Quantcast The Vault of the Forgotten And Obscure: THE VAULT ISSUE 16: SUMMER VACATION EDITION! THE BURNING, THE VIDEO DEAD!

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THE VAULT ISSUE 16: SUMMER VACATION EDITION! THE BURNING, THE VIDEO DEAD!

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 Hey Jerks!

Jsyn here, once again back where he belongs. Much like the way Mr. Kotter couldn’t stay away from his delinquent Sweathogs, I woefully miss my dear Vault. Admittedly, this column has been in dire need of updates… but not unlike the many, many ladies that crave my attention, I get to it when I can.

Because I have, like, so many ladies.

Damn my good looks!

That said, welcome to the SUMMER VACATION EDITION of THE VAULT!




THE BURNING/ 1981/d: Tony Maylam

Ah, Summer Camp Psycho flicks… by far, my favorite horror subgenre. Now I know most horror folk are all bonerriffic about the Haddonfield slasher (I’m gonna say it right here: not the biggest HALLOWEEN fan) or dirty back road chainsaw swingin’ cannibals (I say if’n you dim enough to leave the main road, ye deserve ta be et) and while there is a soft spot in the boiler room of my cold, dark heart for Mr. Krueger, my fave nutters are the ones that run around summer camps. Don’t know why exactly, maybe it’s because I never had the summer camp experience myself and have always regretted it. Come to think of it, I really like almost ANY movie that takes place in a summer camp. MEATBALLS is a desert-island-disc for me and I seem to watch it constantly. And right up there with the F13TH movies (at least the ones that actually take place in or around a camp) MADMAN (who the fuck hides in the refrigerator?) and SLEEPAWAY CAMP (last shot=young me scarred for life) we have a not quite forgotten yet sorely in need of a proper release flick called THE BURNING.


Tom Savini’s FX, Fisher Stevens, Holly Hunter, George Costanza and believe it or not, the fucking Weinstein Brothers crafted an awesome little summer camp splat fest about a kooky killer with a drinking problem named Cropsy, his hedge clippers, and those kids at the camp what did him wrong who he fully intends to use said hedge clippers on. Word. The thing I liked best about the movie (besides the wonderfully splatty hoopajoo) was the easy character development with the actors playing real, not spouting forced, inane dialogue about “scoring”. There are all kinds of personalities thrown in the mix and before you know it, most of ‘em die horrible deaths. Much respect to summer camp psychos who don’t discriminate. It’s even got that cinematic equivalent of a hearty sneeze, the “reveal” of the killer’s face at the end. Classic! If you’ve never seen it, don’t bother hunting it down on eBay or at a local horror con, because as of this writing I just found out it’s going to be available unrated on special-edition DVD come September! Score!

As a side note, my favorite parts of these summer camp movies is where a group of kids huddle around a campfire and the older guy tells the tale of the murderer/ghost/what have you and then some tool jumps out and scares everyone. MEATBALLS had a classic one because Bill Murray told it, the one from MADMAN took place right in the beginning and is worth the price of the DVD alone, CLUB DREAD had a pretty funny one, and even THE FOG tried it except it was a campfire on a beach with a salty old seafaring gent spinning the yarn. Feel free to write me with YOUR favorite campfire story scene from a movie or favorite summer camp movie. I’m writing a book!

THE VIDEO DEAD/1987/d: Robert Scott

This overlooked media fart from the early days of video rentals has a pretty clever idea behind it: a mysterious television set that only plays a continuous zombie movie is a portal for the TV zombies to escape into the real world and cause chaos in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Overall, it’s pretty entertaining and the makeup effects are really fucking cool (even for that time). Of course the non-professional (aka “bad”) actors stand out from the good actors and most of the dialogue is like, totally grody to the max. Example: Annoying Hero Kid exclaims, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is my all-time favorite horror movie! I’ve seen it six times! SIX TIMES!” Ugh. I guess back in the days before VHS rentals, watching a movie six times was a big deal. I mean, that dude had to literally go to the theatre six times in order to see it six times, unless of course he snuck in. But even that is risky. I can’t think of any movie I would go to the theatre and watch six times. Including HOWARD THE DUCK. And here’s a tip for all you “screenwriters” out there: If you are a man in your Forties, and you are trying to write dialogue for a girl in her teens… don’t. Just don’t fucking do it. Try to find a real live teenage girl and ask her what she would say and how she would say it in whatever the situation is. Because nine times out of ten, you are writing shit that no teenage girl with a standard I.Q. would ever say, EVER! I don’t care how low budget the movie is, lame dialogue is lame dialogue. You ain’t getting paid by the word there Shakespeare.

Now that I think about it, THE RING seems to be very similar to THE VIDEO DEAD… dead people coming out of TV’s and all. Meh, I’d rather watch THE VIDEO DEAD again. It’s one of those “Sunday movies”. You know the ones… they are mildly interesting but mostly retarded, and you are just too hung over to actually get up and put on something else. Fantastic! Find it on VHS suckas. – Jsyn. 6/07

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