42nd Street Forever, Vol. 1
Synapse Edition
U.S.A. | 2005
Christina Lindberg, Tiffany Bolling
Fred Williamson, Luciana Paluzzi
Gerald McRaney, Peter Cushing
Cheri Caffaro, Edwige Fenech
John C. Holmes, Andrew Prine
Arlene Farber, Akira Kubo
Richard Jaeckel, Severn Darden
Michael Pataki, John Saxon, etc.
| 128 Minutes | Not Rated
Format: DVD(R1 - NTSC)
Synapse Films

"Part legend... Part devil... ALL man."
Trailer | 0.7 MB WAV
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    6   10 = Highest Rating  
Guest Review by Rod Barnett
Let's get this out of the way right up front this is one fantastic DVD!
    I have a love/hate relationship with film trailers. I adore previews of coming attractions and rabidly track down previews both old and new as part of my love of cinema. But I've noticed (especially in the last decade or so) that too many of them give away so much of the story it becomes pointless to see the damned movie! I'm not sure what drives filmmakers to put together such spoiler laced promos, but it seems sometimes that the art of the sell is lost on them. The operative word is tease, not overkill. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing that you now know exactly how a film ends because some idiot couldn't keep from giving away the whole damned story. Each year there are several movies that I need never see to know who the killer is, which character betrays the hero or even how the villain will be dispatched.
    But even with the occasional maladroit trailer ruining the fun I still look forward to the two or three trailers before the main feature. The shock of the new and the excitement of possible upcoming movie pleasures can sometimes be the high point of the cinema experience, even if the feature is good and if it's bad at least there's hope for the future. And then, sadly, sometimes a trailer is more entertaining than the film it's trying to entice you to see. This isn't true nearly as often as it might seem but cramming all the best (or at least the most exciting) moments of a movie into less then three minutes can make the 90 minute slog through a forgettable flick seem interminable. Just blow something up already!
    Trailer compilations tapes have been a small niche among film fans for years. Sold as bootlegs and sometimes also officially collected, they're often assembled into vague genre groupings. I've laid hands on sets focusing on dinosaur movies, science fiction flicks, Japanese horror shows, Blaxploitation pics and Eurotrash weirdness. I've even spent a good deal of time in years past putting together several trailer tapes of my own design, painstakingly copying clips from Laser Discs and the odd VHS tape that included previews. Proving once again that we live in the greatest time ever to be a film nut we've seen DVD trailer collections trickle onto the market focusing on Hammer films, spaghetti westerns and an exhaustive collection of clips from the Something Weird video catalog. Now the good folks at Synapse have entered this small niche with one of the best preview collections I've ever seen. These films were made long before political correctness was even a consideration, so every type of off-color joke is represented here in some form. You could almost run down a checklist of officially offensive stereotypes and still find something different to be appalled by. I love this stuff.
   I was thrilled to see three back-to-back trailers for Christine Lindberg films They Call Her One Eye, Maid in Sweden and The Depraved (AKA Exposed). All are packed with gratuitous nude shots of the Swedish starlet... which seen all at once have the embarrassing effect of making this grown man whimper with lust. Also in this lecherous vein is The 3 Dimensions of Greta, which appears to be have been as close to porn as 3-D ever got. (The trailer hints at hardcore footage but I have no idea if it delivered.) Teenage Mother is advertised as including a frank health lesson that might have gone into dark gynecological areas. The highlight of the martial arts films presented has to be Crippled Masters, featuring two kung fu fighters with missing limbs one has no arms while the other has no legs. (For real.) The scenes of the two of them beating the hell out all comers are simultaneously disturbing, amazing and amusing. The biker movies include the legendary Werewolves on Wheels and the biggest surprise on the disc, The Pink Angels, which follows the adventures of a gay biker gang. You read that right, folks! It seems to be a comedy. Watching some very butch men act effeminate can be hilarious although whether it'd be funny for a 90 minute stretch is questionable. The trailer for my favorite bad '60s science fiction film, The Green Slime, is here I'm thrilled to note that the insane theme song makes a brief bow. Among the European produced pictures are several violent crime films that look great but spotting Luigi Cozzi's Star Crash really made me smile. I'd give a lot for a major special edition of that crazed mess. The Blaxploitation previews offered are pretty strong, as each one throws the "N word" around in a typically casual manner for the times. Nothing points out how things have changed more than hearing racial slurs slung about while the classic four letter words get bleeped. Fred Williamson's Boss Nigger looks to be an entertaining western but I wonder if anyone would dare release it on DVD nowadays. Since the packaging for this disc omits it and The Legend of Nigger Charley from the partial listing on the back cover, I'd guess not. Maybe Disney could put it out when they issue Song of the South...

As I said before, this is a great DVD.
    47 very rare trailers clocking in at more than two hours make it a steal for fans of exploitation or cult cinema. Each trailer is presented letterboxed if possible, and although the Dolby Mono soundtrack quality varies there isn't one unclear moment for the entire running time. Of course, some of these trailers are in rougher shape than others; there are a couple of missing seconds here and there but it's rare. These pieces of film history have been treated with tender loving care and I'm very thankful. Synapse seems to have gone far and wide to locate these clips as some of them have subtitles in various languages, with one even sporting a German language voice-over. If you have any interest in this collection at all I recommend this DVD highly. You'll have a blast. And where else are you ever going to see the preview for Sergio Corbucci's Superfuzz? 1/16/06
NOTE This disc should not be confused with 42nd Street Forever!: Horror on 42nd Street, a DVD briefly issued (in a small pressing of only 1500 copies) by Ban 1 Productions in 2004. The new Synapse edition, released in association with Ban 1, is completely different with the exception of three trailers shared by both versions.