Directed By: Various
Trivia: This is Volume 4 in a series of 5 DVD releases
Much like volumes 1, 2 and 3, Vol. 4 of the 42nd Street Forever series (aka Cooled for Refrigeration) contains 44 movie trailers from the ‘70s and ‘80s, everything from crime (The Syndicate: A Death in the Family) to action (The Soldier), from horror (The Psychic) to zany comedies (Americathon).
As I was watching Vol. 4, I realized I’d seen more of the movies in this collection that any of the previous ones in the series. A few of the trailers were for films I’ve watched as part of my challenge, including Blackout, an underrated 1978 thriller about a blackout in New York City that stars Robert Carradine and James Mitchum; and Humongous, a 1982 horror movie in which a group of teens are marooned on a remote island, then hunted by an overgrown mutant. But then, some of these trailers were for films I haven’t seen in years. Die Laughing, which stars Robby Benson as a cab driver who dreams of making it big as a musician, played on cable when I was in grade school, as did Can I Do It, Till I need Glasses?, a sketch comedy from 1977 that marked the screen debut of Robin Williams. The trailer that brought back the most memories, though, was the one for In God We Trust, a comedy written and directed by Marty Feldman. My father took my brother and I to see this in the theater back in 1980, and I think I watched it on cable at least a dozen times after that. What makes In God We Trust so fascinating is its cast; along with Feldman, who plays a monk named Ambrose, there’s Peter Boyle (as a traveling preacher who’s converted a school bus into a church on wheels), Louise Lasser (as a prostitute, and the eventual love interest), Andy Kaufman (as a televangelist) and Richard Pryor as God (that’s right… God!)
Vol. 4 also distinguishes itself from the rest of the series in that it covers more than exploitation, tossing in trailers for a few coming-of-age films (like Our Winning Season, a warm-hearted comedy / drama from 1978 that co-stars a young Dennis Quaid), and even an epic or two (I’ve never seen 1977’s March or Die, which, from the looks of it, is a sprawling adventure about the French foreign legion, starring such notable actors as Gene Hackman, Catherine Deneuve, Max Von Sydow, and Ian Holm).
As with Vol. 3, the focus is somewhat narrower in Vol. 4 than the first two installments in the series, only this time around, the trailers are entertaining enough to keep your interest throughout. Yet another fun-filled entry in an excellent series of DVDs, 42nd Street Forever Vol. 4: Cooled for Refrigeration is one to add to your collection. Take it from me: it’s worth every penny!