Having re-watched my two favorite entries in this series, Volume Three and Volume Four, I decided to give The Alamo Drafthouse Edition another try. I had remembered finding this entry enjoyable but not as much fun as the two preceding it. This opinion still holds.
First, I have to hand it to the Alamo Drafthouse guys, included are trailers for some very obscure movies, A Life of Ninja (no "the" in the title) anyone? How about James Tont Operation O.N.E? Missed that one too, huh? Unfortunately, obscure is not the same as good. There are several dull trailers for what look to be agonizingly bad children's movies. Yes, The Fabulous World of Jules Verne is a wonderful film, and The Secret of Magic Island sure looks enjoyable, but, really, Pinocchio's Birthday Party? The Magic Christmas Tree? I would almost rather watch the trailer for Americathon again.
Second, the commentary by The Alamo Drafthouse owner and programmers, perhaps unsurprisingly, focuses more on the trailers than the films they are promoting. This is understandable given the rare nature of many of the films on display, but I miss the seen everything, knowledgeable commentators on the last two volumes. I still enjoy the commentary on Volume Five. The comments on Lucky Seven, The Moonrunners, and Redneck County are especially good. Nonetheless, I was slightly disappointed by this audio commentary.
Complaints aside, there are many enjoyable trailers. My favorite is for Galaxy of Terror, under its Mindwarp title. Putney Swope was a wonderful headscratcher. The Bodyguard's "Viva Chiba" chant was infectious. The previously unheard of Zebra Force looks like a must watch. And, because of this disk, I watched, and was impressed by, Redneck County (aka Poor Pretty Eddie).
To sum up, Volume 5 is a fitting final (so far) edition to this wonderful series. Synapse's 42nd Street Forever disks are the best trailer collections that I have seen to date. The Video Nasties disks and Something Weird Video's Dusk to Dawn Trashorama series are very enjoyable as well, but 42nd Street Forever, particularly Volume Three and Volume Four, are the gold standard for movie trailers for drive-in/grindhouse movies from the late 1960's-early 1980's.
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