DVD Review: Sean Weathers Presents – Vault Of Terror

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MSRP $7.95
RATED Not Rated
STUDIO Full Circle Filmworks
RUNNING TIME 250 Minutes
• Intro and Outro tracks on Driller Killer and Night of the Living Dead by Sean Weathers and Awad Issa

The Pitch

Sean Weathers presents an hour of your life you will never get back.

The Humans

Sean Weathers, Six actresses whose lives didn’t turn out like they’d planned

The Nutshell

Sex maniacs and subway beatings remind us that New York City is the happiest place on Earth.

The Lowdown

Okay, full disclosure: I usually do kind of an intro thing here where I wax philosophical or generally pretend I’m an intelligent person of wealth and taste. Unfortunately, this movie broke me so let’s just skip that nonsense and get down to brass tacks so I can purge this one from my brain and never think about it again.

Sean Weathers Presents: Vault of Terror is a four movie set, but that’s actually a lie. The only full-length movies on the disc are Abel Ferrera’s The Driller Killer and George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. The reason they’re here is because Sean Weathers and his director friend Aswad Issa do a series of Youtube videos where they talk about a movie before “screening it” and then discuss it afterwards. This is, literally, a Youtube rip of two movies that can’t legally be barred from being on this disc because they are in the public domain in the grainiest, blurriest quality you can imagine.

I suppose I should review these movies, seeing as they take up a good 75% of the disc’s runtime but I’m not going to do that because if you really care about either of those movies then there’s far better releases of them out there than this one. As for the reviews: Night of the Living Dead is a cinema masterpiece and one of the greatest indie-budget horror movies ever made, The Driller Killer is a pretentious piece of awfulness that’s often used as exhibit-A in the “this is why he sucks” arguments by Abel Ferrera detractors.

Pictured: Exhibits B through E

The first of the two remaining movies on the disc is A Good Samaritan in New York City. It’ss a four minute long short in which a man enters a subway car, demands money from another man, and is told to back off by a third man. Man 1 brutally punches Man 2 until he weeps red corn syrup from his face and beats a hasty retreat as Man 2 gets off the train without so much as saying “thank you.” The back of the box promises that this movie is shot “slasher style” but it’s shot in the conventional way of most movies (only worse). Other than being a lazy commentary delivered almost as a cynical joke it has little in the way of a purpose.

This brings us to the show piece of the set; the proverbial Persian rug which ties the whole disc together: Maniac, Too! The camera opens on an industrial park where a woman is trying to make a phone call. She is attacked by a man in a trench coat (actor/director Sean Weathers) who strips her naked and then holds her at arms length to the side so the camera can take a long hard look at her naked bits. After two or three minutes of groping her and licking her nipples, he throws her on a coat he was nice enough to lay on the ground for her, rapes her, and then very unconvincingly strangles her to death. It’s a really bad opening scene but maybe the movie can make up for it by doing literally anything else now. We follow him home where we’re treated to a stirring character study on serial rapists.

Just kidding, no we don’t, we just flash to another industrial park and another rape scene, followed by a third rape scene in a different industrial park. Then we switch it up and have a rape scene in an apartment. Now a woman is doing a striptease, which turns into an additional rape scene. Oh finally, this scene seems to be going somewhere! And that place it’s going is to another rape scene. Joy of joys! And now the credits roll. Total runtime: 41 minutes.

These scenes are given no context, the only dialogue is composed of different variations of “Stop!” and “Shut up!”, and there’s no message or even narrative. To be fair, the main character does seem to be upset about something after the first couple rape scenes but since the microphone was sitting in front of an industrial fan three counties away, I couldn’t make it out.

My expression for all 41 minutes.

Now, giving any concessions to this movie makes me feel dirty inside but I do feel like if I don’t point it out, somebody else will: Maniac Too! is clearly intending to be an unofficial sequel to William Lustig’s Maniac, which was pretty much a series of loose vignettes of the title character murdering some people in New York City with very little plot or dialogue. But that’s not an excuse at all.

Even the biggest Maniac fans in the world will tell you that the appeal of the movie is not in its narrative structure or the way it’s made. Maniac is memorable, mainly, for two things: Tom Savini’s gore effects and Joe Spinnell’s performance. Maniac Too! has neither of those things. Also, Maniac may not have had a lot of story, but it still had a narrative and an ending. Maniac was a loosely plotted horror movie, Maniac Too! is a stag reel of poorly shot rape scenes.

And I don’t want to come off like a prude here, I enjoy gritty nasty movies like Last House on the Left, Cannibal Holocaust, and Mother’s Day. I don’t think I Spit on Your Grave and Blood Sucking Freaks are good, but that’s not because of their subject matter. I don’t shy away from nudity or extreme situations in movies and I never have. I’m not against a rape scene when it serves the plot (horror is meant to be horrific after all) but not only do these scenes not serve a plot, they are there in place of one.

Even if the intent is to horrify, these scenes are performed by awful actors giving really bad performances so there’s nothing realistic or even mildly convincing about them. The way the camera slowly pans over the victims’ naked bodies combined with the bad acting just makes the movie seem like amateur pornography which, coupled with the subject matter, gets the desired level of disgust and revulsion for all of the wrong reasons.

The Package

I really can’t state enough how awful this movie and this whole release is. The two original films are badly shot, edited, recorded, acted, and thought out; video seems to have come from a home camcorder and the sound effects sound like they were ripped from Wolfenstein 3D. The quality on the two proper movies is VHS quality at best and only one of them would be worth watching even if they weren’t. $7.95 is still too high a price for this.

I really try to be nice (especially to the indie directors) in my reviews because there’s a chance they might read this, and I’d feel bad because I’m a vain shithead who has to be liked by everyone. But I just can’t find a redeeming quality in this thing, and the more I think about it the more annoyed I am that it even exists.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars

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