demons with skin like Silly Putty and arms like a dead lizard are trying
to destroy America while the parents are spending the weekend in Oshkosh.
What happens is that two kids dig up a meteor in the backyard and
accidentally mumble some heavy-metal rock-music lyrics into the hole and
summon up the day-uh-vil. The demons are just the beginning. Their MAMA is
on her way, and she is about 27 feet high, has skin like volcanic lava and
arms like a giant Weed-Eater. Fortunately the 12-year-old hero has the
ultimate secret weapon: a toy rocket.
No breasts (jailbait Valley Girls).
Four dead bodies. One dead stinky dog. Three quarts blood. Giant moth
attack. Child-actor levitation. Eye-socket gouging, with goo. Exploding
phone. Eyeball-in-the-hand. Gratuitous chainsaw. Lightning Fu. With
Stephen Dorff as the kid ("I want to call Mom and Dad"), Louis Tripp as
the heavy-metal nerd neighbor who gets chewed up by demon-babies. Tripp
has the best line: "You see, we accidentally summoned these demons who
used to rule the universe to come back and take over the world."
For this and other movie reviews by the artist formerly known as the host of MonsterVision, go to Joe Bob Briggs.com
The Gate 2
The Gate (1987) opened the same weekend as big-budget flop "Ishtar," and grossed about as much, putting the low-budget Gate into profit quickly. Gate 2 was made two years later, with a different cast except Louis Tripp. He's now a teen and decides to re-summon the underworld demons to grant his wishes. Somewhat unnecessary sequel doesn't have the goofy fright of the first one, and wasn't released until 1992. But eventually, all hell breaks loose again, with decent special effects.
95 minutes rated R. No relation to Japanese art film Gate Of Hell (1953) about a Samurai falling in love with a married woman.
The Ninth Gate (1999)
Rare-book sleuth Johnny Depp (Pirates Of The Caribbean)is combing Europe for an ancient demonic book. Rich guy Frank Langella needs the 17th century book for conjuring the Devil. Like The Da Vinci Code, movie is part mystery, part travelogue. Written and directed in France and Spain by Roman Polanski (Rosemary's Baby) at a slow pace that mostly kills any dramatic tension, with one scene that is "strikingly similar" to Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.
133 minutes rated R, the DVD runs only 127 mins. No relation to The Ninth Configuration (aka Twinkle Twinkle Killer Kane) by William Peter Blatty
Gates Of Hell (1980)
Grade-Z low-budget movie rereleased as City Of The Living Dead, The Fear, Twilight Of The Dead, and Fear In The City Of The Living Dead. A reporter and a psychic (Christopher George, Katherine MacColl) race to close the Seven Gates Of Hell before Salem, MASS, is overrun by undead zombies. Not much plot but plenty of stomach-turning gore including a woman literally vomiting her guts out, a man getting drilled (in his head) and a woman's brain squashed out of her head. Directed by Lucio Fulci (Zombie) and cowritten by Dardano Sacchetti (Twilight Of The Dead). Available on DVD in English or original Italian with subtitles. Sequel with different director and cast followed in 1996 about occultists trying to reopen the portal to hell before people rush to the box office to demand a refund.