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42nd Street Forever, Vol. 2: The Deuce

Synapse Films // Unrated // October 31, 2006
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Mike Long | posted October 13, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

The good folks at Synapse Films are back with a second compilation of obscure movie trailers with the DVD release of 42nd St. Forever, Volume 2: The Deuce. As with Volume 1, this DVD collects dozens of odd, wacky, and bizarre trailers spanning the 50s through the 80s. Most of these preview are from fairly obscure films, but they offer many examples of the various insane ways that filmmakers will promote their product.

As with my review of Volume 1 , I won't take on the task of describing each trailer. Instead, I'll list the name of the film, acknowledge whether or not the trailer gave me any urge to see the film (with a simple "YES" or "NO") and the thoughts which immediately came to mind while viewing the preview.

So, here we go:

1. Ms. 45: YES (Interesting trailer, but it doesn't really tell us what Abel Ferrara's classic is about -- except that it's got a woman who shoots a whole bunch of people.)
2. Born Losers: NO ("The sickest sicko gang that ever terrorized a town..." Is that Barry Gibb? "A fear-chilled nightmare". I usually have my nightmares at room temperature.)
3. Rolling Thunder: YES (Good Lord! William Devane! Tommy Lee Jones! Dabney Coleman! How have I never seen this movie?)
4. Dixie Dynamite: NO ("Dixie Dynamite is here!"...and she's joined by confusion and apathy. Hey, it's Uncle Hulka! When a dummy flies off of an exploding commode, it's hard to not turn off the DVD.)
5. Hells Angels on Wheels: NO (When you've got Nicholson, who needs audio? Because Hells Angels Just Standing Around would be boring.)
6. The Hellcats: NO (This movie has "Cycle-mad mommas" who are "Leather on the outside, all woman on the inside". Is that supposed to sound appealing?)
7. Dragstrip Riot: NO (Since when do dragstrips have hairpin turns? What the hell is a "dungaree doll"?)
8. Stingray: NO (This looks like a Corvette commercial. "This is the history of the eternal rectangle." Is that where all of those planes and ships disappeared?)
9. Van Nuys Blvd.: NO ("The Chooch" What's a chooch? Is cruising a spectator sport? Were those transparent pants? This is like a commercial for everything which was lame in the 70s.)
10. Burnout: NO (This looks like a drag racing documentary instead of a fictional film. Was that Ron Burgundy?)
11. Dirt: NO (What the? This actually is a documentary. "Consider these crazies in Utah." No. "Take these farmers in Indiana." No. "Share their world." No.)
12. Savage!: YES ("See what he does to stick it to the fuzz." I use a Helmac. "More super-high than Superfly." This looks like Shaft meets Rambo.)
13. Kenner: NO (They made the original Star Wars toys! This movie appears to be about Jim Brown going to India and suffering from schizophrenia, but I'm probably wrong.)
14. ...Tick...Tick...Tick: NO (That reminds me, I need to bathe my dog. I don't need to see George Kennedy's nipples.)
15. Take a Hard Ride: NO (I usually quote the cheesy lines from the trailers, but this one's nothing but cheesy lines. This looks like the kind of film in which Troy McClure would appear.)
16. Black Samson: NO ("He's mean and clean and rules the scene." Can you have a lion in a bar? See Samson's giant fighting stick poking through his sunroof!)
17. The Guy From Harlem: NO (This may be the worst trailer for the worst movie ever. Voiceovers are for suckers. The fight choreography appears to have been done by a narcoleptic and why do I want to see two guys fight with cap guns?)
18. Sugar Hill: YES (This is one of those films about which I've only read. "Blood is red, voodoo is blue, sugar is sweet, revenge is sweeter." Apparently Sugar Hill is too cool to rhyme. Was that Vanessa Williams?)
19. When Women Had Tails: NO (I had no idea that Ringo Starr's Caveman was a remake! "See Senta Berger defend her prehistoric cherry." Ewww...)
20. I, A Woman: NO (Me, confused. "It is entirely possible to make excitation a way of life." Ask me how!)
21. The Curious Female: NO (Is this the one with the man in the yellow raincoat? "Nowadays, if you're looking for a virgin, you ask a computer." Damn you, Warcraft!)
22. The Babysitter: NO ("A story right out of your own living room." I knew I was being watched! "Don't let her in your house unless you want real trouble." Well, who doesn't?)
23. Street Girls: NO (I thought that hookers usually wore makeup. "See you on the streets." I can't see you because you're so pale.)
24. College Girls: NO (Nothing says naughty like having sex with your underwear on. Did anyone bring a shirt to this movie? This thing goes on for 5 minutes!)
25. The Pom Pom Girls: NO ("It's the craziest motion picture you've ever seen!" Somehow I doubt it.)
26. Helga: NO (No scenes from the film, just a man on the street asking people about sex. I could do that without paying to see the movie.)
27. Invitation to Ruin: NO (I regrettably decline. "Is not for the squeamish or narrow-minded." This is that violent porn they were always talking about in psychology class.)
28. Pick-up: NO (See the forbidden past of the ZZ Top Eliminator car! "She had a love affair with life." And then life's wife found out about it.)
29. Delinquent Schoolgirls: NO (Every film with sex-starved escaped mental patients needs ragtime music to set the tone. AC/DC's Brian Johnson is Mac Davis in Delinquent Schoolgirls.)
30. Savage Sisters: NO (This 4-minute trailer makes me feel as if I've seen the whole movie. "Trouble multiplied by three!" Equals boredom.)
31. Female Jungle: NO (Won't a bikini wax help with that? Did John Carradine always look really old?)
32. Gigantis, The Fire Monster: YES (Hey, that looks like Godzilla to me...quick trip to, that is Godzilla!)
33. The Giant Gila Monster: YES (See a normal-sized lizard crawl through a child's playroom! Giant? They got that thing at Petsmart. "It all started like an ordinary record hop." WTF is a record hop?)
34. The Hideous Sun Demon: YES ("The blaze of noon made him a monster!" Mid-morning makes me cranky! Did the monster crap his pants?)
35. The Monster of Piedras Blancas: YES (Which I'm pretty sure means "white pie-dough." "The most brain paralyzing shock story of them all!" How can you paralyze an organ that doesn't really move?)
36. Murders in the Rue Morgue: YES (This is a period piece that looks as if it's taking place in the 1960s? How did they do that?)
37. The Woman Eater: YES (Let me get this straight, if you feed women to a Muppet you can raise the dead? I apparently know nothing about science.)
38. The Dark: YES (I've seen this movie and I know just how bad it is, but this trailer certainly makes it look intriguing.)
39. The Evil: YES (I remember renting this haunted house flick on VHS back in the 1980s. I'm sure that some of you didn't understand that sentence.)
40. The Evictors: NO ("A story so incredible it had to be true!" "From the producers of The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Town that Dreaded Sundown." Now that's a ringing endorsement.)
41. Deadly Blessing: YES (I remember seeing this trailer when the film was released in 1981, and I've yet to see the movie. Wes Craven is never mentioned in the voiceover.)
42. Rabid: YES (It's hard to tell from this trailer what the film is about, but then again you try describing the story about the girl with the dildo in her armpit.)
43. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: YES (A classic to be sure, but this trailer is almost too mainstream for this collection.)
44. The Clones: NO (There's enough scrolling text to make George Lucas jealous. If I wanted to read I'd get a book.)
45. Mission Mars: NO (Shouldn't that be "Mission: Mars" or "Mission to Mars". The dad from A Christmas Story is in this so I just can't take it seriously.)
46. Mr. Billion: NO (Terrence Hill is Paul Walker in Mr. Billion. "I'd rather be alive and a billionaire than poor and dead." Wow, that's someone with radical ideas!)
47. Spy in Your Eye: NO (Come sit under the light and I'll see if I can see it. "(He's) not secret agent number one, so he has to try harder." Yeh, that makes me want to see the movie.)
48. The Last of the Secret Agents?: NO (Frank Sinatra didn't want Mia Farrow to do Rosemary's Baby, but he let his daughter be associated with this?)
49. Trunk to Cairo: NO (But my elephant's in Boston! "East meets west and hell explodes!" I don't even know what that means.)
50. Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die: NO (The name of the film is repeated six times in the trailer for this shameless Bond rip-off.)
51. Amazons of Rome: NO (I apparently know nothing about geography either.)
52. Samson and the Slave Queen: NO (Hey, is that Zorro? Oh my God, I was just kidding, but it is Zorro! How often do Biblical characters and Mexican revolutionaries get together? Not often enough, my friends.)
53. Revolt of the Slaves: NO ("This was the day an empire tottered!" Teetering can't be far behind!)
54. The Revenge of the Gladiators: NO (This appears to be a sequel to Revolt of the Slaves, but what do I know.)
55. Shogun Assassin: YES (If you've got time to wander the countryside and fight, then you've got time to get that kid a decent haircut.)
56. Skatetown USA: YES (They saved the best for last. See a very young Patrick Swayze roller boogie in ways you've never (and shouldn't) imagine. Beard glitter isn't a good look for any man.)

Most viewers will approach 42nd St. Forever, Volume 2: The Deuce either looking for nostalgic entertainment or campy laughs. This compilation delivers both, but not in the amounts that Volume 1 did. Yes, there are some classic trailers here, but some of them, especially the car-racing films, are simply benign and interchangeable. They aren't memorable, nor are they particularly funny or entertaining. (Note how many "NO"s I have listed.)

As with the first volume, my main complaint with 42nd St. Forever, Volume 2: The Deuce is that it tries to cover too many genres. When I think of exploitation films, I typically envision horror or action movies. This compilation features many more genres than that, and may be trying to encompass too many movies at once. Also, I'm not sure if grouping the movies together by genre is the way to go. Those European sex movies all run together, and become very redundant.


42nd St. Forever, Volume 2: The Deuce is coming soon on DVD courtesy of Synapse Films. The trailers are all letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. As this collection features 56 trailers of varying age and quality, the video varies a great deal from preview to preview. Some look pretty good, while others are littered with scratches and green lines. Some are also quite grainy. These defects will only add to the nostalgia factor for some viewers.


This DVD features a Dolby Digital Mono audio track. Again, the quality isn't consistent across all of the trailers. For some, the audio is fine. For others, it's muted, and contains hissing, pops, and crackles.


There are no extras on this DVD. What do you expect from a DVD full of trailers?

While I didn't enjoy every trailer on 42nd St. Forever, Volume 2: The Deuce, I found most to be somewhat entertaining if nothing else. The makers of this DVD should be commended for combing through vaults to find these rare previews, and here's to hoping that we see more volumes in the future (With even more horror previews. Hint. Hint.)
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