October's Daily Horror Dose #18 - Vault of Horror

More horror anthologies! At this point I think I might be officially out of these things to watch. I had never heard of Vault of Horror but it came in the same DVD set as my Tales from the Crypt movie, so hey why not!

Here we have five guys sitting around a table, sharing drinks and telling each other stories about recurring nightmares they have been having. Because that’s what strangers do when they get together right? Anyway, from the top!

The first story is about this guy who tracks his sister to a small town with the intent of murdering her in order to collect her share of their family inheritance. Little does he know that oh shit vampires! So...ok. This story has a decent enough twist ending but here’s the thing - this is a censored DVD. When it cuts to the violent final act (which is actually not all that violent), we actually cut to a still image. A fucking photograph basically. That would be terrible enough, but they actually go as far as to draw a black circle around the device being used in the scene. So at the climax of this story it cuts to a still image with a big black circle in the middle of the screen. Can you imagine?! I had to rewind it, and then read about it online just to figure out what the fuck was happening. Not a great way to kick things off.

The second story is about a neat freak husband who is driving his wife insane with his anal-ness. You really feel for the wife in this story because this guy is such an uptight asshole that he keeps a checklist of what needs to be in the kitchen cupboards at all times. A decent, but somewhat abrupt ending that makes the wife seem more than a little insane, is ruined by another fucking still image to censor things! It’s less laughable this time since at least we can tell what’s supposed to be happening, but it’s still fucking ridiculous.

The third story is about one of those fuckers who goes around and reveals the magicians’ secrets. He finds a woman who can make a rope dance out of a jar by playing music, and is determined to get a hold of this trick for his own show, no matter what it takes! This one is ok. You know where things are going and the ending doesn’t really make any sense. The girl with the magic rope is kinda cute though? So there’s that.

The penultimate story is another slight one. It’s about a guy trying to fake his own death in order to collect insurance. He’s going to be buried in a coffin, and then his friend is going to dig him out a few hours later. How much you want to bet things don’t end great for this guy? They don’t, but not in a very satisfying way.

The fifth and final story is also the best. It’s about a painter who gets fucked over by Indiana Jones’ friend, who tells him that his paintings are worthless, but then turns around and sells them for a whole bunch of money. The painter resorts to voodoo to exact his revenge and now everything he paints comes true. The ending is predictable but the story is well told, and shows the violence without resorting to still images, making the earlier ones all the more baffling.

Who the fuck is buying the Tales from the Crypt/Vault of Horror DVD and thinking “man I hope they take all the violence out of these?” I can’t for the life of me understand why this was released censored, and with the most half-assed, laughable censorship I have ever seen. You can find the uncensored scenes online, and while they don’t add much they certainly make the first story a whole lot better.

Vault of Horror is a decent time waster. It’s not boring but the stories rarely surprise and only the second and fifth one really standout. You probably don’t need to bother with this one.