In the small New England town of Dunwich, a priest commits suicide by hanging himself in the church cemetery which somehow opens the gates of hell allowing the dead to rise. Peter, a New York City reporter, teams up with a young psychic, named Mary, to travel to the town where they team up with another couple, psychiatrist Jerry and patient Sandra, to find a way to close the gates before All Saints Day or the dead all over the world will rise up and kill the living.Written by
The British Cinema version was cut by around 1 minute to remove the drill sequence. This version was released on video in the UK before 1984, after which all videos were required to be submitted to the British Board of Film Classification. When it was finally given a video certificate by the BBFC, further cuts were made to remove the intestinal vomit scene, and the brain squashing scenes. The UK video has a total of 2m 21s of cuts. See more »
This film is probably an accidental masterpiece, but a masterpiece nonetheless. Fulci is one of my idols, but I don't think he was a really good filmaker. It was his lack of coherency and almost childlike need to gross you out that made his best films so beloved. Gates of hell is the best of the lot. The film is basically one long wierd, surreal treatise one death and the horror of violent death in particular. Listen to the layered, terrifying soundtrack - wind howls, babies scream, stones grind, skulls break... The much talked about gore is not just gore but completely outlandish, brilliantly excecuted (no pun intended) operatic set pieces that come out of nowhwere and are truly, deeply repulsive. The prog rock score is just as yummy. The non linnear plot creates one of the best pieces of horror/surrealism I've ever seen. The ending is blood chilling because it doesn't make sense. See this movie more than once and realize it's so called faults are part of the reason it's so goddamned great!
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