CONTACT THE VAULT MASTER
E-mail: vault_master [at] bmoviefilmvault [dot] com
WELCOME TO THE B-MOVIE FILM VAULT! How did this madness all begin? Well pull up a seat and take a trip back in time with your friendly neighborhood Vault Master!
Back in 1998 my parents bought me my first, honest-to-goodness, desktop computer. It came with Windows ’98, and Minesweeper, and Solitaire. I could send e-mails, and chat with people anywhere in the world at any time with a handy instant messenger!
It allowed me to surf the web over my own phone line, and enjoy the entirety of humanity’s knowledge! And then it happened… I came across a website that would forever change my life, not to mention my personal taste in film.
Wandering across the world wide web for hours, I discovered BADMOVIES.ORG, a site dedicated to “the detriment of good film.” After a couple of days, I had read every single one of Sgt. Andrew Borntreger’s reviews and poured through all the multimedia on his site. I was hooked!
Being a big Godzilla fan, I also discovered Andrew’s (now long gone) Godzilla site: Andrew’s Monster Island. Taking a cue from this, I immediately set up a Yahoo Geocities account and using the free tools, slapped together my own Godzilla webpage, which I named G-FAN CENTRAL. (This was sometime in the middle of 1999.) It was pretty lousy and amateurish, but it was something I could call my own. I was proud of it, but not fully satisfied with the results of my labors.
Eventually I abandoned that prototype website and struck out to start a new one. Armed with a beginner’s guide to HTML, and fully inspired by the efforts of Sgt. Borntreger, I set up a small website elsewhere on Geocities and called it J-Dawg’s Sci-Fi and Horror Movie Review Site. The site consisted of an entrance page, a home page, a links page, and two review archives. (One for regular reviews; the other for reviews of theatrical films I had seen.)
The design was awful and most likely damaging to the eyes. The background was jet black, the text was lime green, and the graphics were all neon eyesores. Every review had a different color scheme, and my writing was simply atrocious. My “reviews” consisted of a (sometimes
lengthy) recap of the film with a few sentences at the end sharing my thoughts and opinions. Plus I totally ripped-off the same review format as Badmovies.Org, though Andrew didn’t really seem to mind.
As I showed my new site around and got a bit of constructive criticism, I began the long quest to build a website worth visiting. First thing was first though…. I needed to change that title. How I got around to naming my site The B-Movie Film Vault, I’ll never recall, but it’s what I ran with at the age of 17, and I thought it rolled off the tongue nicely. (Years later, I catch a bit o’ flack from some of my friends because they think it’s “redundant.”)
With a new name in place, I began an insane marathon that would last a few years, resulting in just over a hundred movie reviews. As a result of my constant writing and web-editing, I got better at it. The reviews got a bit meatier, and though they still resembled the ones over at Badmovies.Org, there was a definite “divergent evolution.” I also changed the color scheme (white text on a dark background proved to be much less murderous on people’s retinas), added new sections, and started up a new clique of reviewers on the web, namely The Rogue Reviewers.
Originally we were just a loose conglomeration of sites that did themed roundtables, but we eventually grew into a more tightly-knit group and worked together to create a webzine that catered to independent cinema, while still focusing on cult, exploitation, and b-films as well. That webzine was Rogue Cinema and it is still going strong today!
I eventually left Rogue Cinema behind, and threw myself back into working on the Vault. Why’d I leave? Well, mainly because I was so busy working on Rogue Cinema reviews and articles every month, that The B-Movie Film Vault was beginning to fall apart. The site that I built from scratch was suffering, and truthfully, I missed working on it.
At this point in the timeline (early 2006) I had remodeled much of the site (which would remain unchanged for roughly seven years!), added more content, and witnessed a huge upswing in traffic. So huge that my free Geocities site would shut down a few times a day because I wasn’t paying for “premium service.”
This simultaneously excited me, but also ticked me off. I had started building a larger audience, but my site was suffering for it. It was about this time (in late 2006) when a benefactor stepped in and offered me a deal I couldn’t pass up. “Shadow” (of Shadow’s B-Movie Graveyard) had some extra webspace on his server and offered it up to me if I paid for a domain name.
Twenty bucks and two days later, www.bmoviefilmvault.com went live on the web and a lot of incredible things have happened since then! I’ve been quoted on book covers (namely Chris Watson’s Joe Estevez: Wiping Off the Sheen & Badass Women of Cinema), DVD covers, attended conventions and met celebrities (and semi-celebrities), been invited to film festivals and press screenings, been interviewed by a writer from FlushtheFashion.com, and have made many new friends and acquaintances in the film industry and online reviewing community! It’s been a wild ride and I’m excited to see what the future holds!
Thanks to everyone who has visited, shared, and supported The Vault over the years. Without you, I never would have come this far!
Update: June 7th, 2013 – The B-Movie Film Vault turns 13 and says goodbye to the old HTML site and hello to a new blog-style site! While I’ll miss the old Vault, I’m super excited to be able to spend more time writing content instead of manually changing up lines of code.
Also, I just discovered that two major blasts from my past have resurfaced on the web. First up is THE B-MOVIE VAULT WEBRING! I started this webring over a decade ago, but eventually abandoned it and left it for dead. Imagine my surprise when I recently rediscovered it and found that people were still using it!
Another amazing discovery is this: http://www.reocities.com/jrgdawg! Apparently a project was started to recreate all the lost Geocities sites on the web, and parts of The OLD B-Movie Film Vault were uploaded. There’s some dead links here and there, but overall, everything appears to be OK. Enjoy the eye-searing colors of my really old reviews!