The Gate Wal-Mart Exclusive SteelBook Blu-ray Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Dorff is the best part of the movie and since he was only about 13 when the movie was filmed he didn't have a lot of experience making his acting hit or miss.

As long as there have been horror movies, there have been really bad, cheesy, horror movies, and the 80s were chock full of them.  One such example was the 1987 Tibor Takács (Black Warrant) directed movie, The Gate, starring Stephen Dorff (Blade) as Glen in his feature film debut, is a cautionary tale of what could be lurking under the ground when you remove trees from your backyard and what can happen when you leave your teenage daughter and her younger brother home alone for a weekend.  Released on Blu-ray in 2017, Vestron Video is now offering a Walmart-exclusive SteelBook on sale this week.

When a hole in the ground left by an uprooted tree produces a geode, Glen and his neighbor Terry (Louis Tripp; The Campbells) explore the hole searching for more.  However, unbeknownst to them, they end up opening a gateway to a domain of evil Gods who are looking for a sacrifice to allow them to enter the human world through the hole. Things get worse when Glen's parents leave him and his sister, Al (Christa Denton; 8 Million Way to Die), home alone for the weekend, the dog dies, Glen's friend, Terry, sees his deceased mother, etc. until the house is almost in shambles and demons are terrorizing Glen, Al, and Terry.

Did I mention it was a cheesy, horror movie? Well, I was being somewhat kind as the acting isn't great, the effects are low budget, and the script is awfully cliché. Dorff is the best part of the movie and since he was only about 13 when the movie was filmed he didn't have a lot of experience making his acting hit or miss.  Takács had a decent budget for a horror movie at that time but could only create decent special effects.

The video is the standard Blu-ray 1080p resolution with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Since this is the same Blu-ray quality as the Lionsgate version, the same problems still exist.  The holes in the negative are apparent throughout as flashes of white spots occasionally appear on the screen and, in one of the first scenes a line from the negative is very noticeable. However, this may have been a conscious choice as too much scrubbing might have made the effect look incredibly fake and awful.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 has some surprisingly good sound effects though it still utilizes the echo effect prevalent in the 1980s.  There is a nice rumble emanating from the film's low tones, and overall, the audio is pretty solid.  

The SteelBook case is a nice touch with new graphics but it is the only new part of this release.  The extras are all ported over from other releases and include: Audio Commentary with Director Tibor Takács, Writer Michael Nankin, and Special Effects Designer and Supervisor Randall William Cook, Audio Commentary with Special Effects Designer and Supervisor Randall William Cook, Special Makeup Effects Artist Craig Reardon, Special Effects Artist Frank Carere and Matte Photographer Bill Taylor, Isolated Score and Audio Interview with Composers Michael Hoenig and J. Peter Robinson, The Gate: Unlocked, Minion Maker, From Hell It Came, The Workman Speaks!, Made in Canada, From Hell: The Creatures and Demons of The Gate, The Gatekeepers, Making of The Gate, Teaser Trailer, Theatrical Trailer, TV Spot, Storyboard Gallery, and a Behind the Scenes Gallery.

If you are a fan of those older horror films that don't take themselves too seriously, or you know someone who is, then this Walmart-exclusive SteelBook is a must.  Vestron did a nice job putting the packaging together and offering younger fans an opportunity to buy this film.

If you don't expect too much, this would be a good purchase of a movie that is over 35 years old.

Grade: C-

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 85 minutes
Distributed By: Lionsgate

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For more information about The Gate visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

The Gate images are courtesy of Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.

Read More The Gate Reviews

Physical Media: Blu-ray Review
I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Gate again, it was a fun, rollercoaster ride, through the eyes of the three kids.  They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
Full Review | Grade: B


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