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, June 7, 2009

Gate, The (1987)

Directed by:
Tibor Takács

Excellent and imaginative stop-motion monsters are really the sole point of interest in this otherwise forgettable Canadian horror film. Curious kid Glen (a very young Stephen Dorff, in his film debut) and his nerdy buddy Terry (Louis Tripp) accidentally open the gates of hell in their suburban backyard after playing a heavy metal record backwards (groan) and reciting a demonic chant (double groan). Soon some creatures come crawling out of the ground and terrorize both of them and Dorff's babysitting teen sister Al (Christa Denton). You don't care about the stupid plot once the monsters show up, though it takes some patience to get to all the good stuff. THE GATE was an unexpected box office hit (the PG-13 rating likely helped), so the director (who also did the memorable - and much better - I, MADMAN next) got to make a sequel in 1989.


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