REVIEW: The Gate (1987)


The Gate: B-

Introducing… Stephen Dorff! That’s right! Before America’s favorite tweed-wearing e-cig salesman acted in such gems as and Immortals, he made his debut in this little flick about as young boy who accidentally opens a gate to another world, allowing a cornucopia of evil creatures to enter our dimension.

The film is about little kids fighting monsters in white suburban America. It’s a little more serious than Monster Squad but way goofier than Lost Boys. Little Dorph comes home one day and finds a magic rock by his tree house. He and his annoying asshole friend Terry bust the rock open and read the magic runes inside. Typical white people. Weird stuff happens after their reading. Little Dorph’s dog dies and his house stretches and compresses like the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.

Terry winds up being the “wise elder” character even though he is like fucking twelve years old. He plays a metal record backwards while reading the lyric book and concludes that the magic rock is a relic that can open portals to demonic planes and all that is needed to complete the process is to dump a sacrifice in the hole from which they extracted the rock. How does Terry know all this? Oh, you know, comic books, heavy metal, a serious lack of friends, and (probably) tons of jerking off.

Some idiot buries little Dorph’s dog in the hole and the Gate-shit really hits the Gate-fan. We get zombies, shape-shifting demons, gremlins. Terry becomes a zombie. Little Dorph is caressed by a demon and an eyeball grows on the palm of his hand. Nothing seems to slow the monsters down except… The Bible! Typical white people. Little Dorph reads some Psalms and eventually chucks the Bible into the Gate/hole, but all it does it temporarily repel the monsters and piss them off. They storm the house and really fuck it up.

In the end, little Dorph launches a toy rocket that his sister was going to give him for his birthday at the head demon. The rocket represents love, family, and blah-blah-blah so it kills everything and little Dorph wins. The eyeball on his hand is gone; Terry is alive and well, ready to go home and masturbate; even the fucking dog gets resurrected! The Gate/hole has been sealed. The end.

Is it scary? Not really. There are some charming stop motion effects and some legit looking make-up. The CGI looks like the effects from the first Ghostbusters. The creature design is unique enough. This is more of a “fun” horror movie where the little kid winds up saving the day. I’m probably biased because I remember watching it a lot as a kid, but it’s a fun ride (a goofy-as-fuck ride, but fun) and worth a view.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s