|Rating: Loved it
Director: Synapse Films
Release Year: 2006
Last year Synapse Films put out one of the year's best DVDs with 42nd Street Forever: Vol 1, a 120+ minute collection of amazing grindhouse trailers that ranged from The Italian Stallion to They Call Her One Eye to Welcome Home Brother Charles to Superfuzz. So ever since Synapse announced that they'd be releasing 42nd Street Forever: Volume Two - The Deuce - compete with "even more classic theatrical trailers full of nudity, sex, violence, monsters and mayhem," I've been dying to get my hands on a copy.
A few weeks ago, I found an unmarked package on my front porch. I wasn't expecting anything in particular that day, and I definitely wasn't expecting to find a screener of The Deuce. And even though I'd been planning on watching another film that night, it was The Deuce that ended up getting screened. Twice. And damn if it doesn't have every bit of grimy, exploitationy goodness that Volume One did.
Here's an (incomplete) list of trailers that I grabbed from Synapse's Myspace page: Ms. 45, Born Losers, Rolling Thunder, Dixie Dynamite, The Hellcats, Dragstrip Riot, Stingray, Burnout, Dirt, Savage, Kenner, Tick Tick Tick, Take a Hard Ride, Black Sampson, The Guy from Harlem, Sugar Hill, I, A Woman, The Curious Female, The Babysitter, Street Girls, College Girls, The Pom-Pom Girls, Helga, Invitation to Ruin, Pick-Up, Delinquent Schoolgirls, Savage Sisters, Female Jungle, Gigantis: The, Fire Monster, The Giant Gila Monster, The Hideous Sun Demon, The Monster of Piedras Blancas, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Woman Eater, The Dark, The Evil, The Evictors, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Rabid, The Clones, Mission Mars, Mister Billion, Spy in Your Eye, The Last of the Secret Agents?, Trunk to Cairo, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, Amazons of Rome, Samson and the Slave Queen, Revolt of the Slaves, Revenge of the Gladiators. Add another half-dozen or so trailers and you've got two hours of almost-forgotten cinema history that make me curse the fact that I was born in the age of the corporate-run multi-plex.
Every time I re-watch this disc I end up with new favorites. Here's a few moments/taglines that stood out on the most recent viewing:
Invitation to Ruin :: "Throughout this entire trailer you didn't see a single scene from the last 15 minutes of this film. Doesn't that tell you something?"
Deadly Blessing :: An over-the-top horror flick starring Ernest Borgnine as an evil Amish elder wearing a blatantly fake glued-on beard.
The Monster of Piedras Blancas :: "See the movie that's been dubbed the most brain-paralyzing shock story of them all."
Skatetown, U.S.A. :: A movie set in the competitive world of roller-skate disco dancing that looks mind-bendingly amazing. The trailer features a guy with a jewled beard, Scot Baio, Billy Barty, Ruth Buzzi, Maureen McCormick and sooooo much more. Oh, and Patrick Swayze plays an evil roller skater. This'll be the first of many movies that I'll end up tracking down from this disc... "It's the greatest story ever rolled!"
My favorite thing about The Deuce is the way Synapse has thematically tied each trailer in with the next. Instead of just randomly tossing two hours of trailers on a disc (which still would have been great), Synapse found a way to blend the subgenres together. So while individual sections of the disc may have 'themes' like secret agent, man-in-suit, sword-and-sandal, or blaxploitation... they're bridged with tweener trailers that make the genre transitions almost unnoticeable. In fact, Synapse somehow manages to make the progression from The Pom-Pom Girls to The Giant Gila Monster to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die seems completely natural!
For more information, visit Synapse Films. Starting today, you can pick up a copy at Amazon or DVD Empire. It's less than $15, and if you're into the kind of movies I review here at Reel Distraction, this'll be the best DVD purchase you'll make all year.