Posted by: Andy | October 14, 2010

Andy’s Halloween Trailer Park: the Gate (1987)

It’s Home Alone meets the Evil Dead.

Three kids get ditched by their parental units for the weekend and before you can say human sacrifice they’re knee deep in mini-demons bent on world domination.

Filmed in Ontario in 1987, Director Tibor Takacs turned a simplistic plot about three kids and your basic portal to Hell into a fantastic, special effects ladened hit.  Sadly he would never duplicate  the success of “the Gate” as he would go on to direct the obligatory direct to video sequel a few years later before being shipped off to Syfy Channel purgatory, churning out such gems as Mansquito & Ice Spiders.

Damn shame.

After some impromptu landscaping removes a tree from Glen(Stephen Dorff in his first movie role)’s backyard an ominous hole appears. As luck, and plot device would have it Glen and his sister, Al, are left to look after themselves when their parents take off. That’s when shit goes South fast, as the gaping Hellmouth starts to seriously pull some “the Shining” antics on the latch key duo and their wrong place, wrong time friend Terry.

Terry (the only character to return in “the Gate II” is the catalyst to the siege that soon takes place. He’s a bit of a loner who loves him his heavy metal music and contributes to the evil uprising by playing a record backwards. Yeah – vinyl baby!  Gotta love the 80’s.

Special effects? This one has stop-motion goodness, forced perspectives (most of the little demonic minions were people in rubber suits shot in a way to make them seem three apples high). Claymation. Matte Paintings. This film has every trick in the special effects bag covered.

Without a doubt, one of the scariest, PG-13 rated genre films of the 80’s. A remake is currently in the works. Good luck topping the original. Unless they get Stephen Dorff back. Then I’m in.

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