Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Moon Over Miami: The Vault (2000)

Full Moon is black with a vengeance.  Did I mean to say 'back?'  Nope.  After a decade or so of movies like Puppet Master and the like, the studio tried to branch out a bit and tap into the ethnic market.  That led to such films as Ragdoll (out-of-print in only 10 years) and this film- The Vault.  It's by a Director that I'm supposed to know (I don't) and features a concept that I'm supposed to like (I don't).  Basically, one of Full Moon's first 'black' films has a plot that involves slavery.  That speaks for itself, I think.  I think that I'll leave it that for now.  Let's see what is buried in...
A pre-Credits scene involves a random guy coming across a locked door- not really a vault, by the way- and being stopped by a Guard.  The guy kills him in order to keep the door sealed.  Years later, a guy is taking his...um, History, I guess, Class to a School Building before it is destroyed.  I'd love to see the permission slips to allow teenagers to go into an old, decrepit school building full of mold and asbestos that is set to be demolished!  This School is important because it once hid slaves from their owners.  Wow- just wow.  They treat the subject nicely enough, but the fact that it's being covered here is still just striking to me.  Oh yeah, the van driver with the yellow beard is the Director.  He's a minor character, but does give himself the first death of the film.  We also find that the Guard from earlier is still alive and looking the same.  There's a plot reason for this, but I'm almost embarrassed to explain it.  I mean, I will, but I won't like it.  In the meantime, our group of stock characters- Poor Guy, Nerdy Guy, Jock Guy and Bitch Girl- wander around.  Yea.
A mysterious spirit goes around and starts to kill people.  As I mentioned before, the Driver/Director is first.  Being killed by the spirit causes his face to awkwardly be Photoshopped onto a mural on the wall.  Other spirits call out for help, but don't actually want people to see it.  Yeah, that's confusing.  In 'random back-story that only matters for later plot convenience,' the teacher lost his wife in a car accident a year ago and is sad.  This matters when he gets split up from the guard and the students & is visited by his ghost wife.  The sad scene just kind of abruptly ends and his face shows up on the wall, so I guess he died.  Speaking of death, the group tries to find a way out of the building once they realize that a ghost is out to get them.  What kind of ghost?  Why the ghost of an evil, former slave, of course!  They try to go out a window, but a piece of glass falls and cuts the side of Nerd Guy's head off.  Never mind the physics of that, but notice how the glass is clearly beginning to fall at an angle before they cut away!  With only a couple people left, the movie needs to pace itself or be out of characters within a couple minutes.
The two surviving 'teens' go to the roof, but are attacked by...um, tar from the roof.  They don't explain how a slave ghost is doing that in any way, shape or form.  They just go back downstairs and get chased some more.  They have a final confrontation with the spirit where the guard ends up being stabbed.  However, his death is not exactly simple.  You see, the guy has been a vessel for the slaves that were killed as part of the voodoo ritual.  Sure- why not?!?  They manage to get the spirit back into the 'vault' and the day is saved.  Well, except for all of those people that were killed...and assuming that nobody else opens up the door again in the future.  The End.
Now you're making ethnic audiences bored too!  The plot of this film is pretty damn stupid.  I mean, was someone asking for a film about an evil, slave ghost?  I certainly wasn't!  Apparently Ragdoll is just Puppet Master/Child's Play...but with more black actors in it.  This film, however, was made for...um, who was it made for again?  It's dumb, silly and pretty pointless.  You get a cast of about seven people, a tale of an evil ghost and random death.  Big whoop!  There's nothing all that interesting in the film.  It's just so utterly stock that I don't have much to say about.  If you want the usual, low-budget experience of Fulll Moon, look elsewhere.  This is to Full Moon what The Stendhaal Syndrome is to Troma.
Next up, a group of people end up at a cabin in the woods.  This isn't going to be Evil Dead II is it?  Stay tuned...


  1. Lol well good analysis although its clear you didn't watch the film while paying close attention based on certain inaccuracies.

    In my perspective the film was enjoyable if you like your typical horror story. Most horror movies go in this exact same plot and if you dislike this movie you might as well dislike horror movies period.

  2. I can take criticism well. If I couldn't, I certainly wouldn't be writing Reviews online. That said...

    What exactly did I get wrong here? I remember the film pretty well, I think, so I'm kind of curious as to what important details I got wrong here. This isn't exactly Proust here...

    Oh and the 'you can't dislike some horror films, since they're all alike' argument is bullshit. Watch 'Trollhunter,' 'The Blair Witch Project' and 'Seventh Moon.' Now tell me that they are exactly the same.