Ho-wdy, Franken-Freaks! Welcome to #TerrorTrailerTuesday, a new feature on the site on which we eXXXhume the spook-tacular trailers for a cl-ass-sick fright film series, the flicks of a ho-rror icon, or monster movies featuring a certain kind of creature. Today we’re stealing fire from the Gods, desecrating graves, and going to pieces for Peter Cushing’s Dr. Frankenstein! Is there any mad scientist madder than Peter Cushing’s Frankenstein? This quack dives head-first into depravity and never comes up air! While he has been portrayed in a somewhat heroic light (Evil of Frankenstein, ironically enough), he’s usually the biggest creep in the tomb. Cushing’s brilliant portrayal is both endlessly chilling and weirdly charming, the latter makes his ghastly deeds all the more ho-rrible.
It was a stroke of mad genius on Hammer’s part to make Cushing’s mad doctor the focus of their Frankenstein films, for no ghoul can compare to the great fiend who makes them. And there is no greater fiend than Cushing’s Frankenstein. With Cushing, the doctor was always in… sane. 🙂
Without any further a-boo, here are the trailers for the Cushing Frankenstein films!
Just another Monster Movie Monday here at Kinky Horror, and this one’s a real clas-sick. We’re going all the way back to 1932 disturb the dead and resurrect… White Zombie!
White Zombie is a personal favorite o’ mine and is one of the finest fright flicks to rise from the public domain. It stars Bela “Bringing SeXXXy Drac” Lugosi as Murder Legendre, who is certainly no traditional bokor, but knows how to get the dead movin’. He’s hired by Charles Beaumont (not the Twilight Zone one) to work his wicked witchcraft, although, he knows, it’s strictly taboo. Ol’ Charlie wants him to make the beautiful Madeline his wife, so Murder makes her a zombie! However, Charlie soon learns that trusting a man called “Murder” who controls zombies may not have been the smartest move…
The film is often cited as the first zombie film ever made, but don’t eXXXpect much flesh-eatin’ goodness. What makes this film a true nightmare is its bizarro, hypnotic atmosphere. Sure, it lacks gore, but it’s still pretty darn spoopy! This film puts you in a terrifying trance, as if you were under the control of Murder himself. Speaking of that ghoul, Lugosi’s deliberately stilted performance is brilliantly weird and from a realm different from our own. Murder is certainly not the most endearing of Lugosi roles, but its definitely one of the creepiest. Oh, Murder… we love that voodoo that you do so well… 🙂
Fall under the spell and watch White Zombie below:
P.S-. A little-known rock band named themselves after this movie… I hope those kids go places. 😉
Ho-wdy Cartoon Creeps! On Tuesday the 19th, a great icon of Ho-rror celebrated his 39th birthday…
Of Corpse I’m talking about Garfield the cat, the comic creation of Jim Davis. What’s that you say? Garfield isn’t a ho-rror icon? Oh, my darklings… I’m sorry to say, but you’re wrong… DEAD wrong!
For starters, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is the greatest animated Halloween special of all time and forever! Sure, Charlie Brown’s awesome and all, but let’s get real; that “Red Baron” nonsense is a total drag! Plus, there isn’t a single scare in the whole special. That’s why GHA reigns supreme… there’s absolutely no filler and it has scares o’plenty. Only a child with nerves o’ steel can look upon these ghost pirates without shrieking… See? Those things are NIGHTMARE FUEL!
Still not convinced? Feast your eyes and glut your soul on this grim tale from the ACTUAL Garfield comic strip from 1989:
Still a non-believer? Well, I’ve got the perfect pair of Terror Toons for you! From the uber awesome Garfield and Friends, it’s part one and two of The Horror Hostess!
Ahh… isn’t that a tit-le that just speaks to you? It certainly speaks to me! What’s even better is that this two-parter centers around an Elvira parody and features all sorts of ghoulish delights! Monsters! Dragons! Black Magic! Shrinking Victims! Why, it sounds like my birthday! 😉 Another spooky-cool aspect of this episode is that the Ho-rror Ho-stess is voiced by scream queen Brinke Stevens! Now That’s ho-rror cred! Don’t be a scaredy cat… check out the Ho-rror of The Horror Hostess below:
Ho-wdy, Kinky Kreeps! Just another Mad Monster Monday here at Kinky Ho-rror, so we’re using a rubber…suit, that is. 😉
Today’s featured creature feature is 1967’s Monster from a Prehistoric Planet… among a thousand other names! The film has also gone under the tit-les Daikyojû Gappa, Gappa: The Giant Beast, Gappa, The Triphibian Monster, Gappa: The Triphibian Monster, and Gappa – Frankensteins fliegende Monster (Gappa – Frankenstein’s Flying Monster) in Germany. That last one is especially awesome because this movie has zero to do with Frankenstein!
The only thing it has in common with Frankenstein is that it seems to be made up parts of other films, namely Gojira (1954) and Gorgo (1961). It’s been suggested that the film is a satire of kaiju films, but it resembles the real thing closely. And, if you’re a kreature kreep like us, that’s far from a bad thing! This film is loaded with kind of low-budget destruction we here at KH adore!
You know what they say… big feet… big monster!
Check out the giant-sized terror below:
Have a Monstrously Marvelous week, Kinky Ho-mies! 🙂 xoxo
“Ladies and gentlemen, attention please! Come in close, so everyone can see! I got a tale to tell. A listen don’t cost a dime.. ..And if you believe that, we’re gonna get along just fine!”
Heh.. heh.. heh… Welcome back to my Fear Fair of Fear Fare, my abominable audience! Today’s Father’s Day, so I’ve got a twisted exhibit that’ll make you cry for your daddy! It’s a putrid parental potboiler we call… Father’s Day!
Sound familiar, Fear Freaks? Well, it should! Father’s Daywas adapted from Creepshow,the clas-sick of sick sin-ema from professional sickos Stephen King and George A. Romero. The comic was written by King and illustrated by Bernie “Swamp Thing” Wrightson. Their chiller-diller is about the worst kind of deadbeat dad… the kind who won’t stay dead! Remember, carnage carnies… father knows BEAST… even if he’s been living under a headstone! For your amusement and DEADucation, Here’s Father’s Day:
Sorry, Folks! The Carnival is closed. All Out and Over, All Out, All Over!
(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks, my Ho-use-lovin’ ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)
Where have all the good haunted house movies gone to, huh? I’m talking about the ones that are both fun and scary, the ones that are worth a laugh and a fright. Goes back to the old saying, “they just don’t make them like they used to.” I’m not complaining that all haunted house movies are bad, in fact some of them have been pretty darn good in the past few years, but they are horror rather than horror comedy. Well, unless you count those family friendly ones that occupy the Redbox that are neither scary nor funny. Admittedly, it’s a hard combination to juggle without getting too campy, but 1986’s House, while a little campy, nicely balances that fine line of horror and comedy.
Sean S. Cunningham, the producer of 1972’s The Last House on the Left and director of 1980’s Friday the 13th knows a thing or two about horror, so when he was attached to produce House, it may come off as puzzling to some since those films had such dark and serious tones. However, what people don’t know is that Roger Corman was an executive producer, so that could explain the camp factor. Staying with the Friday the 13th connection, Steve Miner, who had directed Friday the 13th Part 2 was at the helm directing a script by Fred Dekker (who would go on to make movies, like Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps) and Ethan Wiley, so this could explain why the movie nearly flawlessly handles the genres. You throw in Sean S. Cunningham’s buddy and composer Harry Manfredini and it’s safe to say that the film was in good hands. Of course, this was before Steve Miner directed terrible films, like Halloween: H20 or that abysmally insulting Day of the Dead remake, so this is before his decline when he was actually making good movies.
The Greatest American Hero star William Katt plays Roger Cobb, a writer who has a few issues (hey, you wouldn’t be a writer if you didn’t, right?). For starters, his kid suddenly vanished one day in the swimming pool and he couldn’t hold it together, so his hot actress wife, Sandy Sinclair (Kay Lenz) leaves him. Then his nutty aunt Elizabeth hangs herself in a big ol’ spooky mansion, the very one where his kid went missing. Roger inherits the house and decides to move in, because what better place to write his book based on his Vietnam experiences than a house he already has numerous traumatic connections with? After all, good writers pull from real life tragedies, but I think he may be overdoing it here. When he’s not pretending he’s throwing big parties while on the phone with his ex-wife, he’s possibly hallucinating his dead aunt marching around the house. So if he’s not seeing dead people, he’s dressing up in his old combat gear to try and having Vietnam flashbacks. I assure you, Roger isn’t crazy, but the film is setting up a rather interesting piece of character development that would be considered ahead of its time.
Norm from Cheers (George Wendt) is his neighbor Harold who stops by to play the comic relief, otherwise we’d have a very down trodden Vietnam metaphor movie on our hands. He may provide us, the audience, with laughs, but he tends to get on Roger’s nerves when he isn’t providing beer or snacks. More often than not, Harold is a distraction from Roger’s writing at convenient times, like when he’s having some serious Vietnam flashbacks about some big ox of a soldier name Ben (Richard Moll). After Ben was wounded in combat, Roger couldn’t bring himself to finish Ben off, so he was subsequently dragged away by the enemy and tortured for weeks. It something that seems to haunt him, but now that haunting may seem to be manifesting physically as one night a monster pops out of the closet and claws at Roger’s torso! Knowing nobody will believe him, he knows that he will need evidence, but only makes himself look nuttier than a Payday in the process, wiring and rigging a number of cameras to go off right when he pulls a string and does the Pete Townsend powerslides on his knees out the front door and then reality kicks him hard in the nards as he’s just sitting there with Harold staring at him. Awkward.
Nobody believes poor Roger that some pugnacious hauntings are happening. Not Harold, not Sandy. Nobody. Could it all be in Roger’s head? That’s what you along with the other characters are starting to think at this point and it’s probably the most brilliant aspect of this movie. Long before it had a name it could be identified with, House was ahead of its time and was bringing attention to PTSD. I have to commend William Katt’s performance, because he really brings emotion of someone losing their grip on reality to the forefront here. As he pleads with Harold or whoever that the monsters are real, beads of sweat roll down his face, his voice cracks and you can see and hear the desperation that he just wants someone to believe him. Even when he is by himself being chased around the house by the specters, you start to wonder if it really is all in his head or if it’s happening. When he imagines his ex-wife stopping by and turning into a weird, blobbish, twisted version of her, he shoots it only to see it may really be his wife, you figure he’s definitely lost it and he killed someone. He breaks down in tears, but all is not as it seems as the monster rears its ugly head once again and this time, he cuts it up and buries it. The scene goes from being boo-scary, to horrifying (in the sense that he may have murdered a person) to funny, so the film wants to not only play with tone, but to also play with your expectations.
Not giving up, Roger is determined to make someone believe him and who better than Harold? After finally witnessing some sort of ghoul, Harold fails at helping Roger who is dragged into the closet and teleported to what looks like the Vietnam war where he comes across his missing son, but that’s not the only one. It seems like a familiar face, as rotten and decayed as it may not be, but familiar nonetheless, was responsible for kidnapping his son and now it wants revenge. Roger is now pitted against an old frenemy as he battles for his son and possibly his own sanity and really if you look at it like the events are all happening in Roger’s head, the film still works as a drama comedy instead of a horror comedy. I think that’s one of the best things about House, is that no matter how you perceive it, the film still works as that genre. Regardless of what was actually happening, it’s still about Roger’s struggle with the effects of war and coping with the loss of his son. It also just happens to be about spoopy ghosts.
Some of these ghosts are downright ghastly, like the closet monster with its many arms or the monster version of his ex-wife that has a high pitched, distorted voice that makes me feel uncomfortable, while others… eh, not so much. The two children monsters that come out of the chimney look dreadful in the wrong way. Their mouths and eyes don’t move, they look cheap and rubbery. In the midst of this fun film with great creature effects, you get these two that looks like the budget ran out, so they had to run to the Halloween store and get some cheap costumes. They aren’t prominently displayed on screen or featured very long, so it’s not very troublesome, but for the brief period of time they are on screen they can be an eyesore. Perhaps the best looking makeup effect is that of Ben all zomb-i-fied. Basically, take the look of Jason from Friday the 13th Part VII and slap some Vietnam garb on on Bull from Night Court and there ya go. He has exposed bones and organs, he looks dusty yet slimey, it’s absolutely fantastic looking.
Some of these effects may look less impressive on the new 2K restoration from Arrow Video. While the film itself looks marvelous, what with edges being sharp and colors being bright and vivid, it suffers a bit from looking too good. Often there were times you could see the faults in the makeup or prosthetics, like being able to see actor Richard Moll’s mouth painted black behind the false teeth of zombie Ben. It’s a minor nitpick and didn’t ruin my experience of the film. If anything, I was happy to finally view the film nice and clean for the first time, seeing as the only viewing experience I’ve ever had is my old VHS copy. The audio commentary by director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, actor William Katt and screenwriter Ethan Wiley is a good listen, providing some insight and memories on the making of the movie. Speaking of making the movie, there’s a great feature included called Ding Dong, You’re Dead! The Making of House that includes interviews with Steve Miner, Sean S. Cunningham, Ethan Wiley, story creator Fred Dekker, stars William Katt, Kay Lenz, and George Wendt, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up and creature effects artists Barney Burman, Brian Wade, James Belohovek, Shannon Shea, Kirk Thatcher, and Bill Sturgeon, special paintings artists Richard Hescox and William Stout, and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder. Trailers and a still gallery round out the features.
I don’t think House is overlooked, but I think some have forgotten about or others may think it’s just a jump scare horror film, which it is, but it’s more than that. House has a message, something to say about the then unnamed PTSD and how some Veterans are affected by it and struggle. It’s also a charming comedy with plenty of likable characters and funny moments. In the wrong hands, this film could have been a disaster. A lesser cast and crew would have failed at juggling all the themes and ideas, but luckily you had a handful of talented people treating it with care and having a lot of fun that translates on the screen. The film is an absolute riot. It’s witty, charming as well as being scary and funny. I can’t think of many other films that are able to do all of that as well House. The film is packaged here in the states along with its sequel, House II: The Second Story, in a neat little box called House: The Two Stories. Although the UK got all four House films in their boxset (I’m guessing the US couldn’t due to rights issues), I’m happy at least the first film got a proper Blu-ray treatment. Well, maybe the second film too.
Ho-wdy, superfiends! After more than 70 years of being one of pop culture’s baddest badass and the standard by which all superheroines are judged, Wonder Woman is finally on the big screen in a big, bad way! After (arguably) stealing the show in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Invincible Enemy of Injustice is kicking Evil’s ass and lassoing baddies in her very own feature! It may have taken decades, but based on the overwhelmingly positive critical response, it seems like it was worth the wait. 🙂
To ho-nor Our Lady of Awesome, we’re taking a look at an early attempt to bring her to the spotlight… No, not her…
That’s f-right, Kinky Kreeps! Before Lynda Carter fought for our rights (in her satin tights), producer William Dozier of Batman fame tried to work some of his campy magic on the Amazing Amazon. In 1967, he produced a five-minute screen test with Ellie Wood Walker (Targets) as Wonder Woman. Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of the Adam West Batman, so giving Wondy the same treatment sounded great to me! Unfortunately, this test is less Batman and more My Mother the Car.
While Batman was undeniably silly, the show treated its Caped Crusader as a figure worthy of respect within his world. However, this pilot depicts Wondy as a vain, bumbling fool who’s constantly berated by her mother for being single. At one point, Wonder Woman spends an entire minute admiring herself in a mirror and blowing kisses at a reflection of herself… played by Planet of the Apes‘ Linda Harrison! The whole thing is totally bonkers and ends with what may just be the greatest flying effect in History! So, yeah… its depiction of women is, um.. of its time, just about every single jokes lands with a thud, and it doesn’t treat its heroine with the respect she deserves… but it’s a goofy artifact worth checking out. It ain’t our Wonder Woman, but it has a cheesy charm of its own. For all its faults, it is a fascinating part of the history of one of our great icons. With that said, I’m glad that the film is depicting Wondy as the formidable Amazonian warrior she is in the new film.
You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman! 🙂 Check out the test below:
(Submitted by my Wonder Twin, Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, my hellishly heroic ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)
The third volume of Hellboy consists of several short stories, so I decided to review them each on their own. This first story takes us to 1959 in Ireland, where Hellboy is brought in to investigate a child abduction case. However, when he arrives at the home, the child is in her crib. However, the child’s mother believes that the baby is not her daughter Alice Monaghan, citing that the baby says awful things and laughs at her, when her husband is away. Hellboy believes the mother and burns the child with a hot iron, forcing it to reveal it’s true form. Being a supernatural/horror book, that form is that of a fairy. This fairy named Gruagach instructs Hellboy that baby Alice is being held by other fairies. He confronts them and they offer him a deal; In exchange for burying one of their deceased brethren on the holy ground of one of three possible Christian churches, they will allow Hellboy to return the child to her parents. At two of the churches, the dead spirits rose up shouting; “No Room”, preventing Hellboy from burying the deceased skeleton. When they reach the ruins of a castle with a Christian cemetery, Hellboy is confronted by a disgruntled Gruagach who is furious over being burned with an iron and wants revenge. Things gets really weird when our angry fairy summons a Pig-Man to rise from deep underground, and battle Hellboy. Hellboy is able to defeat this strange adversary, while in the nick of time honoring his deal to bury the corpse the other farriers entrusted him with and returns Alice to the loving home of her parents.
After two volumes of Hellboy battling Rasputin and mystical Nazis, this was a weird and refreshing change of pace. When reading Hellboy, I’ve come to expect the unique and strange. Between his coworkers Abe Sapien, the mystical Nazi’s and the lizard creature in last volume, who knows what we’ll see our favorite horned paranormal investigator take on. Despite all this, I’ll be honest and say I did not expect we’d get a story with fairies. What Mignola does well, is once again balancing something as mystical as fairies, with a real world earth bound fear/predicament as child abduction. In the forward to this graphic novel, Mignola mentioned being influenced by Irish folktale for this story, which is something that definitely shines through in the work. The way the fairies spoke read like an Irish dialect. That, coupled with the fact that the fairies were little people, and that the corpse requested to be buried with gold had me thinking of them as leprechauns more than fairies. Once I made that connection, I instantly developed a craving for Lucky Charms cereal. The best parts of the story for me, was the banter between Hellboy and the corpse that he was tasked with burying, They argued about every possible detail along their journey, From everything to how Hellboy carried the corpse, to the road Hellboy took to eventually get to their destination. This reminded me of a relationship between a grandparent and their grandchild. As both get older, the little habits each have start to get on the other’s nerves, as they spend more time together. The Pig-Man creature cane across like a creepier more demonic version of lesser Batman villain Professor Pyg. I also couldn’t stop thinking of that Seinfeld episode where the gang were at the hospital, and Kramer was convinced he saw an actual man-pig hybrid.
As is usual with Mike Mignola, he also does the art. Superman’s signature pose is his hands on his hips, Batman’s is being crouched on a gargoyle and we all know Wonder Woman is a badass no matter what pose she assumes. Hellboy’s signature pose appears to be carrying a skeletal corpse on his back, as it’s happened in two of three graphic novels. While there are fairies, they aren’t your traditional fairies. In fact, the fairies look like the progeny of Golem and a Leprechaun. Try and get that image out of your head. Mignola’s art isn’t as hyper detailed as more current comic book artists, yet his rendition of Ireland, especially the castle ruins really looks great and makes me want to visit there. Well, that and the fact that Game of Thrones films there. Mike Mignola’s art looking so good is dependent on the work of the colorist. Matthew Hollingsworth was responsible for that aspect of this particular story. I loved the use of black, and then highlighting certain traits of Hellboy, while most of a panel is shrouded in darkness. Specifically in this book I liked how the orange/yellow of Hellboy’s eyes became more vibrant and noticeable when he was angered or frustrated. Even in comic books, the eyes can be the window to the soul.
This story was a quieter, more intimate story featuring Hellboy. I also liked that it was a Hellboy standalone story, in the truest sense of the word, as it solely focused on Hellboy, leaving out his associates in the BPRD. This story is by no means a game changer in the grand scheme of the stories relating to Volume 1 & 2, but it’s a nice little respite, while still giving you a Hellboy fix, as the next epic scale story surely approaches. Definitely worth a read.
The PG-13 rating seems to carry around a certain stigma with it these days. In the last decade whenever a new movie is released and it’s rated PG-13, it more often than not means that it’s been watered down and stripped of anything that could make it rough or edge just to sell more tickets, but given it the illusion it’s not a childish PG rated film. I’m not speaking against films that are rated PG-13 themselves, but there are instances when a movie is softened to the point of having no impact. However, that wasn’t always the case. It used to mean it actually contained content that’s more for a young adult audience, perhaps to rough for a teen audience. They contained swearing, nudity, blood and even the tones were much darker.
1986’s The Gate was only rated PG-13 and it’s pretty damn scary in both tone and some of the imagery. When I recently revisited the film on Blu-ray from Vestron Video, I was still blown away by some of the content in the movie. It’s safe to say that it was definitely way darker than I remembered. When I was a kid, it always freaked me out. I remember my stepbrother would bring it over and we would wait until after midnight to watch it, as if we were daring our senses to not get scared and rewatching it now, those feelings came rushing back. Not only that, but I realized why it had such an effect on me; it works as both a teenage adventure in the vein of something like Monster Squad or The Goonies and also as a horror film. Not something that can easily be done, but you throw in some likable characters and some killer creature effects and you have yourself a sure winner.
A really young Stephen Dorff, the man who is better known as “the guy who almost consistently has a career,” plays Glen, your average kid who likes to build model rockets and any trouble he gets into is incidental. Before leaving for whatever reason for a few days (just long enough for evil shenanigans to happen) Glen’s parents are digging a large tree out of the yard and it leaves behind a noticeably large hole that seems to contain geodes, so he invites his nerdy, metal friend Terry to help dig some up. Man, there’s something that dates the film; people having an interest in geodes. I should also mention that Glen gets a splinter covered in blood and drops it into the whole, because as we all know, anything involving demons needs blood put into something. Believing to find the mother of all geodes, possibly being a whopping hundred bucks, the two manage to crack it open. Meanwhile, Glen’s cute sister, AJ, is throwing a party downstairs and it’s getting out of hand! There’s all kinds of tomfoolery, like witchcraft and they even manage to levitate Glen, which freaks him out and sends him crying to his room. Luckily, AJ is a good sister and lets Terry spend the night. This is where things start to get freaky.
Believing that he was seeing his dead mother in the middle of the night, Terry finds Glen’s dog dead, but things start to escalate. The next day, AJ’s crush, Eric, gets tasked with taking the dog to be disposed of properly, but the place that does that just so happens to be closed… at like, sometime in the early afternoon. Maybe the keep odd hours. Well, seeing as how there’s a dead dog and a giant hole, Eric just tosses the poor mutt’s body down there and wipes his hands clean. Literally, there is a shot of him cleaning his hands. What harm could come out of unknowingly throwing a corpse down a demonic hole?
Rocking out alone in his bedroom, as ‘80s kids were prone to do seeing as there was no internet, Terry realizes that his heavy metal record seems to be speaking of a recent similar experience involving demons and a gate. It’s a good thing for Terry and Glen that the band decided to use the an entire album as a chronicling of the demons; who they are, where they come from, how to stop them, ya know, plot convenient stuff. They immediately tell Al and the three of them head out into the backyard to investigate the hole and, to their surprise, it’s covered up, so they believe whatever they did sealed away the evil, unbeknownst to them it was covered up by Eric while burying the dog. Now that the gate has a sacrifice, the real party can begin.
Everything is seemingly back to normal and while Glen and Terry have their respective company over, little demons stop by to crash the party. These demons are amazingly well done with a mix of very impressive stop motion and force perspective cinematography of actors in demon suits, so it looks like they are right there with the actors. The stop motion is so good that you can even see the demons’ chests.moving up and down, to simulate their breathing, but that begs the question why do demons need oxygen? I’m taking a jab, it’s not even a nitpick. In fact, it breathes life into the practical effects (no pun intended… okay, a little intended). The three struggle to fight off the little monsters and if that’s not enough, a zombie, the dead body of a fabled construction worker that was buried within Glen’s walls, crashes through the wall and begins taking them all away until Glen is left alone to defend himself against the evil and stopping them from taking over the world. If Stephen Dorff couldn’t stop Blade, I don’t know how he plans on stopping this thing.
The Gate is a such a wonderful movie that works well on all aspects, it doesn’t matter what it was rated. The bit of comedy works and the characters are likable and sympathetic. Terry’s backstory is hinted at here and there and although he’s given the cliched trope of ‘dead mother and father is too busy with work,’ you still feel for the poor kid. He’s comes across as troubled and he’s very aggressive toward anyone but Glen. You get the feeling that if he continues down this path, he could very well end up doing something terrible to others and himself. Of course, this film isn’t about him or his life story, but he’s developed that well. Glen and AJ have a bit of a damaged relationship now that she’s getting older and wants to be accepted by the cool crowd, so she dismisses her younger brother, but you get the notion she feels awful about it. Glen clearly is feeling the separation from his family seeing as nobody seems to want to spend time with him and his only friend, Terry, is slowly slipping away. I think the film is about regaining your relationships with others just as much as it is about demons from Hell.
And of course you have the demons, the little imps, who don’t make an appearance until the final act of the film and it’s actually better that way. I know most films now need to show something in the first five minutes out of fear of losing the audience, but with The Gate you are more engaged with the characters and just to tease you, there are hints of freaky things happening around the house. I was never bored spending time with these characters, in fact I would love to see the further adventures of (yes, I know there is a sequel that follows Terry). It’s well paced and builds up to the moment the demons arrive and when it does, it goes full out and doesn’t let up until the end. As the film goes on and spookier things begin to happen, the lighting changes dramatically. Bright blues and magentas are used in place of normal colors and the black shadows become heavier. It doesn’t reach comic book-esque levels of lighting, but it changes enough to let you know that something from another world is coming. Among some other effects aside from your minor cuts and bruises is the zombie who rather than looking like a gory, goopy Romero zombie looks instead like he’s covered in dust and decayed. Ya know, as if he were hidden in a wall, so it works. The film does shy away from a few gory shots, like when a character is stabbed in the eye with a Barbie doll leg and another’s face caves in. There are obvious quick edits around it, but it’s forgiving.
Having the film restored on Blu-ray from Vestron is worth it alone, but there are enough bonus features on the disc fill a hole in your backyard with. Not one, but two audio commentaries are present, including one with Director Tibor Takacs, Writer Michael Nankin, and Special Effects Designer & Supervisor Randall William Cook and another with Special Effects Designer & Supervisor Randall William Cook, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Craig Reardon, Special Effects Artist Frank Carere, and Matte Photographer Bill Taylor. That’s enough for some replay value, eh? There’s also several featurettes, like The Gate: Unlocked, Minion Maker, From Hell It Came, The Workman Speaks, Made in Canada, From Hell: The Creatures & Demons of The Gate, The Gatekeepers and Making of The Gate. Do I need to mention there’s also TV spots, a theatrical and a teaser trailer along with a storyboard gallery and a BTS gallery? Because there are.
The Gate does more than fulfill my nostalgic need for ‘80s adventure and horror; it also makes me incredibly happy. I know that may sound weird about demons coming out of a hole in the ground and terrorizing kids, but there’s something very innocent and honest about the film, while remaining scary. I’m sure because of the lack of gore and swearing it managed to dodge an R rating, even though at one point someone is called a fag. Hey, it was the ‘80s and nobody knew what it really meant. Anyway, when I say there’s something honest about it, I mean that the characters and their relationships or what they are going through is so relatable and I think that’s why it not only ties into how scary the film is, but also of why it’s still reflected upon today positively.
(Happy Mammorial Day, Kinky Ho-mies! No scary stuff today…War is scary enough, ya know? #deepthoughts Big hugs to Smutmaster Eric for contributing this festive ho-rrorday happiness…Enjoy the long -hehe ;)- weekend, Kinky Ho-bots! 🙂 xoxo)
Featuring: Pam Grier, Margaret Markov, Kristine DeBell, Nancy Dare, Terri Hall & Juliet Graham.
Black Mama, White Mama (1973)
Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976)