Well, apparently everyone residing in the United States, but that’s a flexible door policy for tech-savvy party-goers.
Paramount recently opened a new, official YouTube channel offering full-length films for free from their vast, decades-spanning catalog. The Paramount Vault is still in its infancy selection-wise though as it currently only houses 42 dramas, 8 horror films, 32 classics, 27 action/adventures, 32 comedies, and 8 science fiction titles – give or take seeing as many of them crossover – alongside numerous clips. The quality of the titles are far more varied ranging from Oscar-winning classics to a Steven Seagal film nobody’s ever seen. There’s definitely enough here to whet your appetite, and the promise of more additions makes it a site worth bookmarking.
The Paramount Vault showcases a collection of Paramount full-length films and clips including selections that range from black-and-white to color, comedy to horror, and everything in between. Viewers are invited to explore the vast landscape of cinema’s history, share their favorite films, and discover new ones through this official channel created by Paramount Pictures.”
You’ll have to do some digging though thanks in part to some rather wonky categorizations – John Cusack’s fun in-the-sun comedy Hot Pursuit is listed as Science Fiction while Clive Owen’s gangster drama I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead falls under Horror. Thankfully, for now anyway, it’s a manageable selection meaning you can scroll through all of the available titles in just a few minutes.
I am and will always be a physical media guy – at least until physical media dies or I do – but streaming video has its place. Catalog titles, the ones that are no longer in demand and are rarely highlighted by marketing or repertory screenings, are probably best suited to reside in the virtual retirement homes of online libraries. They’re the films you rarely think of, but once the desire to watch hits your brain it’s nice to know it can be found with just a few keystrokes. (Or a few words apparently.)
The idea of studio-based streaming sites isn’t new as the networks have been doing it for a few years now, but Paramount is one of the first film studios to not only take this step but to do so at no cost to the consumer. The back-catalog nature of the selection is what makes the lack of a fee possible. I expect the streaming world to continue fracturing – Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vudu, Shout! Factory, Exploitation.TV, etc – but I welcome the possibility of other actual content producers opening the doors to their own history.
Check out The Paramount Vault’s introduction video, and then keep reading for a handful of our suggestions as to what to watch on the channel first.
Your first priority would be to watch the utterly engrossing and thrilling The Loved Ones – a film that generated enormous amounts of praise on the festival circuit only to be acquired by Paramount and promptly buried. They eventually gave it a DVD release, but it deserved far better. Watch it now if you haven’t already. The Sender is a great, moody little horror thriller about handling grief and depression.
Ninja fans will enjoy Revenge of the Ninja and American Ninja but shouldn’t turn their nose up at the bewildering Ninja III: The Domination. The lovely Joan Fontaine has fun alongside Bob Hope in the lively Casanova’s Big Night, while the Wachowskis’ debut film, Bound, continues to be one of their best.
Will you be visiting The Paramount Vault? Which studio do you want to see follow in their footsteps?