the gateNew Century Entertainment
1987
PG-13

“We accidentally summoned demons who used to rule the universe to come and take over the world.”

When best friends Glen and Terry discover a mysterious rock beneath a fallen tree in Glen’s backyard, they think they’ve found a precious stone and keep digging, but what they unearth isn’t going to make them rich…it’s going to condemn them to hell. Unwittingly, the boys have opened THE GATE, a portal to a terrifying other dimension and the means by which demons can enter our world and destroy it. With suburbia under attack and our very world at stake, the boys must discover the secret that can close the gate forever…before it’s too late.

It might actually be the nostalgia factor, but I really do think the best bunch of horror movies came out of the 1980s. You cannot deny the entertainment factor, where a generous dollop of cheese flavored things right nicely. Sure, there are a lot of bad B-level movies, but they’re entertainingly bad.

Take 1987’s The Gate, for instance. This movie not only stars a young Stephen Dorff in his very first movie roll, but features a premise where two boys inadvertently open a porthole to Hell by way of Heavy Metal–specifically reading the lyrics that are supposedly based on something called “the Dark Book”–which unleashes the horrors of…wee little claymation imp things that are just totes adorbs. Booga booga booga.

I got The Gate as part of a horror movie DVD 2-pack from Best Buy in the mid-aughts, and didn’t get around to writing a review about it at the time, because someone else at the message board community that I frequented already beat me to one. But now, since I’m rocking my own blog, (and since I recently viewed the sequel to this movie) I figured it was high time I got around to telling you my thoughts about The Gate. Because absolutely no one demanded it.

And my thoughts? Whoa, boy, is The Gate one entertaining 85 minute ride of mid-80s low-budget horror goodness. Yeah, the effects are cheesy, but they add a certain type of charm to the wackiness that’s ensuing on the screen before you. The two main child actors: Stephen Dorff and Louis Tripp, are rather good in their parts, showing some decent chops with the script and such. And, of course, the movie features one of my favorite horror movie tropes that could only spring from the 1980s: Heavy Metal summoning Ultimate Evil.

Overall, The Gate is a fun watch, and something to look into for whatever “80s Horror Night” you may be planning. With or without the sequel, have yourself some fun.

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