When Paramount Pictures launched its Paramount Vault YouTube channel back in December 2014, it promised “full-length films and clips including selections that range from black-and-white to color, comedy to horror, and everything in between.” Naturally, it’s the part about “full-length films” that’s most apt to arouse the interest of fans. Complete motion pictures are regularly uploaded to YouTube, usually in flagrant violation of copyright law. The Paramount Vault, on the other hand, is a completely legitimate, studio-approved project with videos that won’t be slapped with any take-down notices.
So how has the channel been delivering on its early promises over the last 16 months? Pretty nicely. Selections there include a variety of films from various genres, ranging from Hector Babenco’s poignant drama Ironweed to Tobe Hooper’s berserk horror sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Comedy nerds, however, may be more interested in the Vault’s most recent full-length offering: the 2006 Danny McBride vehicle The Foot Fist Way. Sure, there are a few ads along the way, but it’s still a free, uncensored movie on YouTube.
Originally released back in 2006, before McBride had fully emerged as a patron saint of misguided machismo, The Foot Fist Way is a micro-budget independent cringe comedy about a doggedly determined North Carolina taekwondo instructor who suffers numerous assaults to his masculinity and bank account on his path to redemption. Championed by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, The Foot Fist Way never really became the quirky Napoleon Dynamite-esque hit that Paramount hoped it would be, though the movie did serve as McBride’s calling card in Hollywood. Ten years after its initial release, the film offers viewers as a crash course in McBride’s particular brand of testosterone-fueled comedy. It’s worth pointing out that the comedian’s masterpiece, the HBO series Eastbound & Down, again sports-themed, was only three years away.