What is great about the new releases from the resurrected Vestron Video is that some old classics have been dusted off and let loose on entire new generations who haven’t seen them. Tibor Takacs’ The Gate is no exception and with this Blu-ray I looked forward to revisiting a film I haven’t seen in decades since the video release by the legendary Medusa.
Glen and Terry are a couple of young lads who one day discover a rock in Glen’s back garden. The guys who have been working in the garden dug up a tree but have poorly covered over the hole and the duo poke around thus discovering the rock. Glen catches a splinter on his hand from the debris and a tiny amount of blood drops into the hole. Glen has an older sister Al, who is babysitting him whilst their parents are out of town. In her parent’s absence she throws a party for her friends whilst the two lads hang out upstairs where Terry tells Glen all about some freaky rock band whose lyrics are based on evil cult rituals.
Suffice to say, it isn’t long before literally all hell breaks loose as evil minions attack the house and menace the occupants. Along for the ride are various hallucinations and some nice gross out effects.
Seeing The Gate again after all these years was a most pleasant experience. The little minions courtesy of special effects legend Randy Cook are still impressive and overall the film still has a damn good look. In fact apart from the some of the girls’ brightly coloured clothes, some tragic haircuts and the questionable home decor you wouldn’t know this was a film from the 1980’s. Future Deacon Frost from Blade, Stephen Dorff makes his film debut here and his two co-stars Louis Tripp and Christa Denton are all impressive and totally believable as kids having to fight a demonic foe.
Director Tibor Takacs went on to a varied career not only making a sequel a couple of years later but the underrated I. Madman and a huge selection of TV credits. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray is rammed full of special features including commentaries and a vintage making-of doc in the glorious 4:3 ratio. The picture quality of the film is excellent and obviously an improvement from a decrepit old videotape.
The Gate is simply lots of fun, pretty scary (for what is really a kids film) and definitely worth getting if you haven’t seen it or remember liking it. With the current 80’s vibe around at the moment thanks to Stranger Things and IT, this is a timely release which will hopefully find a new audience to appreciate this fine piece of cinema.
- Starring Christa Denton Louis Tripp Stephen Dorff Kelly Rowan
- Director Tibor Takacs