Street Forever, Vol. 1
Review by Rod
= Highest Rating
get this out of the way right up front this is one fantastic
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.
was thrilled to see three back-to-back trailers for Christine
Lindberg films They
Call Her One Eye, Maid
in Sweden and The Depraved
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
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...
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
This disc should not be confused with
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.