If you know me at all by now, you KNOW i’m a sucker for anthology films. Through the good and the bad, the thick and the thin, i’m always up for a compilation of stories. I’ve seen TONS but there are still many i have yet to see. However one of my favorites, “The Vault of Horror” has seemed to be remade, or at least in my eyes, in the 2006 release of “Trapped Ashes.”
Written by Dennis Bartok (The Red Herring), “Trapped Ashes’ dialogue was average. It was well written to fit the individual’s personality type but as far as OUTSTANDING dialogue, its not found here. For this to be a film that was in the development for 2-3 years, it doesn’t show it in the script.
The acting in this film was alright. It was a nice site to see such horror genre icons like John Saxon, Henry Gibson, and Dick Miller in the film. John Saxton was one of the best performers in the film. His depiction of a once famous 1960’s B-Movie director was very believable. I wouldn’t expect anything but that from such a seasoned actor. Now the other actors are a different story. Very Mediocre performances were given by the majority of the cast, and the only diamond in the this flick was Rachel Veltri. To me, see lit up the screen everytime she was on it, i hope to see more from her in the future.
Well, where on Earth do I begin? The plot of the film starts out bad, and only gets worse from there on out. Lets start with the wraparound, i tried to like it, I mean with Henry Gibson playing the loosely Cryptkeeper type character, and Joe Dante directing it, i figured it’d be entertaining, but i was wrong. It was a huge ripoff of the 1973 release of “The Vault of Horror,” which was about a group of men who are stuck in a vault underneath a building and are forced to tell about their demise, sound familiar? The first segment was called “The Girl With The Golden Breasts,” and even though it featured one of the better actors of the film, it turned out to be one of the best stories of the film, but thats not saying much. It was about a girl trying to make it in Hollywood, but ends up not landing any roles in anything she auditions for. She comes to the conclusion that it’s the size of her breasts thats weighing her down. So she goes and gets a boob job which ends up having horrific effects of her. Now once I saw this segment I instantly became infuriated, its ALMOST a exact copy of the “Hair” segment in John Carpenter’s “Body Bags” (which was about a guy who gets a hair transplant and turns out to have horrific effects) and thats something you DON’T mess with!!! I was hoping the 2nd story,”Jibaku”, would be a little more promising since it was directed by Sean Cunningham, but it just got worse. A story about a couple who go to japan to rekindle their romance, but turns out the wife begins loving a dead guy whos in hell and he kidnaps, and she becomes all demonified and after some very bad comic book looking fight scenes its the end of the segment. The 3rd segment doesn’t end any better. “Stanley’s Girlfriend” is retelling of how two film directors become the best of friends, and how one girl, Stanley’s girl, ends up driving Stanley away, and ends up Driving Leo to sleeping with her. Fast forward 45 years later, Stanley has died and left leo a tape. Leo watchs the tape and to make a long story short Stanley’s Girlfriend is an immortal Vampire….no lie. The fourth and FINAL story is one of the stupidest ones i’ve seen, and makes the stories in Creepshow 3 look amazing! “My Twin, The Worm”, is exactly how the title sounds, a tapeworm grows with a baby for nine months, and well, nothing really happens. There was ONE aspect of this film that i liked, and that was how that each stories ending isn’t how it really turned out. You’ll just have to watch it to see what i mean.
Composed by Kenji Kawai. who also composed Ringu and many other hard to pronounce Japanese titles, the films composition, to me, barely made a impact. Not alot of it was used to express the emotions in the stories which i felt hurt them.
Overall this film flops…hard. With such great names attached you’d expect it to be at least halfway decent. The Writer has said this is a homage to classic anthologies like The House that Dripped Blood and Tales From the Crypt, more like a ripoff of classic anthologies. There was a sex scene in EVERY segment, and to me that a sign of we have nothing better to show so lets have a sex scene!! Poor acting and HORRIBLE writing killed this once promising project.
Dying Squid Rating