NO FALSE METAL MOVIES WEEK: The Gate (1987)

Tibor Takács (director of I, Madman and yep, that’s on the list of movies to review) and a young Stephen Dorff take pre-teen trauma and metal love to the limit in this one.

Glen (Dorff, who smokes those blu cigs in commercials and makes Becca sigh and was also bad ass in Blade) has constant nightmares and a weird best friend named Terry (who is totally the most metal geek kid in cinema forever and ever). Together, they find a geode in the backyard and get blood on it. Because that’s what you do.

When Glen’s folks leave for the weekend and put his sister Al the sitter, you know there’s going to be boys coming over and parties. No shock there. What is shocking is that they decide to read some incantations and break open the geode, which leads to Terry’s dead mom coming back from the grave. Or maybe it was just Glen’s dog Angus, who dies as a result of the monkeyshines.

Terry’s awesome — a D&D loving, occult obsessed kid that I totally identify with — and he believes that a metal album is the key to Terry’s backyard, which he believes is a domain of evil gods. They actions opened the gate to the netherworld and it’s a good thing they didn’t make a sacrifice. Just then, one of Al’s friends dumps the dead dog in the backyard. Oh no. Oh yes.

All sorts of Satanic pandemonium follows — a swarm of moths, devilish parents, demonic arms dragging Al under her bed, the dead dog in Terry’s bed, the Bible’s Psalm 59 being used to close a demon-filled hole, demons pulling kids into walls, an evil version of Terry that gets stabbed in the eye, one big demon being smashed into many smaller ones, an eyeball inside a kid’s hand and a bottle rocket that saves everything. Oh yeah — the dog lives, too.

This film, thanks to Terry, is rife with metal. The Dark Book album is the logo of Canadian band Sacrifice. The kid even has a Killer Dwarves patch on his jacket. And his room is just packed with posters and albums. He also looks like a child version of my buddy Dillon, who always has a hand painted Psychomania vest on when I see him at bars.

There’s a sequel, which I haven’t seen, but if it’s anything like this, I better get on with searching for it. Funny enough — people suggest this as a good first horror movie for kids. It’s pretty nightmare inducing, to be perfectly honest. My first grown up fright flicks were Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warrior and Fright Night, in case you wonder.

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