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42nd Street Forever(2005-2006)
Movie trailers (grindhouse, horror, kung-fu, etc...)
For more about 42nd Street Forever and the 42nd Street Forever Blu-ray release, see 42nd Street Forever Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on May 11, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
42nd Street Forever Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, May 11, 2012
"42nd Street Forever", a collection of trailers for various genre films, arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Synapse Films. The only extra on the disc is an audio commentary by Edwin Samuelson from AVManiacs, Michael Gingold from Fangoria Magazine, and Chris Poggiali from Temple of Schlock. In English, with optional English subtitles on selected trailers. Region-Free. Please be advised that some of the trailers contain graphic footage that may not be suitable for minors.
I think it is only fair that I start this review with a small disclaimer: I am not familiar with a large number of the films highlighted in Synapse Films' 42nd Street Forever, a very impressive collection of trailers for various genre films. Naturally, I am only going to comment on the few that I have seen, as well as on the ones that made an impression on me.
The Blu-ray features approximately 227 minutes (indeed, approximately 4 hours) of vintage trailers for films from basically every single subgenre one could think of, from Blaxploitation to Sexploitation to Euro-Crime to Sci-Fi to Horror. There is even a good selection of X-Rated trailers, but none of them are explicit enough to upset those who dislike nudity, as well as a couple for those "serious" European skin films that were quite popular during the '70s and '80s (think Maid in Sweden and Thriller: A Cruel Picture with Swedish cult star Christina Lindberg).
There are trailers in this collection for some real gems that I have not seen since the VHS days. For example, there is a great trailer for Paul Nicholas' Chained Heat (1983), with Linda Blair, John Vernon and Sybil Danning. There is also a funny trailer for Michael Benveniste and Howard Ziehm's really, really bad but quite entertaining Flesh Gordon (1974). (Since Barbarella is heading to Blu-ray, perhaps some brave studio could bring this one out as well). There is a nice trailer for Luigi Cozzi's StarCrash as well, which is now available on Blu-ray from Shout Factory.
Blaxpoitation fans are in for a special treat. I have not seen Charles Bail's Black Samson (1974), but the trailer for it looks great – wild hair styles, car chases, and Mr. Samson (Rockne Tarkington) swinging a big stick. Paul Maslansky's Sugar Hill (1974), not to be confused with Leon Ichaso's crime drama Sugar Hill (1993) with Wesley Snipes, looks like another great film appropriate for very late night viewing – unless one dislikes zombies and voodoo magic. And the trailer for Jack Arnold's Boss Nigger (1975) is without a doubt one of the true highlights in this collection.
There are a number of trailers for skin lovers as well. Stephen C. Apostolof's College Girls (1968), for instance, looks like something that would fit perfectly in the BFI Flipside series, though I could be wrong and this may actually be too honest of a film. The trailer for Michael Miller's Street Girls (1975) begins with a great introduction: "Hi, I am Sally. I am a happy hooker". Now, that's an attention grabber. There is even a rough trailer for Raymond Jacobs' The Minx (1969), a wild and zesty wannabe spy thriller that "shows it like it is". A trailer for a certain early X-rated film with Sylvester Stallone also has a spot in the collection.
There are also quite a few trailers for the type of films that used to appear in the Special Interest section of my video store. These are truly rough films and definitely not appropriate for everyone. The trailer for Alfredo and Angelo Castiglioni's Secret Africa (1969), in particular, shows some pretty graphic rituals. A trailer for Romolo Marcellini's I Tabu a.k.a Taboos of the World is also part of the collection. I actually have a very old copy of this film and can vouch that it is as wild as the trailer suggests.
There is a good selection of trailers for whacky Kung-Fu films. Arguably the wackiest of them all is the trailer for The Crippled Master. Absolutely crazy!
Some of the more mainstream trailers in the collection are for Abel Ferrara's Ms. 45 (1981) with Zoë Lund, Daniel Haller's Devil's Angels (1967) with John Cassavetes and Mimsy Farmer, John Flynn's Rolling Thunder (1977) with William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones, and Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
Complete list of the trailers in the collection:
1. Black Samson
4. The Guy From Harlem
5. Welcome Home, Brother Charles
6. Boss Nigger
8. Sugar Hill
9. Rolling Thunder
10. Act of Vengeance
11. Ms. 45
12. They Call Her One Eye
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
33. The Sun, the Place and the Girls
35. Flesh Gordon
37. Dark Star
38. The Raiders of Atlantis
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
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
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
79. Born Losers
80. Hells Angles 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.
42nd Street Forever Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (the majority of the trailers are in 1.78:1), encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, 42nd Street Forever arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Synapse Films.
I don't have 42nd Street Forever on DVD in my library and therefore cannot comment on the types of upgrades this Blu-ray release offers. What I could do, however, is assure you that the trailers in the collection are not upconverted replicas of the old, standard definition trailers. Clearly, they are film sourced, and the proper resolution expected from high-definition content is present. This being said, the quality fluctuates a lot - which should not be surprising as many of the trailers clearly come from second, even third generation elements (the trailer for Salo, for instance, must have originated in Germany). There are scratches, marks, frame skips, color deterioration, etc. Detail and clarity also tend to fluctuate quite a lot depending on when and how the trailer was sourced. In other words, the majority of the trailers look quire rough, but this is actually what makes this fascinating collection so appealing. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
42nd Street Forever Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. For the record, Synapse Films have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature (but they are usable only on selected trailers).
Predictably, the quality varies again. Depending on the condition of the trailer, some of the narration/dialog sounds very good. Obviously, dynamic levels fluctuate, but there are no serious distortions. In fact, quite often the audio is surprisingly well rounded and free of problematic hiss. (Please note that a couple of trailers have imposed foreign-language subtitles).
42nd Street Forever Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
42nd Street Forever Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I am told that the DVD releases of 42nd Street Forever, Volumes 1 & 2, apparently contain a few trailers that are not on the Blu-ray. I am going to speculate that most likely they were excluded because their quality was not good enough. Regardless, I can't see how anyone interested in genre films could be in any way disappointed with the amount of material on the Blu-ray. The collection truly is an outstanding introduction to the "other cinema", the too risky, too bizarre, too explicit, too everything films that some studios had the guts to produce some 30-40 years ago. I like it a lot. Now, Synapse Films, start preparing Volume 2 for Blu-ray release. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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42nd Street Forever Blu-ray, News and Updates
• 42nd Street Forever Blu-ray - February 28, 2012
Synapse Films have revealed that they are planning to release on Blu-ray 42nd Street Forever, a newly remastered in 1080p "best of" collection of vintage theatrical trailers from the first two DVD volumes of the series as well as all-new selections. The series ...
42nd Street Forever Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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