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By James Whittington, Friday 30th March 2018
One of the best from the golden years of VHS, The Gate from 1987 has been given the Vestron Blu-ray treatment thanks to Lionsgate. As with the rest of this collection they've given the movie a release to be proud of, but before we cover that here's what it's all about.
When best friends Glen and Terry stumble across a mysterious crystalline rock in Glen's backyard, they quickly dig up the newly sodden lawn searching for more precious stones. Instead, they unearth The Gate - an underground chamber of terrifying demonic evil. The teenagers soon understand what evil they've released as they are overcome with an assortment of horrific experiences. With fiendish followers invading suburbia, it's now up to the kids to discover the secret that can lock The Gate forever... if it's not too late.
Famous for its use of traditional SFX, The Gate is old school horror pushed up to the max. Think of Stranger Things but with its retro fun turned up to 11 and you are part way there. This is basically the story of how meddling kids open a portal to hell whilst their parents are away, that's basically it but it works so wonderfully. The young cast includes Stephen Dorff in his first role and although his acting skills are yet to be firmed up he does a great job here. The others are slightly flatter in the acting stakes but are likable and not too bratty!
Director Tibor Takacs keeps things going and likes to have as much SFX on screen as possible, all the budget is up for all to see and the set-pieces just keep on coming. The idea of a heavy metal album opening a portal is a great trope and you're sucked into the story just because its so much fun and who as a kid, didn't ever want this to happen at some point in their lives? No? Just me then!
The transfer is solid, the garish 80s decor and sets are given a vibrant new lease of life and the green screen effects don't stand out too much. The sound mix is also given an extra boost but even during the many scenes of high winds the dialogue remains clear.
This disc is packed with extras, in fact enough to fill a very deep hole and include; Audio Commentary with Director Tibor Takacs, Writer Michael Nankin, and Special Effects Designer and Supervisor Randall William Cook, another commentary this time from Special Effects Designer and Supervisor Randall William Cook, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Craig Reardon, Special Effects Artist Frank Carere and Matte Photographer Bill Taylor. There's an Isolated Score and Audio Interview with Composers Michael Hoenig and J. Peter Robinson plus a plethora of interviews and trailers.
Once again Lionsgate have given a classic a damn good polishing and given it a release no collector should be without.
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