There’s something about the movies of the 80’s that, for some odd reason, seems to have gotten lost over the next two decades or so. For me, that “something” is that theme of the dark world that lies just beyond the veil. A world filled with unimaginable terrors that try endlessly to tear into our realm. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve got our Harry Potter and his magical world of wonder, but even eight films deep, that still doesn’t compare to the multitude of 80’s flicks that create other worlds just beyond ours. Which brings me to today’s subject of ravenous reviewing, The Gate (1986).
The Gate starts off with prepubescent Glen (Steven Dorff. You know, Deacan Frost from the first Blade flick), and his best buddy, Terry (Louis Tripp), who comes off as the 80’s precursor to a heavy metal McLovin. These two not-so-Hardy Boys end up screwing around with a giant hole in Glen’s backyard only to discover a basketball sized geode. Innocently enough, they take the geode up to Glen’s bedroom hoping to cash in on the semi-precious gems inside of it. Low and behold, after Terry does his best gold miner impression on it, the geode cracks open to reveal a dazzling light show that would make a Blue Oyster Cult concert jealous. And what 80’s flick would be complete if the opening of that alien geode didn’t scrawl some demonic incantations on some transfer paper that just happened to be nearby? Next thing we know, Glen reads the incantations out loud and all hell literally breaks loose.
I gotta say, for a budget flick from the 80’s, The Gate is a pretty damn decent roller coaster ride. You’ve got a house that looks like someone ate a plate of pastel colors and vomited all over the decor. You’ve got teenagers dressed in gear that would make Cindy Lauper proud. You’ve got heavy metal records played backwards to reveal hidden, life saving incantations. And to top it all off, the creature effects, namely the homunculi, were leagues beyond those of the movie Subspecies, and that shit was made in 1991. All in all, I’d recommend The Gate to anyone that wants to relive that childhood wonder that something evil awaits us just at the edge of our world.