Not in a long long time have I had so much fun with a DVD as I have had with Full Moon's DVD release of 'The Vault'. Hours have been lost with package that is a lot more than the film itself, but what of the film as surely that's why you'd pick up the disc in the first place?
'The Vault' is the directorial debut of erstwhile actor James Black, who some readers will be familiar with from his appearances in faves like 'Ozone' and 'Horror Vision'. The film itself is pretty basic plotwise but lots of fun also, a sort of black-core Scooby Doo! Five school kids are taken by their teacher to an old school due for demolition to give them a taste of the place's history before its gone. The building's history though not only includes a fine line of education but is steeped in some things pure evil, including something that is waiting to be released from...the vault!
Yup, you can easily guess the main flow of how this one's gonna go...teenagers in creepy dark abandoned building, spooky things happen, teen with no sense of foreboding danger opens mysterious looking concealed vault door and cue evil unleashed! Sure, this is pretty much another variation of the traditional Scooby Doo formula but it's also a highly enjoyable one also! The plot takes some nice variations off the beaten track at times to keep you on your toes and Black's first time director skills are wholly un-noticeable with some very stylish and atmospheric work on show. He also gets a great performance from the small ensemble cast with in particular a fun show by the building's security guard being most notably entertaining.
The film moves along at a nice pace also and considering its short running time it does actually fly through maybe too quickly. Also worth noting are the great special effects, one head slice in particular had me sitting up straight in wonderment and the film's great music soundtrack which drifts convincingly between hard core industrial and old school ragga bass.
So, indeed a cool fun film all round...but wait! There's a whole big bunch of other stuff going on here that I haven't yet touched on! For some time now I have been an avid fan of Full Moon's handling of Tempe Entertainment's catalogue and with 'The Vault' they really have delivered a package that has had me grinning widely since I first slapped into my player. There is some seriously cool stuff here...
As per previous releases of this nature there is a slew of trailers for both Full Moon and Tempe releases (when will those Tempe back catalogue titles get the special DVD treatment?) and there's an interesting 'behind the scenes' documentary on the making of the film itself. Add to that the full audio commentary by director Black you would think that should be plenty to be getting on with? Not here!
Accessing the menu link to the Director's section brings a lot more fun your way! First off there's a great documentary 'Into the Black:Reflecting of a Decade' which is not only very informative but a great laugh also. This docu takes you through Black's early film career of notably embarrassing old Tempe productions. Watch as both Black and J R Bookwalter squirm their way through discussing each movie which is followed by a visual demonstration of various ways to destroy said films! Loads of fun!
Also included is one of the best extras I've seen to date...a full-length low budget trash sci-fi dinosaur schlocko movie called 'Galaxy of the Dinosaurs'! A quickie old Tempe production made for the straight to video market with a budget of tuppence and filmed in days. This is a hoot of a viewing experience that amusingly Tempe remastered and tweaked for this release and amazingly (and welcomingly) added a full running commentary by the aforementioned embarrassed Black who (ahem) acts in the movie and producer Bookwalter. If you're a fan of the old Ed Wood style of movie making then this is right up your street - I loved it for what it was and the commentary was first rate fun also!
So, it's a helluva package that Full Moon have delivered with this DVD release of 'The Vault' and a great value one it is too. Two fun movies (balancing nicely the old and the new) and whole slew of fine extras that will keep you busy quite literally for hours. Go pick this up and let's hope there are more packages of this standard in the future. Nice one!
Review by Alan Simpson
|Directed by James Black|
|Released by Full Moon|
|Region '0' NTSC - Rated R|
|Ratio - Anarmorphic widescreen|
|Audio - 2.0 stereo|
|Making Of, Trailer Reel, Director Spotlight, documentarys, audio commentaries, bonus 'Galaxy of the Dinosaurs' film and more!!|