenter’s first film) 5.0
  38. The Raiders of Atlantis: Ambitious Mad Max-y actioner. But lame. 6.0
  39. Matango: Looks like a poor stuck-on-island creature thriller, but it’s actually a good monster movie. And it’s got hilarious mushroom men. 6.5
  40. The Green Slime: Really bad sci-fi men vs stupid monsters. Horrible James Bond-like Theme. 3.5
  41. They Came From Beyond Space: When possessed, you become British! 😛 5.0
  42. The Deadly Spawn: Wow… the deadly rubber prosthesis! 3.5
  43. The Dark: A monster that shoots lasers from its eyes. Lame-looking, but actually decent. 4.0
  44. The Evil: Haunted mansion movie with a ‘Poltergeist‘/’The Amityville Horror’ flavour. 7.5
  45. The Evictors: What? Don’t move in this town or we’ll terrorize you! Weird. 5.0
  46. The Undertaker and His Pals: Meat grinding, acid dissolving, stabbing – all by bikers that looks like cops. 6.0
  47. The Devil’s Nightmare: A poorly-dubbed foreign film. What was that? 5.5
  48. Deadly Blessing: 3 hot babes vs. the Amish? A horror ‘Witness’ featuring Sharon Stone? Really? 6.0
  49. Rabid: Featuring Marilyn Chambers (yes, her!), is this David Cronenberg’s Canadian ‘NOTLD‘? 8.0
  50. Eye of the Cat: Written by Robert Bloch (of ‘Psycho‘ fame), it’s an ailurophobic’s nightmare! There are cats EVERYWHERE! Hilarious! 7.5
  51. Mark of the Witch: A young woman explores witchcraft, terrorizes people. 6.0
  52. The Blood Splattered Bride and I Dismember Mama: Awesome trailer, being a faux news segment about a man driven crazy during the double feature. The actors are horrible, but it’s a great gimmick. 8.0
  53. Women and Bloody Terror and Night of Bloody Horror: I can’t figure out what the first one’s about, and the second is like a poor man’s ‘Psycho’. 6.0 and 4.5 respectively.
  54. Dr. Butcher M.D.: “Dr. Butcher loves New York – there are lots of beautiful patients”. Gory, campy, outrageous. Looks totally nuts. Halfway through it looks like it turns into a Fulci film. 8.0
  55. The Grim Reaper: Just a bunch of people stalked in a house. Whoopee. 3.0
  56. Dr. Tarr’s Torture Dungeon: Based on Edgar Allen Poe. Strange, asylum setting. Unusual sets and costumes. 6.5
  57. Wicked Wicked: In Duovision? What is that? Horrible theme song. 5.5
  58. The Flesh and Blood Show: Murders in a deserted theater. Ooh… lesbo action. Sexploitative. 6.0
  59. The 3 Dimensions of Greta:  “Is she angel or devil?”. Softcore sex film in 3D. 8.0
  60. The Lollipop Girls in Hard Candy: Features John Holmes. 3D porn? Really? 7.0
  61. Panorama Blue: A couple making out on a roller coaster to the theme of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘. Looks terrible. 3.0
  62. The Italian Stallion: Watch Stallone slip through snow, dance at a party. And it’s porn. But it is Stallone. 6.0
  63. Maid in Sweden: Boring Swedish coming-of-age story. 2.0
  64. Pornografie in Dänemark: A drama around the porn industry. 5.0
  65. Secret Africa: A documentary featuring a bunch of unusual rituals. Freaky stuff, meant to shock. 7.5
  66. Shocking Asia: Painful rituals. Sex changes. Unusual, sometimes perverse spectacles. Death. 8.0
  67. Taboos of the World: Weird customs from around the world featuring Vincent Price narration. 5.0
  68. Chappaqua: Strange psychedelic nightmare. Hmmm… 5.0
  69. Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma: German trailer. Lots of sex, abuse. Disliked it when I saw it but the trailer is decent. 6.0
  70. The 44 Specialist: Italian terrorism action-thriller about a guy who infiltrates an organization. 7.0
  71. The Bullet Machine: Low-budget but gritty action film. 4.0
  72. Death Drive: A kidnap action-thriller featuring Corinne Clery. Low budget b-movie. 4.0
  73. Spy in your Eye: Um… a spy with a camera in his eye? Cheesy gadgets, cheap sets. 5.0
  74. Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die: Intriguing… Bad Bond rip-off. 7.0
  75. The Last of the Secret Agents?: Horrible spy spoof with comedy duo. Super unfunny, but great theme song by Nancy Sinatra. 6.0
  76. The Crippled Master: Two martial artists, one without arms, one without legs. Not a joke.Not cgi. For real. And not a comedy.  6.5
  77. Shogun Assassin: Looks awesome, ambitious, gimmicky and ridiculous. The original (Lone Wolf and Cub) is no doubt better, though. 8.5
  78. Supermanchu: Tons of martial arts action, but seems humdrum. Love the title, though. 6.0
  79. Born Losers: Gang war. Featuring Steve McQueen vs. George Michael? 😛 4.0
  80. Hells Angels on Wheels: Jack Nicholson biker movie. Not ‘Easy Rider‘. Cheap, meaningless. 3.5
  81. Devil’s Angels: Sensational taglines, but just a stupid biker film. 4.5
  82. The Pink Angels: Gay bikers comedy? WTF? They made this? Looks bad, but I’m intrigued. 6.5
  83. Werewolves on Wheels: Really? A horror-biker movie? 6.0
  84. Dixie Dynamite: A hick comedy with girls, motorcycles and cops? 6.0
  85. Mr. Billion: Great cast, looks fun, terrible title. 7.5
  86. Superfuzz: Looks amusing, if TOO corny. 7.0
  87. Sunset Cove: Partying kids try to save their beach from developers. 5.0
  88. Van Nuys Blvd: Like a bad ‘American Graffiti’? 5.0
  89. Skatetown USA: A rollerskating love story competition? Actually looks flashy and fun, even sexy. What? It features the guy from ‘The Warriors‘? AND Scott Baio! 7.5

In my estimation, ’42nd Street Forever: The Blu-ray edition’ is a must-have for fans of genre and b-movies. It would make for a great viewing with a bunch of like-minded friends, who would be in on the joke and enjoy the badness of it all. At almost four hours’ worth of material, there’s enough on this disc to make a whole wacky evening out of it – so long as there are ample snacks and beverages to keep everyone properly fuelled.

Post scriptum: and if that’s not enough, the blu-ray even includes a full-length commentary as an optional accompaniment. It’s informative and amusing,, so it’s well worth checking out.

Date of viewing: August 6-11, 2013

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