Gargoyle (Video 2004) Poster

(2004 Video)

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5/10
Jim Wynorski, my hero... when I'm in a deluded state of mind.
Vomitron_G20 September 2009
I'll say it right away: I'm a sucker for monster movies. Also for the bad ones. Yes, even the really bad ones. And technically and theoretically "Gargoyle" is a bad one. No doubt about that. Hey, Jim Wynorski directed this one, so what can one expect, right? But I've started to like this guy a lot over the recent years. He made great campy horror-flicks during the 80's ("Chopping Mall", "Return of the Swamp Thing"), and during these last years I saw some of his newer, nonsensical monster movies. And I had loads of fun with them. Great thing with his newer monster-flicks, is that he puts so many crazy ideas and subplots in them, that you never get bored. Okay, most of the time it doesn't lead to anything, but it's still fun. Plus, he often even rips-off various plot elements or characters from his own movies, to re-use them in new flicks of his. These are the mysterious Ways of Wynorski. Anyway, here we got: Ancient Gargoyles with their offspring being born from "Alien"-like cocoons, a Roumanian setting with lots of castles, two CIA detectives investigating the strange goings-on and mutilated bodies, a terrorist-kidnapping, a drug-lord running a sinister voodoo-nightclub, rival drug-dealers, a Dracula-worshiping cult (mentioned only), two competitive priests (of which one has a secret agenda), a gorgeous-looking cutie with a degree in history/folklore/archeology (or something), Michael Paré, a spectacular car-chase with continuity errors, Michael Paré cranking up a smile at the end while laughing at a joke, one final "this ain't over"-shot. And some other things. So how can you not have fun with it? The CGI used for the gargoyle is surprisingly tolerable and even reminded me at times of those good old stop-motion effects back in the old days. Thinking about it, this film is a far better movie then, for example, "Pterodactyl" (2005) - another one of those flying CGI beasts of terror movies - because in "Gargoyle" at least there's an attempt at a story. Hell, put "Gargoyles" next to the recent, utterly abominable "Harpies" (2007), and you'll see "Gargoyles" for the genuine Wynorski Masterpiece that it is. Of course it's complete nonsense. But it's Wynorski-nonsense, and that's about the same as pure fried gold.
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8/10
If you think this film is an "F", you're watching the wrong genre
BrandtSponseller9 April 2005
After a brief Van Helsing-styled prologue establishing gargoyles in historical Romania and implying that they've been trapped under the ground, Gargoyle: Wings of Darkness (the title given by the film as well as the video box) takes us to modern day Romania, where Ty Griffin (Michael Paré) and Jennifer Wells (Sandra Hess) are working on the kidnapping of a public official's son. While chasing the kidnappers, Ty discovers that one has suddenly disappeared--only valuable cargo and a large bloodstain remain. Meanwhile, two archaeologists/historians, Christina Durant (Kate Orsini) and Richard Barrier (Jason Rohrer) are working in a church that we realize has a connection with the prologue. How will they all tie together, and what will they do if a gargoyle is on the loose again?

Although Gargoyle is a bit awkward in a couple spots--the pacing isn't quite as smooth as it could be--I really enjoyed the film. Director/co-writer Jim Wynorski has a long history making campy, low-budget exploitation horror films (which is a positive in my eyes) and his experience shows. Gargoyle looks much more high-budget and "high-class" than a lot of his other work, but it still retains a sense of fun, freshness and finely honed craft that comes from being a veteran.

So imagine my surprise when I check out the other reviews on IMDb and see that to date, the film is almost universally loathed. While reading through most of the other comments, I couldn't help feeling that the majority of them were simply ridiculous. While I can see many filmgoers not pronouncing Gargoyle a masterpiece, I can't see giving this film a failing grade. Like usual, it was clear that the reviewers who hated the film must have had bizarre expectations.

Despite the detective/crime/action elements that are prominent in the scene immediately following the prologue (and which were handled brilliantly in my view), Gargoyle is at its heart a monster flick, and a fairly traditional one at that. Surprisingly, a number of people commented on various facets of Gargoyle seeming implausible. Monster films are a subgenre of horror, and horror is really "dark fantasy", or "dark fairy tales" (there are some difficult cases for that description, such as serial killer biopics, but "dark fantasy" works for most of the genre). Thus, Gargoyle is not a documentary. So it really doesn't matter if, for example, gargoyles were unheard of in Romania until recently. It doesn't matter if the CIA doesn't do the work they're shown doing here. You should expect Gargoyle to be implausible--hopefully, you don't believe that giant flying gargoyles are real or believable; when that's the premise, it's not the filmmaker's fault if you expect but do not get plausibility.

At that, the film references a number of historical facts. Wynorski and his cohorts actually did a fair amount of research for the film. For example, they talk about the historical Dracula, Vlad Tepes, and contextualize the "reality" versus the myths that were built up around him. They actually went to the trouble of finding a property that looks remarkably similar to the famous 19th Century pencil sketch of the ruins of Castle Dracula (you can see it Chapter 6 of Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu's book, In Search of Dracula). They also insert a number of clever references to past horror films. One of the principal homes of villainy in the film is named Castle Orlok, which comes from Graf Orlok, the name of the Dracula character is F.W. Murnau's 1922 classic, Nosferatu. There is a reference to Vasaria, the village introduced in Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). There are obvious visual references to the Alien films. They also reference real-life horror culture, such as "vampire clubs".

Other reviewers complained about the special effects. CGI is the only means available to produce this kind of film at this kind of budget. Yes, the cgi in the film looks "fake". Again, hopefully no one would think that a huge flying gargoyle would look real, anyway. It's a fantasy token. You have to use your imagination when watching fantasy. Mechanicals/animatronics of flying gargoyles would have looked "fake" too, and would have raised the budget to 100 million. One person commented that the cgi appears as if Wynorski's crew had been trying to capture the look of Ray Harryhausen claymation ala the Sinbad films, and another said that the effects had a 1950s flavor. Believe it or not, a lot of us love Harryhausen's work and monster flicks from the 1950s; so if the cgi has that look, we think it's a good thing. As for the look of the blood and "gore" effects, I thought they were well done. They were stylized and artistic. I like that. To repeat, the film is not a documentary; the blood and gore do not have to look like crime scene photos to be good.

Others complained about the performances. The dialogue and acting seemed more than fine to me. I'm not sure what anyone would find unsatisfactory there. The film is a bit campy, but intentionally so--remember Wynorski's roots, after all, and camp is not at all unprecedented for a monster flick. If you like monster flicks, you probably have a fair taste for camp. The one thing that I do agree with most reviewers about is the comment regarding the female cast members--they are all exceptionally, enchantingly beautiful. So even if you don't like the performances, there is plenty of eye candy when it comes to the cast as long as you're attracted to women.

Gargoyle had a remarkably modern feel to me. To a large extent, it actually reminded me of "Special Unit 2" (2001) an unfortunately short-lived, campy horror television show that was also unjustly slammed by some critics. It's extremely important to have appropriate expectations when watching a film like Gargoyle. As long as you like the genre and the tone, you should find the film sufficiently entertaining.
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6/10
Ardeth Bay is missing
PeterKurten91118 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
One does not have to watch an incredible amount of creature features to realize that the majority of them is virtually the same, dividable into a few major categories. I don't have those lined out, but GARGOYLE(billed over here as Revenge of the Gargoyle) clearly falls under the Mythology & Conspiracy In Order to Protect the World categories, an approach to the monster flick which I'm particularly fond of. Dropping into the movie during a chase and a subsequent killing, it looked like the climax. Luckily i didn't run into anything more than another piece of formula: have a cop chase a criminal with climbing skills and have the monster kill the latter to warm up the audience. That apart, it's still a decent piece of direct-to-video SF. In practical terms, an 'OK way to kill 90 minutes".

THE GOOD

That apart, it's still a decent piece of direct-to-video SF. The CGI is good, although naturally more convincing when combined with darkness & fog than when chasing a car in broad daylight. As a matter of fact that scene took away a lot of the creature's charisma.

The acting is good enough, with 'Father Soren' standing out as the second most important character, namely the Sympathetic Conspirator, who knows precisely what's behind a series of mysterious murders, has the means to bring them to an end and is willing to collaborate with the Hero, an outsider which is distrusted by the other conspirators. 'Lex' was also entertaining: pity he didn't get a bigger part... As for as a climax is concerned, this movie has both an assassination squad with large guns & a crossbow! Finally, the Romanian settings are gorgeous.

THE BAD

The murders simply suck, limited to swift snappings of the victims (with a horribly fake decapitation & a bucket of tomato blood ) and mutilated dummies. - 'Soren' turning into the bad guy in order to release hell on Earth didn't work no more than that blatant Alien rip-off of a breeding chamber. Releasing a cloud of gargoyles'd have been more interesting anyway.

THE UGLY

That stupid progressive priest. He turned out to play his part in the story twist but he didn't come off as a believable clergyman for a second nevertheless. Check Cage in the LA Convention Center in FACE OFF. - That stupid teacher. He should've been drained & ripped on screen.
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3/10
and yet "Gargoyle" may not be the worst film I was in that year
RhinocerosFive28 October 2005
I don't think I'm spoiling anyone's experience of this film by telling you not to see it if you have anything better to do, like clean under the stove. It gets dirty under there and you've gotta clean it sometime.

I think the movie suffers from a lack of sex and violence, though there is one car chase stunt that looks so dangerous it could only have been filmed in a country where life is cheaper than beer. "Gargoyle"'s heart is in the right place, but its aspirations are conservative. It is at least not pretentious. But I had a great time acting in it, playing the perennial idiot in the horror movie who says "What's down this hole?" and dies for his hubris. Plus I got to meet Michael Pare. Every film junkie should work with a B-movie staple at least once before death. And Romanians are the loveliest people I've met. Literally the loveliest. Walk down the street in Bucarest: if 7 of every 10 women aren't absolutely beautiful, you're walking down a street I didn't come across; and be consoled by the fact that at least 5 of the 10 are available for drinks.

Part of the film was shot in Casa Radio, an abandoned, unfinished Classic Communist Bloc-cum-Georgian Nightmare edifice originally intended to house KGB propaganda ministries, i.e. Radio Not-so-Free Europe. The building's five stories tall and takes up a city block; best of all, while its facade radiates Big Brotheresque state solidity, it resides near the city center like a post-apocalyptic ruin in a jungle of burdock and hemp peopled by dozens of Gypsies and scores of wild dogs. Construction on Casa Radio was suspended when Caucescu and his wife were executed on TV in 1989, and still there are gaping holes that drop from the sun-baked top floor (offering surreal vistas of a modern quarter-mile stretch of concrete roof, decorated with jutting rebar and old car parts, overlooking a crumbling ancient city) all the way down to the damp, creepy sub-basement (which doubles in the film for the Gargoyle lair.) No American-style guardrails or warning signs for Bucarest.

Since the demise of the Soviet Union, Casa Radio has hosted several non-union film shoots, including "Highlander III". It is attractive to producers because it's a cheap location, massive in terms of scale and available space, bizarre looking, and free of insurance headaches as it's still state property. Plus no one complains if you don't clean up after your production: anything left onsite is interpolated into the resident Gypsies' construction of their shanty town in this actual urban jungle.

An assistant director was bitten bloody by a wild dog during the shoot of "Gargoyle". The apples provided by catering were pressed into service by cast and crew as projectiles in order to keep the prowling dogs at bay. I too was bitten by wild dogs in Bucarest, once in a bar (!) and once in a city park. I also survived two car wrecks in two weeks, both in taxis and neither of which was seen by the drivers involved as grounds for stopping the cars.

GEEK NOTE: The Sci-Fi Network or Channel or whatever was one of the backers of this film (the smaller the budget, the more producers on set), so it's a little weird that nobody had a problem with the original title, "Gargoyles", until it was almost time to show it on the network, even though Sci-Fi already had an unrelated series of that name. The title was changed sometime relatively close to release, as I have a color-corrected copy labeled with the former title.
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The gargoyles deserve to take the earth
MosHr3 December 2004
In this movie, the gargoyles deserve to take the earth. It feels like they're the only one taking this whole movie seriously.

The premise of the film is gargoyles which are mythical creature; they fall somewhere between demons, bats, dragons but just looks like a meaner Dracula in the bat form from Van Helsing. These gargoyles then meaninglessly kill a lot of people. And, it's up to our hero to save the day and the world.

The CGI is awesome and it's stuff right out of "Van helsing" with the bat/human flying creature and the countless spawns flying around. The sets are awesome. The action scenes and car chases are tight.

But, the acting is really bad. The way the movie is between the action scenes is really bad. Also, the story is really bad. But, the gargoyles are really mean and they do some really cool stuff.

The main action here's lethargic way of dialog makes him seem dumb; the blond girl doesn't look sexy enough or forceful enough - she just feels ordinary and without an interesting character; the girl who plays the scientist doesn't really act like one.

This is really low on quality in the genre of monster movies - except for the monster itself.

Not really worth watching.
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5/10
Russian Gargoyles return
sdsladegrossl31 October 2012
A fellow reviewer complained about continuity, BUT if he actually watched the movie and listened to the dialog he would have known WHY the priest anointed the arrow with his blood then shot the gargoyle. Special effects were not bad, but not top of the line. I thought the shots of the interior of the church were well done. I liked the beginning of the movie, which set the tone for the rest of what happened. The acting was fair to middlin as my mom would have said. This is your basic B rate movie. If you like B rate movies it is right up your ally. Not a bad way to spend some time. Michael Pare is still a good looking guy, the ladies are nice to look at according to my hubby.
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4/10
Not as bad as I'd heard, but not really all that good...
TheLittleSongbird2 August 2012
I was apprehensive as it was a Sci-Fi Channel movie, which often means cheapness and bad writing and acting. But actually, for one it is actually not too bad, not good by all means but unlike others it does have redeeming qualities. The Van Helsing-prologue is rather brief but sets the tone well, the score is reasonably atmospheric, the Romanian locations are simply gorgeous and with references to past horror films(Ghost of Frankenstein, Nosferatu) and Vampire lore there is some evidence that some research was done. Some have said the acting was better than average, some have said it was really bad. I'd say it was a mixed bag. I found Michael Parre and Sandra Hess likable leads, and Tim Abell was fun as Lex, but the best was Fintan McKeown in the most sympathetic role of the film and he does well with it. However, there are some let downs, I never did find the priest character believable for a second, the (beautiful) female scientist likewise, and the teacher was annoying and does some unbelievably stupid things. Here come the bad things about Gargoyle's Revenge however. The gargoyle(s) are much too fake, the haphazard camera work completely betrays this, and they don't come across as menacing or interesting. The murders are poorly done also, again the camera work dilutes the sense of terror the scenes should do, if not enough to clearly see how artificial the decapitations, mutilations and gore look. The script is cheesy and very unnatural and aimless in its flow and structure. The story was decent in idea but falls short in execution, a couple of intriguing scenes like the prologue and the ferris wheel, but the murders and the contrived ending aren't so good, a lot of the telling is dull and predictable and overall Gargoyle's Revenge could have done with much more atmosphere. The action scenes are repetitive, while the characters are not just clichéd but either underdeveloped(the female scientist), annoying(the teacher) or both(the priest), only Father Soren properly doesn't suffer from either. Overall, not good but not terrible either. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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Special Agent Gargoyle at your service
Dr. Gore16 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
*SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*

The CIA has their hands full with a high profile kidnapping. Special Agent Gargoyle comes to the rescue. Anytime there was any trouble, a shootout on a rooftop for example, the Gargoyle would swoop down in the nick of time. He was a very patriotic monster. Here to serve. And eat lots of people. Soon the CIA will hunt it down as priests and Gargoyles do battle over the fate of the entire world. Exciting eh?

"Gargoyles" is a B-movie all the way. It throws in all the clichés it can. Car chases, spies, shootouts and a large computer generated Gargoyle. As these things go, "Gargoyles" wasn't too bad. It didn't make me want to kill myself. So that's a good thing. I was a little surprised that there wasn't any nudity. One of the CIA agents was a babe as was another doctor character. Agent Babe and Dr. Hot stuff. Clearly, this was the one B-movie element that was missing. The Gargoyle was flying around buck naked but it wasn't as satisfying.
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7/10
Tries hard to entertain
Wuchakk13 January 2011
Released in 2004, "Gargoyle: Wings of Darkness" (also known as "Gargoyle" and "Gargoyle's Revenge") is a low budget made-for-TV creature feature about the invasion of gargoyles in modern Romania. It's Grade B all the way and I'm going to review it as such.

As far as I know 1972's "Gargoyles" was the first film on the subject and was also made-for-TV. That film dealt with the rebirth and invasion of gargoyles in the American Southwest and starred Cornel Wilde, Jennifer Salt and Scott Glenn. If you've never seen it be sure to check it out because it's a minor masterpiece for what it is and proves that you don't have to have a huge budget to make a good movie.

"Gargoyles: Wings of Darkness" is sort of a sequel in the sense that it shares many of the same elements of "Gargoyles" (e.g. gargoyle cocoons hatching in a cave, a gargoyle attacking a speeding car by getting on the roof, etc.); the main difference of course is that the invasion takes place in Romania and the gargoyles are all CGI as opposed to stunt people in cool rubber costumes. Is "Wings of Darkness" as good as "Gargoyles"? I'd say no, but it's hard to say for a few reasons. For instance, "Gargoyles" was the first of its kind, as far as gargoyles go, and there was nothing else like it in the early 70s; hence, it's easy to view it favorably with nostalgia-tinged glasses. "Wings of Darkness" came out 32 years later amidst a glut of low-budget creature features, including many with winged monsters like the two "Jeepers Creepers" flicks, not to mention later films like "Wyvern" (2009) and "Roadkill" (2011), which are both well done. What if "Wings of Darkness" came out in '72 and was the first flick of its kind? I'm sure it'd be regarded more highly.

Okay, why am I giving "Wings of Darkness" a 7/10 Star rating? Because it's good for what it is and tries hard to entertain. For one thing, many scenes are reminiscent of the Hammer films of the 60s and early 70s; needless to say, if you like Hammer you'll probably appreciate this flick. But what do I mean by "tries hard to entertain"? I mean that director/co-writer Jim Wynorski throws everything in but the kitchen sink in an effort to entertain the viewer; there are so many crazy ideas and subplots thrown in that it's almost impossible to get bored during the 87-minute runtime. Here's a list of items:

  • Ancient Gargoyles with offspring being born from "Alien"-like cocoons. The gargoyles don't look bad for CGI, although to be expected they're kinda cartooney; plus you get quite a few good looks at 'em, including close-ups; there's even a prominent scene where a gargoyle attacks in broad daylight.


  • Authentic Romanian locales with lots of castles, ancient churches, graveyards and mountain vistas.


  • A terrorist kidnapping.


  • A wild shoot-'em-up car chase.


  • Mulder & Scully-like CIA agents (Michael Paré and Sandra Hess) and their investigation into the gar-thing phenomenon.


  • A "cool" drug-lord and his sinister nightclub.


  • A satanic ritual with quasi-altar sacrifice and requisite scantily-clad wenches.


  • Rival drug gangs.


  • Dracula's castle (actually Vlad the Impaler).


  • Another wild car chase; this time with a winged gargoyle along a spectacular mountainside road.


  • Other than Sandra Hess, a stunning brunette leading lady, Dr. Christina Durant (Kate Orsini). In fact, the film's full of incredibly gorgeous women, like Hammer.


How can all this stuff possibly gel together in a coherent story? I don't know but it's not bad for a low-budget TV monster flick.

On the downside, some of the acting/dialogue is kinda wooden or unconvincing as if the actors first read the script that morning, but that's to be expected in this type of Grade-B creature-on-the-loose movie; it's not "Apocalypse Now" after all. Also, at one point the movie mixes-up gargoyles with dragons, which is strange since they're two totally different mythological creatures; although I'm not sure 'gargoyle' can legitimately qualify as a creature since the term is actually a word of French derivation meaning "water-throat" referring to ornamental fixtures or grotesques on Gothic era cathedrals who's mouths served as water spouts to facilitate the flow of rain buildup from their roofs.

A quick search on Google reveals little as far as supernatural mythology of gargoyles and chimera, the non-functional grotesque variety that were added as pure decorations. Some mention is made of tales regarding the gargoyle forms as guarding their cathedrals during the night in a living form and then returning to their stoned state during the day, but such tales were created after the fact to explain why they were so commonly seen. Humans have always had a ghoulish, darker side and the forms stuck in the popular consciousness. So enterprising 14th century devotees came up with a fanciful explanation for why they were there for young inquisitive minds, perhaps as a put-on to scare kids into finishing their vegetables. There are no tales of gargoyles having banded together with Satan to do his bidding on Earth as depicted in the 1972 film's commanding prologue, and in fact the opposite is actually what is implied since they were guarding churches.

If you're into gargoyles, Hammer Films or creature features in general you should check this one out. Like I said, it tries hard to entertain despite the low budget. It's at least an enjoyable guilty pleasure.

GRADE: B
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3/10
Gargoyle... now spit!
ghoulieguru25 January 2005
You know that mouthwash commercial where the guy has a mouth full of Listerine or whatever it is and he's trying really hard to keep from spitting it up into the sink? That's a great metaphor for this movie. I kept watching, even though it was really difficult. But keeping mouthwash in your mouth will leave you with a minty fresh feeling. This movie left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I should have spit it out when I had the chance.

The premise is corny enough to be fun. For the first time in like a thousand years, Gargoyles have returned to Romania, and all of the priests who knew how to fight and kill these things are long dead. It's up to Michael Pare and some other secret agents to get to the bottom of things before the Gargoyles run amok. Unfortunately, the premise is completely lost in bad dialog and less than enthusiastic acting on the part of the human leads. The best acting is done by the CG Gargoyles.

In the end, this movie feels like a poor man's Van Helsing. If you check your brain at the door, this might get you through a dreary Monday night. I gave it 3 out of 10 stars.
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1/10
"Crap, crap, crap, megacrap"--J. Jonah Jameson
EllenRipley11211 October 2005
This is just one of the hundred million movies where the directors try to shove too much drama into a movie that's not dramatic at all. Like in the beginning, the part where the monk dude shoved the arrow into his own hand, then shot that same arrow into the gargoyle five minutes later--no sense whatsoever.

The only thing worse than the plot line is the CGI, which would be greatly rivaled by a homemade flash movie. The actors look like they're doing their hardest to portray a bunch of 70's robots; the dialogue makes so little sense it's not funny.

Many things just HAPPEN with no explanation as to how or why, such as a lady suddenly wandering around a zoo that had shut down hours ago. And when she sees this THING flying towards her, her first reaction is to take a picture, rather than what she does a full ten minutes later---power-walking (not even running) like her life depended on it--which, obviously, it doesn't.

Overall, not recommended. Makes me wish they still did new episodes of MST3K.
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5/10
Hilarious childish attempt of a SF thriller
andrei28913 March 2005
This movie is interesting maybe for 10 year old children, between 2 Pokemon cartoons series… It's so stupid that defies a logical explanation why was it even produced.

Oh, the initiative of an American-Romanian movie is welcome, as Hollywood can generate an improvement in the quality of our local productions, but NOT LIKE THIS! This joke of a movie has so many goofs in it that I've considered it as a comedy rather than a thriller after I've seen the first 5 minutes of it.

For instance, the gargoyles weren't even hared of in Romania before the last 15 years, when we got access to western literature and movies; there are no Romanian legends mentioning them or anything like them. About Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. Dracula) there are many legends, but none related to vampires or gargoyles, these are all western fantasies. And I don't have room here to describe all the mistakes and errors that are all too obvious in the movie and cannot be excused, regardless of the story or artistic interpretation.

The only white balls for this movie would be some nice special effects (but nothing impressive) and a few beautiful ladies that will catch the bored eyes of any male viewer…

I've rated this movie with 5 points: 3 points for the movie and the other 2 for the beautiful actresses that kept me watching the whole hour and a half of this bad SF joke called "Gargoyles"
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Really bad
gtc832 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Jim Wynorski usually provides us with some excellent cheese, but this time he really let me down. This movie gets a failing grade in just about every category. The lead actor, Michael Pare, gives a completely wooden and disinterested performance. The two main actresses, though nice to look at, have a minimum of personality and aren't in the film nearly as much as they needed to be. The special effects are actually okay towards the middle of the film, but laughable at the start. So are the action sequences. The gargoyles show up right on cue - as soon as someone mentions a gargoyle in conversation, here comes a gargoyle! The opening sequence is really goofy beyond belief.

***MINOR SPOILERS***

A gargoyle is shot with a magic arrow, and it falls to earth, falling right INTO the earth, creating a perfectly round hole. Luckily, there's a boulder just a few feet away that's the perfect size to fill the hole, and even more luckily it's a very light boulder, and a few people have no trouble rolling it around.

A couple of people disappear, and our lead actor is called in to investigate. Does he look for them? No. He takes a short stroll and then quits. If he'd actually conducted a thorough search, he would probably have discovered what happened to them. That sequence is pretty indicative of how this film is laid out.

On the good side, I liked the theme music. It's pretty spooky at times. I actually think I heard something reminiscent of that Ave Satanis music from The Omen in one part. Unfortunately the spooky music isn't matched by anything spooky taking place on screen. The sets are also quite nice, one of them being an old church in Romania.

But that's not nearly enough to save this stinker. It's bad, but not in the "so bad it's good" way. It would have needed at least two good sex scenes with lots of gratuitous nudity to achieve that goal.
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1/10
so bad it's hilarious
zcfayd417 January 2005
there is only way to describe this movie.

so bad its hilarious.

the acting is so bad i laughed my ass off throughout. The male lead in this movie trying to use a gun is so ridiculous you would think he was trying to copy a toy action figure, i know this sounds ridiculous but when you see it for yourself you can't help but agree.

the monster looks like a cgi guy trying to recreate the clay monsters you get in old Sinbad movies.

in short this movie is good for only one thing a really large laugh at how bad movies can get.

If you want to see bad acting bad script and special effects gone wrong

THIS IS THE MOVIE FOR YOU
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7/10
Middle-of-the-road Sci-Fi Channel feature
kannibalcorpsegrinder12 February 2017
While on assignment in Romania, CIA agents attempting to solve a rash of strange disappearances finds them to be the cause of an escaped, legendary gargoyle loosened upon the countryside in modern times and must try to stop the creatures' rampage.

This one here proved to be a highly-enjoyable creature feature. One of the main parts about this one is the enjoyable action quotient that runs throughout her, which comes along through several rather enjoyable parts incorporated in this one. The biggest inclusion here is the traditional action elements featured within this one, as the opening abduction sequences features plenty to like here with the initial gunplay serving as the springboard for the rather fun car chase through the city that includes the requisite crashing into each other, explosions and maneuvering through tight spaces that it feels quite in line with the standards of the genre, while a later gunfight between rival gangs on a rooftop is a great piece before including the creature attacking leading to a three-way fight between the two holding off the creature which is really fun and a later sequence where it chases them down through the winding mountain road while it tries to get the special weapon in their possession. Still, as much fun as this is the creature action is where the film really shines as there's plenty of confrontations with the creature which leads to attacks like the opening village sequence where they trap the creature underground, the first attack where it's released from the tunnels, the rather chilling scenes of it rampaging across the city as the attack on the photographer in the zoo or the ferris wheel ambush in front of the traumatized child while the attack on the church high on the hillside makes for a rather enjoyable series of action-packed encounters. In addition, the finale here is quite fun with the commandos venturing into the catacombs beneath the church where it has a nursery set-up which makes for a really cheesy time as they battle the infants flying around leading to some grand firefights as they swarm over them in some really nice deaths and leading to the final confrontation with the creature out in the woods for an enjoyable enough finale. Along with the fine-looking creature and cheesy bloody kills, these here give this one a lot of rather good parts to like over the flaws. The main flaw here is the fact that the film's storyline here with the one priest involved in aiding the creatures really makes no sense and doesn't have any real motivation for helping them, due to the rather inane need for a priest to want to assist them at all. It's a pretty complex and confusing reason as for why this occurs and his response is too utterly clichéd and hackneyed apocalypse reasoning that really doesn't help make it any clearer at all. On top of that, the film's rather cheesy and goofy nature on display, as the low- budget nature of this is featured throughout here not only with the typically atrocious CGI that's quite cheap and low-rent while rarely displaying any kind of realistic semblance at all, while others include the creature's origin story and the scattershot story that goes off into all sorts of tangents without rhyme or reason which makes for a really jarring effort at times. This here is all that really holds it back.

Rated R: Graphic Language and Graphic Violence.
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5/10
Half and half
ctomvelu-12 November 2008
Some CIA types travel to Romania to look into a kidnapping. What they find is an ancient evil reborn, in the form of a gargoyle. Not a bad plot, and the movie starts out with a sense of mystery and dread even though we know this resurrected gargoyle is the real culprit. Michael Pare is the lead, and he is as wooden as ever. The gargoyle itself is pretty effective, better than a lot of other CGI creations. The Romanian backdrops are used to decent effect, but in the end the movie proves yet another Sci-Fi Channel dog. There is a gargoyle movie from the 1960s or early '70s with Cornel Wilde that puts this baby to shame, even with far less sophisticated special effects (the gargoyle is a man in a rubber suit, for instance).
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Gargoyles have waited patiently to TAKE BACK THE EARTH
guestar5730 October 2004
Michael Pare brings a believable hero to this screamer.The special effects were awesome. Tim Abell as a anti-hero looks like Aragorn from LOTR.Lots of religious connotations,really it reeks of honesty in story-telling.NO SEX, on Sci-Fi Channel debut...Maybe on DVD or VHS.The women are very pretty and serve as unwilling victims,actually 2 leads are strong in personality.Think it was filmed in Romania,The church and graveyard...Why,did they let you borrow for important scenes ?

Wynorski is probably at his most potent as a director ,this time out. I throughly enjoyed this movie,and almost wish I could give Earth back to the Gargoyles.
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Ten years too late.
seals_jay30 October 2004
I honestly have to say that this movie blows. The special effect look almost ten years old, the script is choppy, the acting is minimalist, the cinematography is thin, the lighting is less-than-stellar, the camera angles are amateurish and the foley editing (sound effects and sound editing in general) sounds like it was done on a Mac Power PC without a decent sound board. Lots of the dialogue has a tinny, thin sound to it, like it was almost telephoned in or the person was talking into a tin can from across the room (especially Michael Pare's voice). The music score sounds like someone tried futilely to imitate the stylings of Danny Elfman and failed miserably in the attempt.

The actresses are all fairly attractive, which makes for mediocre eye candy, but that's about the only thing this movie has going for it.
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3/10
Rubbishy creature feature.
poolandrews27 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Gargoyle starts late one night in 'Romania 1532' as a peasant girl (Daniela Nane) travels along in her horse & cart minding her own business when from the moonlit clouds above a living Gargoyle swoops down & attacks her, she manages to escape the Gargoyle & happens upon a castle of some description where an angry mob of local villagers & a Priest are able to put an end to the Gargoyle, or so they think... Cut to present day Bucharest where two CIA agents Ty Griffin (Michael Pare) & Jennifer Wells (Sandra Hess) are about to negotiate the safe return of the son of a rich American ambassador from his kidnappers. In pursuit of one of the kidnappers Griffin loses him on the roof of a building but finds a large pool of blood & no visible signs of what happened to him. Meanwhile Dr. Christina Durant (Kate Orsini) & her colleague Richard Barrier (Jason Rohrer) are renovating a church when the church labourer Gregor (Mihai Bisericanu) informs Richard that he has found some ancient relic, the two investigate & find a cave with lots of slimy cocoons & one very angry & very much alive Gargoyle who wastes no time in killing them both. Griffin & Wells are on the case when they are reported missing & soon realise that local legends of monstrous Gargoyles are true with a local priest named Father Soren (Fintan McKeown) planning to flood the world with them...

Co-written, co-produced & directed by Jim Wynorski under his usual pseudonym Jay Andrews Gargoyles is yet another masterpiece Wynorski can add to his credits, not. The script by Wynorski, Ion Ionescu, A.G. Lawrence & Bill Munroe is crap, is unexciting, dull & is as simplistic as you can get. For a start I would like to know if there was only one Gargoyle left who laid all those eggs because I'm pretty sure it couldn't have made itself pregnant. How did it survive in that hole for 500 years? What did it eat? How did the priest know it was there? Why has no one else ever figured it out? Why did the priest want to flood the world with them? To rule it? The Gargoyles are hardly going to take over the world & then let some priest just rule it like a king & if they did what would be left to rule? Much like the guys who wrote Gargoyle I don't think he thought it through that well did he? Whichever way I look at it, whichever way I approach it, from whichever angle I try to figure it out from, no matter how many times I try to square the circle Gargoyles just doesn't make any sense & they story has huge plot holes, lapses in logic & isn't that great to start with anyway. The character's are dull & clichéd, the action repetitive & unexciting while the film as a whole is a real bore to sit through. People do illogical things & everything that happens is far to convenient like when the priest is try to convince Griffin that Gargoyle's exist & one just suddenly shows up & attacks them. The cave full of cocoons is such a rip-off of Aliens (1986) it's embarrassing & the ending was lame. The bit on the large Ferris Wheel at the fair was funny though when the guy mocked the boys fear of heights & forced him to get on it.

Director Wynorski cuts costs & steals footage from other films, in fact the best scene from Gargoyle is a car chase through Bucharest but it was taken from the Jean-Claude Van Damme action film Maximum Risk (1996). There are no shocks, scares or atmosphere. The special effects are terrible, the CGI Gargoyle looks like it belongs in a computer game & has little interaction with any living cast members, there are lots of scenes of people looking up to the sky & trying to appear scarred. There isn't even any worthwhile gore to make the thing watchable, there is one awful decapitation & that's it.

Technically the special effects are awful but otherwise it's passable, the Romanian locations look suitably Romanian. Gargoyle went straight-to-video & it shows with a pretty cheap look & feel to it. The acting isn't up to much, personality bypass victim Michael Pare makes for the dullest of dull heroes.

Gargoyle is a crap film, it fails at everything a decent creature feature should strive to achieve. A total waste of 90 minutes as far as I'm concerned, one to avoid.
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1/10
How embarrassing for Michael Pare!
fairwindstoday18 January 2020
It's a long way from the Philadelphia Experiment. I guess if you gotta eat, you'll do anything! Need castles, old churches and broken-down buildings? Well there's always Romania! Yes, you too can become a 'leading lady' with tons of peroxide and mascara! Storyline and screenplay...what storyline and screenplay? Lame CGI? We've got you covered! Have no life? Try watching 'Gargoyle'! Or you could just watch cartoons!
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as Romanian...
Kirpianuscus16 June 2018
...I saw this film just as a childish joke. sure, in some measure, as new demonstration of stupid cliches. it is a B film. wit not the worst beginning. and with a handsome Michael Pare. but nothing more. few Romanians actors in small roles. mix of mythology and fake believes. Romano - Catholic priests in Greek - Orthodox churches. Brasov as near place of Bucharest. and decent special effects. yes, I am profound subjective . but this film, like others , are only proofs of experiments in a cheep place from East Europe, with few nice locations, good actors and chance to say absurde stories without limits or good sense.
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4/10
Just another low-budget monster movie
wolfbeast30 January 2014
As far as low budget monster movies goes, this is right on-par with what you'd expect: mediocre acting, a loosely-constructed fantasy story, and CGI that is obviously not polished or in any way professional looking for the year it was made in. Could have done a lot better than that! It's good for what it is in its budget/class, but on the overall scale of "worst to best movies I've ever seen" it definitely doesn't score more than a 4 out of 10. Maybe it's because I've never been one for the mid-20th century type of movie making this resembles; I guess the director's age really shows ;) The biggest minus points in this movie are most definitely the effects, and a story that is simply not believable enough to keep my interest. It lacks suspense, it lacks reason; the choice of background story for the gargoyles is shallow and poorly-researched, as well. The movie has a surprisingly slow pace and is predictable after the opening scene that is obviously there to catch people's attention more than actually providing a good setting for the rest of the movie.
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5/10
Not the Worst Movie Wynorski Has Made
gavin694226 October 2012
Two CIA agents are sent to Bucharest, Romania to solve a high profile kidnapping. But what they discover is something inexplicable. An evil gargoyle, once thought dead and banished forever, has returned with a vengeance.

I do love the use of stock footage from the Jean-Claude Van Damme film "Maximum Risk" (1996) to make the car chase and explosions more exciting. Nice use of the budget, Jim!

And actually, when compared to the work Wynorski does today (2012), this is not actually that bad. Not nearly as good as his 1980s work, but not terrible. This must have been about the point where he took a sharp turn downward.
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5/10
Not bad of its sort
neil-47620 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a cheap and cheerful monster movie - you know that going in.

And given where it's pitched, it's not too bad. It is, of course, full of the usually idiotic nonsense - cops/agents who empty a magazine into a creature and, having noted that there is no effect whatsoever, decide that the best thing to do (obviously) is empty another magazine. And another. And another. Then you've got the priest who, you just know, must be batting for the other side. Then you've got...

Clichés. But you were expecting them, weren't you? The two agents, straightforward X-Files clones, are both somewhat wooden, which is a shame, because most of the rest of the cast isn't bad.

The effects themselves are much better than cheap and cheerful CGI often is.

This movie gets a resounding "could be much worse" and if that comes across as damning with faint praise then that's unfortunate, because the film is better than that.
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5/10
Gargoyle-Wings of Darkness
Scarecrow-8829 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Underneath a Romanian Catholic church's graveyard lies a breeding ground of eggs containing gargoyles an evil priest is harvesting for Armegeddon as the mother creature is out flying the skies looking for victims to munch on. Michael Paré and Sandra Hess are American agents working on a case regarding a criminal who was snatched away by the mother gargoyle monster, trying to determine what had caused his death, among a string of attacks concerning the beast. Kate Orsini is an art curator helping to restore and modernize the Catholic church where creepy corrupt priest Fintan McKeown is secretly working against his clergy hoping to unleash an army of hatched gargoyles on an unsuspecting public. Petri Roega is a priest sent by the Vatican to replace McKeown and indeed knows what his plans are. Paré will hook up with Orsini after reporting to her after learning about her missing co-workers..in their search for truth regarding bizarre crime scenes and elaborate pictures of gargoyles found in a book of study on McKeown's desk(..not to mention Orsini's discovery of a missing painting hidden in the Catholic church she is working on containing a gargoyle)they will soon learn about a special crossbow and blood-blessed arrows meant to use on the mother gargoyle sweeping down and snatching human food. Tim Abell, a Wynorski regular, has a supporting role as Lex, a showman who passes himself off as a cult leader of vampirism finding a devoted following of goth-obsessed flunkies who frequent his club for kicks. Abell sees himself what the gargoyle can do when it swoops down taking out a gang of thugs who wish to take over Bucharest's streets. Another Wynorski regular Arthur Roberts has a small role as a Bishop who lives within the ruins of a castle on the outskirts of Bucharest who holds the special crossbow and gives knowledge to Paré and Orsini regarding the gargoyle on the loose.

Serious creature feature from Wynorski plays it completely straight unlike his usual efforts, certainly relies heavily on computer generated monsters which look more like giant bats when cloaked in the darkness of night or within the catacombs underneath the graveyard. Wynorski does, when given a chance, direct films geared towards fans of sci-fi/horror/action, but rarely has sufficient funds to finance a feature with superior special effects. When the gargoyle charges towards the camera, that's when the computer generated effects are truly exposed. Wynorski actually focuses more on plot than usual with a cast keeping a straight face with Paré coasting on his charisma. I think fans of Sci-fi channel monster movies will find this better than most of their usual fare, but I'm not sure that's an insult or a compliment for Wynorski's movie. I love gargoyles, but even the finest CGI monster would pale in comparison to the animatronic wonders created by the ingenuity and artistic skill of the crew for the "Lover's Vow" tale in Tales from the Darkside-The Movie(1990). Like other directors who wish not to give their correct name in the directorial credit, Wynorski uses the alias of Jay Andrews. The movie doesn't really separate itself from the gluttony of monster movies that have populated Sci-fi channel over the years so don't expect any really big surprises.
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