Thursday, October 17, 2013

#1,158. 42nd Street Forever, Vol. 5: Alamo Drafthouse Edition (2009):

Directed By: Various

Starring: Various

Trivia: One of the movies featured is Une Fee... Pas Comme Les Autres, aka The Secret of Magic Island, a 1956 children's movie in which animals act like humans (including a dog tending bar and a duck taking a shower)

And so we come to what is thus far the final volume in Synapse’s 42nd Street Forever collection of movie trailers from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. And what better way to close the series out than with trailers hand-picked by the employees of the Alamo Drafthouse, a well-known movie theater / restaurant in Austin, Tx., that shows a variety of films, everything from new releases to exploitation movies of days gone by? An evening at the Alamo Drafthouse, where you can enjoy a fine meal while watching a movie, is surely a unique experience, almost as unique as the collection they’ve assembled for this volume of 42nd Street Forever; no kidding… some of these trailers are mind-numbingly bizarre!

For example, Vol. 5 is what first introduced me to the 1977 movie Chatterbox, a comedy about a woman who discovers her vagina can talk. Among the other unusual titles presented in this collection are Lucky Seven, a kung-fu / comedy from the ‘80s starring a group of kids who get tossed around and, in some cases, beaten to a pulp by their adult rivals (I’ve included the trailer below. Trust me when I tell you, you’ll be amazed at what they put these kids through!). Several other unusual choices include James Tont: Operation O.N.E., a mid-‘60s Italian spoof of the James Bond franchise; and the incredibly homophobic Redd Foxx picture, Norman… Is That You?, in which Foxx, whose wife recently left him, pays a visit to his son, Norman (Michael Warren), who, as it turns out, is gay (at one point in the trailer, Foxx even goes so far as to say “My son has become a Tinkerbell”!)

Mixed in with the weird and irregular are some truly kick-ass trailers, like the one for the ‘70s Sonny Chiba film, The Bodyguard (“Viva, Chiba”!). But when compared to the rest of the series, 42nd Street Forever, Vol. 5 definitely shows a penchant for the odd and peculiar. And I absolutely love it!

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