And Then The World Exploded

If you’re an Alex Winter fan, you’ll recognize that quote from one of his early short films.

His output has been few and far between, but he’s still out there plugging away. Hell, he even got me to watch a stupid Cartoon Network movie because he directed it.

I’ve mentioned this before, but he’s supposed to be directing a remake of one of my favorite flicks from the 80’s. The Gate.

Much better than the new DVD cover

I reviewed it for , before. I’m not sure if the write-up is any good, but I’ll save you the time and tell you that the movie is, even if my ramblings are not. I’ll put the review up, down the page.

Now, I’m torn. I generally hate the idea of remaking a film that already has been done correctly. And The Gate was done just fine.

Can it benefit from an updating of FX and technology? I mean, I really like the stop-motion mixed with men-in-suits FX of the original.

But Winter wants to take this story and just have a fun time messing with the audience using 3-D.

That gets my attention.

Does anybody else have a soft spot for The Gate? And if so, what do you think about Winter taking a stab at it? Personally, I’d rather he remake Troll. That’s a film that could really benefit from new tech and his bat-shit crazy side. The Gate had some dark and deep aspects to it. If this project goes through, I’ll be there to see it. But I doubt a new version will be able to take the place of the original.

This quote from Winter makes me hopeful, though:

“The whole movie takes place in a house, and my biggest influence for „The Gate“ is the Robert Wise version of „The Haunting“, being one of my all-time favorites. That one would have made a great 3D movie. Imagine a shot having the camera at the bottom of the stairs with the stairs kind of in-your-face a little and nothing else happening. That would be very scary. And 3D is good for that too. It’s good for environments. Our movie is gonna have quiet moments like that and and then of course it’s gonna have shit flying everywhere as well.”

That's perfect!

Good luck, man.

Here’s my review of the original, from my stint at

Let’s take this moment to use our time machines and travel back to the wonderous year of 1987. Remember that year? It brought us a lot of great horror flicks, including Evil Dead 2, as a matter of fact.

Does anybody except for me recall when there was no PG-13? In ’84 Joe Dante and Stevie Speilberg changed all of that for us with a little flick called Gremlins. There was public outrage that they would dare show rubber monsters get cut up in a blender or exploded in a microwave! In a PG flick, at that! How fucking terrible! Those bastards were obviously trying to corrupt our youth and make them kill rubber monsters for real!

Anyway, come 1987, PG-13 was in full swing and many filmmakers were taking the chance at pushing the envelope a little further with the scariness yet still be able to tap the youth market. A far cry from today, where studios and filmmakers intentionally pull their punches in order to get that all-important youth market.

Enter a Mr. Tibor Takacs and one VERY young Mr. Stephen Dorff. You know Mr. Dorff from the original Blade, *ahem* Feardotcom and *coughcough* Alone In The Dark. But in ’87 he was just a wee lad. That’s right. We’re gonna talk about The Gate.

The film is rather well done, for a film that’s supposed to be aimed at kids. And also pretty goddamn dark.

See, it’s based on H.P. Lovecraft’s mythology of the Great Old Ones. The Elder Gods. Those that were around before man and before Christ. We call them demons. Anyway, read Lovecraft for more info, the movie just gives you the basics.

We focus on Glen, his older sister, Al (Alexandra) and Glen’s friend Terry. I should point out that Terry’s mother passed away at some recent time, as this is referenced later. Glen and Al’s parents leave for the weekend just after a storm has toppled a tree in their backyard, which leaves a gaping pit. Various weird things happen and Terry, while listening to his metal albums, figures out that the gate to the Elder Gods has been opened. From there it’s just weirdness after weirdness until the inevitable final opening of the gate to release the big-ass “demon” and whatever… you can figure it out.

Why did I point out Terry’s dead mother? Because this is one dark, disturbing and downright fucking creepy goddamn movie. There’s a scene where Terry’s mom shows up all dressed in white (before any REALLY weird shit has happened, btw) and telling him how much she loves him and it all gets very disturbing from there. I won’t give it away.

This movie hits a lot of the fears of the younger crowd. Parents? They’re so powerful, compared to children. That’s touched on. Shadows, sounds, ghost stories.. They’re all played upon and quite well.

The FX are just amazing for the small budget and the time period. I REALLY wanna fucking know how they made those little demons look so damn good! I mean, it appears to be a combination of stop-motion and guys in suits, but I can’t be sure.

I don’t understand how this little gem of a flick has been buried over the years and overlooked. I remember seeing it in the theaters and totally being in to it. I just saw it an hour ago, and I was right back there, in the theater and loving it. It has a great moral about sibling love and what’s important. And, damn, it’s one of the few kids flicks that really approached the loss of a parent in any rational way, at all.

*sigh* Tibor…I miss this guy. He only had one really noteworthy flick after this one, and it went straight to video. I, Madman. A bit disjointed, but a great concept and really showed his talent. Sadly, after making another direct to video flick, The Gate 2, he’s mostly done T.V., including “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” T.V. flicks. Oh, christ. I really don’t see why he didn’t climb higher. I really miss this guy.

So, check out The Gate for one of the creepiest “made for kids” flicks you’ll ever see.

Nix Says: Did I mention “woot”?

About Nix

Dreams are hauntings in our heads.
This entry was posted in Random BS and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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