Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gate II: Trespassers, The (1989)

...aka Gate II
...aka Gate II: Return to the Nightmare

Directed by:
Tibor Takács

THE GATE was a pretty dumb 80s horror flick with some very cool special effects. It somehow managed to make some money, so the director was hired to do another one (which was filmed soon after the first, but ended up being shelved until 1992). Every bit as silly and stupid as the original, this one looks cheaper and doesn't even have good enough fx to fall back on. Of course, there's one pretty good stop-motion "minion" (micro-demon) here, but the rest is so lame, it's not worth sitting through to see it. Louis Tripp and his annoyingly pubescent voice return as the heavy-metal loving teen nerd Terry. His father's a drunk, his mom's dead and he's a depressed loner with no friends at school, so it doesn't come as any surprise when he reaches new depths of desperation (and stupidity) by foolishly toying around with Satanism again. He and a few others summon a little demon from "the other world" that's able to grant wishes (new car, money, etc.). Unfortunately, the wishes backfire and some of the characters end up becoming big demonic monsters themselves. One has a huge pus-oozing zit that continually leaks yellow goo. Get it, a teen monster with acne problems? It's supposed to be funny, I guess. But it's nowhere near as funny as the conclusion; an unintentionally hilarious finale where Terry turns into a monster himself and fights demons in some parallel universe. The score from George Blondheim is one of the redeeming factors here. With Pamela Segall, Simon Reynolds, James Villamaire, Neil Munro and James Kidnie.


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