The Gate (1987) Poster

(1987)

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6/10
Playing records backwards can be hazardous to more than the needle.
bootblacker12 January 2004
A classic in the eighties genre of horror. It features goofy heavy metal music and demons. Stephen Dorff plays young Glen, who discovers a hole in his backyard is a doorway for demons. After his friend Terry plays his metal album backwords and they coincidently bury the family pet(you always need a sacrifice) in a hole in the backyard, they awaken demonic spirits which destroy the home and try to kill them. A funny take(even if not meant to be) on back masking and the influence of rock music on children. This film features some classic stop motion in the lines of Jason and the Argonauts. They are attacked by reanimating dead, droves of tiny demons and a head demon the size of a bus, which bares a strong resemblance to a Clash of Titans creature. This all stemming from a movie that would normally be a dud given the time period. It shouldn't be taken too seriously, but will amuse you for about 85 minutes. This is yet another underrated, hardly seen eighties gem.
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8/10
Scarry then, cult classic now!
dr_Meatus8 November 2005
Demons? Metal Music? Steven Dorff? Why not!!!

So... the gateway to hell or whatever is in the backyard of Steven Dorff's suburban home... and a metal band foretold all of this... and Demons threaten this world... Doesn't that sound great?

As a kid this was scary watching this with a baby sitter and such but now it just seems campy. But I still love it every time!

OK... it is a bit cheesy, and the DVD quality is awful.... but come on...it's like 5 bucks at Best buy!

Seriously... if you haven't seen this movie and your into cheesy horror flicks just give it a try... keep the classics alive!
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7/10
Underrated Cult-Movie
claudio_carvalho1 November 2006
The boy Glen (Stephen Dorff) and his best fried Terry (Louis Tripp) accidentally open a gate to hell when a rotten tree is removed from the backyard of Glen's house. When his dog die and a friend of Glen's sister, the teenager Alexandra (Christa Denton), buries the animal in the hole, demons from an ancient civilization are released, seeking for two human sacrifices to dominate the world. Glen, Al and Terry, who are spending the weekend alone in the house, fight to save their lives and close the hole.

I do not recall how many times I have seen "The Gate" on VHS and now on DVD. The funny story has a terrible conclusion, but the special effects were amazing in 1987. This cult-movie is very underrated inclusive in IMDb but who cares? I still love this little gem of the fantastic cinema. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Portão" (VHS) / "O Portal" (DVD) ("The Gate")
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7/10
Cult Appeal
YankeeDood13 March 2004
Overall, I liked The Gate because of it's weirdness. Plus, the special effects were eye-catching. Especially when the handyman tumbles over then transforms into tiny demons that scatter about. My favorite scene is when the parents return home late at night and Glen's father says "You've been baaaaaad!" and tries to strangle him while slime drips out of his face. Weird stuff. My only complaint is how it ended. But I won't give it away. I recommend seeing this one but keep in mind that those dwarf demons are "older than the Bible".
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cheesy horror and nostalgia = fun!
df_az27 March 2004
Ah, the pleasures of horror movies and nostalgia. I was about 18 or so when this was first released, and I wandered to the theaters with my friends to watch this movie based on all the TV ads. Yeah, ads that included those little dwarfed demons with mean faces and sharp teeth. Hey, for 1987 that was seriously cool - and done very well! But at the time, I came out of the theater thinking, "Eh, it was okay." Years later, sick and not in the mood to move, I flipped through the channels late at night and found "The Gate" about to come on. I thought, "Eh, for nostalgia, why not?" I was surprised by how much I loved the movie! I'd forgotten it starred Stephen Dorff (he was unknown back then), and I was disappointed to learn that his sister in the movie (Christa Denton) didn't really go on to do much else. She was cute. Whatever happened to her??? Besides the cool suburban and 1980's atmosphere (not to mention the clothes and hair - oh yeah!), the movie's story is the fun type of cheese that still keeps your eyes glued to the TV. Cool effects, a no-brainer but engaging story, and the kids are fun to watch. It's also on DVD at a cheap price, and I bought it the other day. Not bad. It's full screen (bummer), but the picture is pretty good. No extra features though (bummer again). But still, very worth of owning. I just watched it again lastnight. And yes, it's still so fun!
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8/10
Amazing!!!
Chipsmannen29 December 2008
If you are ever in the mood of seeing a funny and thrilling 80's horror movie, please watch The Gate! Don't trust IMDb with the 5 rating it's much better than that! I love the opening scene, the monsters and the thrilling scenes it contains.

The movie is about a Gate to hell or something which lies in a young boy and his sisters garden. Suddenly when it's dark, monsters emerge from the gate and attack the boy and the girl. The monsters are small latex beasts which also like incredible good and monster like. And there are some scenes with a zombie dude which are totally outstanding! I'm not going to spoil the end because this is a special effect extravaganza! Must see!
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5/10
Protect Our Trees!
BaronBl00d21 November 2007
Believe it or not, this was much better than I initially anticipated. I expected one of those God-awful, cheesy special effects, mindless eighties horror films - a decade I think was a low ebb for that genre in general. I got to see a 35mm print of The Gate and was impressed with several things. Now before I get out of control here, make no mistake, this is not a great film even in terms of the horror genre, but it is a bona-fide campy, cult favorite from the eighties with good reason. The story is ridiculous about some hole, as a result of an old tree being destroyed in a family's backyard, having demons living down deep in its bowels. A rock band that died tragically also is involved, or at least the record album on hand complete with a huge history of demonology attached. Add a couple more-than-precocious boys, a bunch of teens, looking dreadfully eighties-style, attending a party while the parents are away, and some freaky little demons and you have much of The Gate. The little demons are cute and spooky and the director Tibot Takics actually visualizes them rather nicely - particularly in an era when special effects for horror and science fiction films were quite low in terms of quality. The director was also able to create some suspense and some interesting characters with the 2 small boys in particular. Stephen Dorff and Louis Tripp play Glenn and Terry respectively and give the film some heart. There is not much to recommend as far as the remaining cast is concerned, but The Gate delivers some solid scares, some atmospheric settings and direction, and some surprisingly good special effects. Good campy fun!
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10/10
Worth a look.
Arcades9 May 1999
This is a movie about parents who leave their kids at home while going on vacation. Of course the older daughter throws a wild party. Less predictably, the younger son and his screwed up, heavy-metal listening to friend open up a dimensional gate to a realm of demons.

That's where the fun begins. Some hard-core lovers of horror movies may find this movie to be too heavy on plot and character, but I believe that those aspects are balanced with a good dose of gore and special effects including some pretty amazing f/x feats for 1987.

The only let down for me is the sappy feel-good ending that is seems a bit tacked on. Other than that this movie is good for a scare. So if you are cruising down the bargain priced movies at your local video store and see this title give it a shot. At the very least you'll see Stephen Dorf in his first movie.
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5/10
Small demons that aren't scary at all
aquascape6 April 2018
Tibor Takács' directorial debut got minor attention back when it was released, although later it developed a cult following, even spawning a sequel.

"The Gate" follows a 12 year old boy called Glen, played by a very young Stephen Dorff, who together with his best friend accidentally release a horde of small-size demons. With the help of his older sister, the group attempts to close the hole where the demons came from and save humanity.

This film has campy horror vibes written all over it and the plot doesn't have the most ingenious story to begin with. The acting adds to the B-movie feeling of it all, thought watching Dorff as a confused sweet kid is a win on its own.

The special effects consist of stop-motion animations and rubber suits, a technique pioneered by the undeniable Ray Harryhausen decades ago. If you consider this a B-movie then the special effects are decent, but not excelling.

"The Gate" doesn't bring anything original to the table and just dusts off in the ocean of 80's horror films. Nevertheless, it's a good horror film to actually watch with your kids, as it isn't scary and it can bring them into the world of the horror movie genre.
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10/10
Fantasy, Awe and Horror
saul-marcus8 January 2017
Can I really be objective about this film. Things we see in childhood are perceived differently.

This movie is what it means to be 13 years old, up late at night, and finding yourself engrossed in a world of fantasy, horror, and magic. A film to cherish.

What is about this film. The stop motion animation, the eye, metal band lore. The ending and what kills the demon.

This isn't a movie of cliché, and not about people doing stupid things while the villain tracks them down. I think people underrate it, b/c in a way it is a silly fantasy film, but it does take itself seriously and is not campy garbage.
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A great horror-fantasy
one4now422 October 2003
Don't let the PG-13 rating and the "if it's not gory and new, it's no good" critiques fool you. This could possibly get an R today, and is a great horror-fantasy that I loved as a kid and still love now. All of the actors turn in great performances (including a very young Stephen Dorff who proves here that he was a great actor from the start), and I have no idea how anyone could dare to criticize the quality of these great special FX. To me, "The Gate" is an example that sometimes a low-budget film, if done well, looks much better than big-budget swill could ever wish to be. The only less than totally impressive special effect is the big monster that shows up, but it's no better or worse than the computer-generated monsters we're accustomed to today, plus the fact that it WAS done on a low budget should make it more worthy of respect when it probably looked state-of-the-art back then. All of the rest of the creatures are great. Like in "Return of the Aliens: The Deadly Spawn" (another great movie with even lower budget creature FX), if I were to run into some monsters in real life, I would expect them to look as real as this! Another thing I loved about this was the fact that, despite idiotic people who write all the time that this movie is making a comment against heavy metal, "The Gate" actually poses an interesting idea that sometimes the knowledge of some of these heavy metal rockers can be positive and helpful, no matter how "evil" their image might be. If you watch this movie, you might see what I mean. This is definitely a PG-13 horror movie that deserves a lot more respect than it's gotten.
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Taking care of the house
sol-12 July 2017
Considering the large debt it owes to 'Poltergeist', this Canadian horror film stacks up remarkably well to repeat viewings with a similar plot about a house where odd things begin happening after forces are inadvertently summoned from below. One thing that really works in 'The Gate''s favour is the lack of adults with the film instead focusing on two young boys and a teenage sister warding off demons and goblins and protecting their family home while their parents are away on vacation. Their experiences give the brother and a sister a chance to really bond for the first time as well as wrestle with the responsibilities of adulthood, left in charge of the house and expected to take care of it. The best aspect of the film though is unquestionably the special effects; the film achieves a refreshingly different sort of creepiness by having tiny demons to fend off as opposed to more traditional large and ferocious monsters. Sequences in which a human head falls off and smashes and in which the boy discovers an eye inside the palm of his hand are very well done too. It is not a particularly frightening film, with many scenes that feel as if they have been toned down to achieve the film's PG-13 rating, but it is unsettling to watch all the same, full of moments (Louis Tripp realising he is holding the dog) that are still effective even when one knows that they are coming.
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7/10
a shame I had never seen or heard about this movie when I was younger
Johan_Wondering_on_Waves18 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not sure if I would have liked it when I was a kid or teenager, fact is now being in my thirties I liked it a lot. Kids going on some kind of adventure has always been an interest of mine but there really aren't that much who do it in a way that can hold my interest for very long. "The Goonies" for example started out interesting but very soon became silly and pointless. This one captivated me from the start with a nice premise, very likable child actors who also work very well together. Of course there is the obligatory annoying teenage friends of the big sister who don't like the younger kids but that is only a minor distraction. Actually big sister is very likable and caring towards her little brother and his friend. Without giving too much away the story is basic with a well worked out "demon" legend behind it in the style of "Don't be Afraid of the Dark". The kids bundle forces and are eventually able to overcome the evil working well together and caring for each other. That the monsters didn't look really scary didn't bother me that much as the creativity of the events blew me away a few times.
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I feel weird writing it, but I like this movie alot.
JacksonvilleJags_6-1031 December 2002
This is one of the better 80's horror films. It's about Glen and Terry finding a rock in their backyard that leads to demons breaking free to terrorize earth.

Overall it didn't even effect my rating that Stephed Dorff was in it, because I had know idea who he was.

Also with Christa Denton. I'll rate this on 7/10.
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9/10
One of my favorite horror movies of all time!
TalesfromTheCryptfan5 October 2009
Glen (Stephen Dorff) is your average 80's pre-teen boy who has a pal named Terry (Louis Tripp) as they are both into heavy metal music. Glen's parents leave for the weekend leaving the older sister Al (Christa Denton) to take care of her bro, then she decides to throw in a party with all her pals however Glen and Terry discover a weird hole in the backyard as they use a special demonic rock album that has magic spells on summoning demons. They literally get one hell of a night as that hole in the backyard is actually a gate to hell where demons and evil forces terrorize them for the night as they must try to find a way to shut the gates of hell.

Excellent 80's cult supernatural horror thriller from Canada that became a box-office hit in both the US and Canada in May of 1987. This movie marked the debut of Stephen Dorff long before he was in "Blade" who played a superb kid in this movie, the film incorporates a very interesting concept about a rock album used for satanic rituals. For it's time the special effects are outstanding even on the creature and master demon effects with plenty of memorable moments including the eyeball in the hand gag and some gore for a PG-13 rated movie. It's a real winner in my books as it's a very HP Lovecraft-esquire thrill-ride that never lets go.

Also recommended: "City of the Living Dead (a.k.a. Gates of Hell)", "Hellraiser 1 & 2", "Silent Hill", "Poltergeist", "Pet Sematary", "1408", "House (1986)", "The Haunting in Connecticut", "The Fog (1980)", "Gremlins", "Demons 1 & 2", "Suspiria", "Inferno", "Mother of Tears", "House By The Cemetery", "Ghostbusters 1 & 2", "Twilight Zone The Movie", "Evil Dead 1 & 2", "From Dusk Till Dawn", "Pumpkinhead", "Making Contact (a.k.a. Joey)", "Burnt Offerings", "Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend", "Night of the Demons", "The Exorcist", "Candyman", "Nightbreed", "Mirrors", "End of Days", "The Frighteners", "Stephen King's IT", "The Shining", "The Gate 2" and "The Beyond".
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5/10
Endurable kiddie-horror
Coventry12 October 2005
Charming and unscrupulous 80's horror, mainly aimed at younger audiences that outgrew the childish monsters of "Gremlins" but that are still a little too fragile to watch the real demons of "Hellraiser". Even for adult viewers, "The Gate" can be enjoyable as long as you can get past the silly plot and typically teenage acting performances. The story centers on three teenagers, Glen (Stephen Dorff was a better actor at age 14 than he is now) who's obsessed with toy-rockets, his sister Alexandra (busy discovering boys and slumber parties) and pal Terry (obviously having issues). They discover a deep hole in Glen's backyard and, for no particular reason; ancient demons decide to make this their passageway to take over the world. "The Gate" is a well-intended and often professionally made film, with subtle parody (towards metal music, abandoning parents…) and imaginatively animated demons. Its only flaw is that director Takács takes it all too seriously. The screenplay desperately tries to be convincing while it clearly doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. Make-believe bogeymen suddenly turn out real, dead dogs keep on moving from their place, etc etc… I'm sure that, if Takács had focused on the irony more, his film would now be regarded as a minor classic. Instead, it's just a bit of forgettable fun.
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7/10
A blast from the past
Bezenby11 September 2013
I hadn't watched this film in well over twenty years! Now I've got more hair coming out my nose than on my head, but one thing hasn't changed: This film still take ages to get to the good stuff. Then again, I enjoyed it more this time around because The Gate is pure eighties goodness, and is nice, light hearted stuff. With zombies and demons.

Two kids find that a hole in their back garden is a gateway to hell, and there's demons trying to get through to our world. Following instructions they find in a heavy metal album, they discover that there's certain rituals to be followed to open up the game, but unlucky those rituals have already taken place (accidentally), and the demons are about to push through.

The demons are great. Small, capering imps that attack the kids, form into a zombie, and generally cause havoc before a huge stop motion demon attacks the household. Add into that bits and pieces of gore and those great eighties fashions, and you've got a film that's slow to start, but pays off in the end. I must admit I'm getting soft and easier to please in my old age, however.
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5/10
Heavy Metal Hell
wes-connors6 September 2008
Possibly after being struck by lightning, a tree in young Stephen Dorff (as Glen)'s yard is removed. Possibly, this was a gateway to Hell. After Mr. Dorff, neighbor Louis Tripp (as Terry), and sister Christa Denton (as Al) unwittingly perform a succession of rites and incantations, demons surface. The youngsters' parents are conveniently away from home; and, the demons want to do mean things. Mr. Tripp is dealing with the loss of his mother; and, Ms. Denton is discovering young womanhood. The monster demons are cute, but the story really doesn't pass muster. Made, apparently, to scare 1980s pre-teens.

***** The Gate (1987) Tibor Takács ~ Stephen Dorff, Louis Tripp, Christa Denton
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A spine-tingling horror film.
beatleslm19746 February 2004
This horror flick is highly underrated for its genre. It is a fantastical story about a young boy(played beautifully by a young Stephen Dorff) who by chance in a dream awakens evil demons from a hole in his backyard. The whole film follows his journey to destroy the demons and send them back to hell. The young boy is helped by his best friend(who is as nerdy as a young kid gets) and his naive sister to rid his house of the minions of evil. First rate visual effects are very good and the demons are very life-like and mobile. A great fantasy film for kids that liked to be scared out of their wits. ***of **** stars.
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10/10
A cult classic
GruntMcFuttock2 April 2003
On the surface this film is nothing special, however it is good solid middle of the road kiddy horror (kidhor). In my mind this knocks the socks off all the modern horrors (modhors) like scream and I don't give a fluck what you did or didn't do whenever! I like my horror and I like The Gate. Ok, so the dialogue is awful but the FX are good and there's even a hint of Peter Jackson in Tibor Takács style (that's Peter Jackson in his Bad Taste/Braindead days).

In summation, a good solid kiddy horror indicative of it's era.

Grunt.
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6/10
A movie that features a hole in the yard not created by a bunny!
Aaron13753 March 2003
Saw this film when I was younger and I have now seen it when I am older and it was an okay movie, but nothing too terribly great. Nice premise and good acting, just not enough bang for the buck, though it does feature some nice effects there just is not a high enough body count, no on screen kills and a plot with too many coincidences. Still, if you want to see Stephen Dorf in one of his earlier roles it has that going for it and a nice short run time so the movie does move quickly, but just not quick enough to get over some of the strange coincidences that make this film an eye roller at times too.

The story has a boy returning home to an abandoned house. He explores and soon goes to the tree house which is promptly struck by lightening with him inside and soon he plummets to his bed as it was all a dream. Well, the tree in the dream is being torn done leaving a hole and a geode. The little boy's friend comes over and they dig up the covered hole in the hopes of finding another geode and do. Well the parents leave the sister in charge which is always a mistake as she immediately has a party where they levitate the boy and soon strange things begin happening as the hole may in fact be a gate to another realm where the old gods reside and they wish to enter our world once more and make it their own!

The story has promise, but quite a number of oddball occurrences too. The whole party was pointless if things were not going to happen that night as I would rather have seen all those annoying teens hunted by demons. The fact the boy's friend Terry just happens to have an album that literally tells them what is happening is laughable. The chances anyone having this album is going to be slim, the chances of someone having it near the place where the gate has opened, super slim and none!

So, I do not want to bash the film too much as it does have some nice scenes going on within; however, it just needed a bit more horror and less fond remembrance and rockets. I would have much rather the scene when the demons first appear to have lasted longer so those two annoying sisters could have gotten a bit more payback as they were mean to the boy, the sister was annoying too, typical older sister always brushing off her younger brother. In the end, I nice quick horror film, with a few good scenes as the one where the dad's face melts off is a bit over the top for a PG-13 film! There would be a sequel featuring the neighbor boy Terry and I saw it once, but for the life of me I cannot remember it, I don't think it was nearly as good as this one though.
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10/10
Cheesetastic
tamlynn16 August 2019
This is my all time favorite horror movie. I'm not sure if it just reminds me of my childhood or the classic cheese of 80s horror, but it gets me in all the feels. Kids partying when parents aren't home ✅ Cliché plot ✅ Know it all weirdo ✅ Hottie love interest ✅ Paranormal tones ✅ Slimy demon puppets ✅ I mean, what more could you ask for?
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9/10
Low budget, high fun!!
luciano_cirne24 July 2006
I watched "The Gate" when I was 11 or 12 years old, I can't remember right now, and I thought it was very scary and likable, but you know...a kid at this age is not so selective; I also loved all the Jason movies...Some years later, when I was 16, I bought an old VHS tape from a broken up video store, and I watched it with my friends again and again and again...it was unbelievable, I really couldn't understand why this movie was so underrated. A long time has passed, my tape got moldy, and since that day my heart was filled with sorrow, I really miss it so much!

But it doesn't matter, let's go to the point: it's not so original, with all that heavy metal things and records spinning backwards, but who cares? What's so original nowadays? The fact is:"The Gate" has tons of fun and the special effects are OK(well, we can't expect too much from a low budget movie made in1987)...it's really pitiable that I still haven't watched it in DVD yet...In Brazil, this movie is out of catalog, and it's REALLY hard to find a VHS copy. So, what can I say? To my folks from the rest of the world, I recommend it, specially if you're a huge fan of horror movies, just like me; and for all my Brazilian neighbors, run and search for a VHS copy of "The Gate", but prepare yourself, 'cause it's gonna be a long journey..
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8/10
A hugely enjoyable 80's teen horror blast
Woodyanders9 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Nice kid Glen (a fine Stephen Dorff in his film debut) and his amiable heavy metal music nerd best friend Terry (a solid and likable performance by Louis Tripp) inadvertently release a powerful supernatural force from another dimension through a mysterious hole in Gleen's backyard. If the boys don't figure out a way to close said gate right away, these lethal demonic beings will bring about hell on earth. Director Tibor Takacs and writer Michael Nankin eschew the usual graphic gore and cheap nasty scares found in a majority of 80's slasher fare that was trendy at the time in order to put a welcome and refreshing emphasis on eerie mood and nerve-jangling suspense. The gradual build-up in the opening half leads to a delightfully surreal and nightmarish second half which culminates in a lively and exciting climax. Moreover, the main characters are well developed and genuinely appealing: Dorff and Tripp make for engaging leads while Christa Denton brings an endearingly spunky charm to her role as Glen's sweet older sister Al. Jennifer Irwin and Deborah Grove are amusing as the vapid Lee sisters. Nankin's screenplay boasts several cool offbeat touches: Terry learns about the gate by listening to a hard rock album from an obscure band, the telephone melts, a shambling zombie workman bursts out of the walls, and Glen winds up with an eyeball in the palm of his hand. Kudos are also in order for the dazzling array of excellent and impressive special effects: The giant stop-motion animation beast seen towards the end is truly gnarly while the diminutive demonic minions are quite creepy and funky. Takacs and Nankin bring a positively infectious go-for-it enthusiasm to the material that's impossible to either dislike or resist. Tomas Vanes' slick cinematography and the spirited shuddery score by Michael Hoenig and J. Peter Robinson are both up to par as well. Best of all, there's even an upbeat central message about how the power of pure love can effectively conquer evil. An incredibly fun and worthwhile 80's creature feature winner.
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