The Gate (1987 franchise)

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Promotional posters for The Gate (1987 franchise)...
  • The Gate (1987)
  • Gate II (made in 1988, finally released in 1990)
  • A 2011 3D remake seems to have gotten lost in Development Hell.


Summary

Inspired by the occult liner notes and lyrics to an obscure heavy metal record called "The Dark Book", two young boys accidentally complete a ritual that releases a horde of demons from a pit in their backyard serving as an inter-dimensional gateway for the demons to emerge from and dominate the Earth.


Details

  • Release Date: 1987, 1990
  • Country/Language: Canada, English
  • Genres/Technical: Fantasy, Horror
  • Starring: Stephen Dorff, Louis Tripp, Christa Denton, Pamela Segall
  • Director: Tibor Takács
  • Writer: Michael Nankin
  • Producer/Production Co: John Kemeny
  • View Trailer: (link), (link)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG-13 (PG-13 for Violence and mild Profanity)

Probably suitable for older children with some adult supervision: the violence and profanity are relatively mild and the scares are not especially shocking by today's standards.


Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Somewhat Lovecraftian)

Though not explicitly Lovecraftian, the franchise seems to borrow a little from H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, William Hope Hodgson, and other weird fiction writers in the backstory of alien "old ones" from beyond a gate waiting for a chance to claim the Earth through occult sorcery or (in the sequel) weird science. In an odd spin on a standard weird fiction trope, a heavy metal record and its liner notes are used as the 1980s equivalent of a Mythos Tome.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Y.Whateley: A fun, "Lovecraft-light" little 1980s film series that (along with Equinox) was one of my earlier exposures to "Lovecraftian" fantasy/horror, with the creative low-budget effects and the films' amiable and imaginative cult-film-friendly qualities being among the series' selling points. Though not explicitly Lovecraftian, the franchise seems to borrow a little from H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, William Hope Hodgson, and other weird fiction writers in the backstory of alien "old ones" from beyond a gate waiting for a chance to claim the Earth through occult sorcery or (in the sequel) weird science. In an odd spin on a standard weird fiction trope, a heavy metal record and its liner notes are used as the 1980s equivalent of a Mythos Tome. Probably suitable for older children with some adult supervision: the violence and profanity are relatively mild and the scares are not especially shocking by today's standards.
  • Psychoplasmics: (link)
  • Video Reveiw of The Gate by Brandon Tenold (link)

Synopsis

THE GATE: Inspired by the occult liner notes and lyrics to an obscure heavy metal record called "The Dark Book", two young boys accidentally complete a ritual that releases a horde of demons from a pit in their backyard serving as an inter-dimensional gateway for the demons to emerge from and dominate the Earth.

GATE 2: One of the boys from the first film has studied enough demonology to try to re-open The Gate and compel a demonic minion to grant him the power to help his out-of-work father put his life back on track, but everything goes wrong when his classmates get involved in the ritual and discover that the minion's powers come with strings attached.


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

Keeper Notes