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42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection: Volume 1

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Release Date: 
Impulse Pictures
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Annie Sprinkle
Susan Nero
Lisa DeLeeuw
John Holmes
Bottom Line: 

As I have often said, old porno never dies; it just gets repackaged and sold in bulk form on another medium for ten cents on the dollar of the original market price.  This review is for the 42nd STREET FOREVER COLLECTION: VOLUME 1. I suppose this is a ponderous title for what amounts to fifteen silent, short sex films that used to play in peep show booths back in the sixties and seventies. Let us take a virtual visit to the recently 42nd street adult film theater and try to convince ourselves that spilled popcorn butter is the reasons why the floors seem so sticky.

This is the most difficult type of film to review because it is a collection of unrelated film clips detailing people fucking. There are some attempts to tell individual stories in the short vignettes, but these were simple films shot in the infancy of the porno phenomenon and truth be told, the last thing that men of the day wanted to see in a coin operated peep show was an engaging story.  As mentioned before, the films are silent except for the tell-tale “ratta tatta” sound of the original Super 8 format from their original release.  It is hard to imagine a rougher, earlier form of erotica than this but if there actually was, it could have involved nude figures being painted on cave walls. To truly appreciate this in the manner in which this was intended I would suggest watching this in a cigar smoke filled garage during a retro themed stag party, with friends who wouldn’t take any of this too seriously. For this use and this use only, this disk would be the perfect entertainment package to simulate an awkward and complicated era of male sexuality, where our testosterone addled ancestors would have wear a disguise, drive across town and visit a crime infested neighborhood just to “get their wank on” in a filthy cum sodden closet while a long line of men waits right outside the door for the chance to do the same. Understandably the home VCR and the internet later made this scene largely extinct as of 2014.

I should mention that while many of the actors and actresses are unknown performers, there are a few scenes featuring the oldest possible footage I have ever seen John Holmes, Lisa De Leeuw and Marc Stevens. Sadly, all three of these aforementioned adult film stars would later succumb to complications arising from the AIDS virus which makes their performances a little sad, uncomfortable for those of us who have seen way too much porn, almost as much as any modern day romantic comedy (Seriously, keep that sick shit away from me).

The technical aspect of the footage is adequate, while there appears to have been some image enhancement from the original source tapes; most VCR’s tapes have more clarity by comparison.  In order to fully enjoy this product as it is intended you must have a sincere interest in the quaint beginnings of adult film. If you do, this is indeed a high minded “historical perspective” for a film almost consisting entirely of close ups of silent spunk shots for 119 minutes. That length of time would be worth almost $100.00 of adult theater tokens back in in 1970 (adjusted for inflation).

Extras include a booklet by Robin Bougie where he explains the high, minded cultural relevance of this product. Oddly enough, there is some. 

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