Fans of film advertising rejoice! Synapse has combined the first two DVD editions of 42nd Street Fovever and some brand new selections onto a single Blu-ray, simply titled 42nd Street Forever: The Blu-ray Edition.

The idea of sitting and watching nearly four hours of film trailers may seem off-putting to some, while it is the personification of heaven to others. I sit somewhere in the middle. As a fan of cinema of every stripe, it’s interesting to see a collection of trailers for many films I have not seen and probably never will be able to.

The collection is broken down into genre and sub genre groups. Everything from blacksploitation, sex films (some of them marketed as “educational” to get around censorship) and mondo cinema, to horror and sci-fi of the cheapest order is represented here. A few of my favorites include the outrageously titled, Honky, about young love between a while man and a black girl. The narrative voice over intones: “Two tuned in, today kids in love and in trouble!” The dryly suggestive “Teenage Mother” boasts, “It may well be the most important film you ever see.” The inanity that is Luigi Cozzi’s Star Crash is also here to ogle, with Caroline Munro wandering around looking confused.

Video wise, it’s really a mixed bag. Some of these look quite impressive in HD, where as others are so washed out and grungy that no remastering can fix the problems, and in some cases makes them look worse. But considering the wildly varying conditions of these bits of film history, the fact that they are presented at all is what’s important.

The audio does what it can, and again the quality is all over the map, but I never ran across any trouble understanding any dialogue, and the audio levels vary from trailer to trailer. The bonus features are relegated to a full-length audio commentary, covering the entire near four hour compilation, and it’s a riot. AV Maniacs’ Edwin Samuelson, Fangoria’s Michael Gingold and Temple of Schlock’s Chris Poggiali sound like they’re having a great time and it’s a fun listen.

Synapse has done a great job of compiling this collection of eighty plus trailers and fans of cinema should do themselves a favor and try to find a way to check it out, if only for the education of watching these little slices of advertising. Sadly, some of these films are probably lost to time and this is the only thing that remains of them. That makes the collection even more valuable for film buffs and historians, or anyone with an interest in the rough stuff.

Film Score: 3.5/5  Disc Score: 4/5