The notoriety of 42nd Street in New York has become the stuff of cinema legend.
The mix of grindhouse cinema and the emergence of Hong Kong action films on US shores, all under an umbrella of prostitution and crimes is sometimes hard to even believe.
Genre creative Calum Waddell attempts to fully encapsulate this scene, in a thoroughly entertaining and sometimes unbelievable documentary.
Waddell speaks to the people who were there, such as Bill Lustig (Maniac, Maniac Cop 1&2), Joe Dante, Frank Henenlotter Lloyd Kaufman, Tony Timpone plus many more.
We explore the cinema that this strip unearthed, including Maniac, Pieces and the slew of Cannon Films, such as Chuck Norris’ Delta Force 2. This was the place to see cult and rare cinema and would certainly mould the views of filmmakers such as Lustig, Dante and Henenlotter when starting their careers.
While nostalgic, 42nd Street Memories doesn’t shy away from the issues that plagued the area, and would ultimately lead, in some ways to its demolition and redevelopment into a neon-soaked, modern area a far cry from the sleaze of the 70s and 80s.
42nd Street Memories is now available to watch on Tubi.