By Ray Schwetz
I'm pretty sure those of you who saw (and even those who liked) the silly eighties horror gem "The Gate" were not interested in a sequel. The first film told a fairly competent story, had great effects, and cool monsters. I never concluded a viewing of the first film by saying, "Gee, I wonder what will happen to these characters now," or "I can't wait to see what they do next."
"The Gate" was a fun, self-contained terror tale for a PG audience that became a minor hit. Well, I guess that was enough to make director Tibor Takacs think this premise was worth revisiting. The sequel picks up years after the original. Louis Tripp returns to the role of the geeky metalhead teen who accidentally helped open a gate that unleashed a demon and his minions upon the earth.
This time around he decides to perform a ceremony near the gate to make his wishes for a better life come true. He
attempts to set his father's life on track by making him a sober pilot again. However, the plot backfires when a couple of bullies stumble upon him as he's performing the rite. They get what they wish for, and they regret it. The minions are released again.
Actually, most of the film centers around only one or two minions. Herein lies the problem with the sequel. Where the first film had many cool creatures and zombies, this film only has a few "creature" moments. Pamela Seagall ("Say Anything") stars as the bully's girlfriend, who comes to befriend Louis and later become romantically involved with him (in what has to be one of the most awkward screen kisses I've ever seen).
The sequel is definitely unnecessary and inferior. There are a few laughs and some clever special effects (albeit far less than the first film). So, those of you who enjoyed "The Gate" should find some entertainment value in this sequel. Others will want to steer clear. Basically, it's just another mid-budget, mediocre horror flick.
This region free Canadian DVD fares better in the video and audio departments than the region 2 UK release of the original "Gate." The picture is soft and grainy in spots, but overall it's better than video tape. The Dolby Pro-logic surround is serviceable. There are a few decent surround effects, but nothing to scream over.
For extras we have bios on Louis Tripp and Pamella Seagall. That's it. Well, the good news is that this DVD is priced for the budget conscious (I snagged a copy for $8.99). The
bad news is that you get what you pay for. This DVD is really for fans only, but those who are curious enough won't get burned by a high price.