This week on the B movie docket is The Gate II (1990)
Hello good people. And welcome to 50 B Movies: The Sequel. It’s bigger, better, and badder. The original 50 b Movies covered a wide range of B Movies. There was everything from Thankskilling 3 to The Void. Some films were funny. Some were unintentionally funny. And some were mainstream with far-out concepts like zombie tigers. All in all, it was a hell of a list.
Why make a sequel? Because narrowing down a list of 50 B Movies To See Before You Die was arduous. With so many movies to watch, one can never really know if the movie is good. Sure sometimes 5 minutes in, you know it is a real stinker. Other times it might take a half an hour before one realizes they will never get that half hour back to their life. Poof. Gone. But all in all there are many great B Movies that didn’t make the original list.
So welcome back if you are a LRM reader and welcome if it’s your first time here. Be forewarned we will be treading deep into the bush to pull these B Movies. We aren’t rehashing anyone’s previous 50 or 100 or 1000 B Movies list. Nope. So, prepare yourself for 50 B Movies To See Before You Die: The Sequel. Bigger. Better. Badder. Oooh yeah.
WEEK 16 – The Gate II (1990)
They thrust four teenagers into a battle against the forces of darkness after they conjure up a wish-granting demon.
In my interpretation, this is like a sister film to Gremlins. Imagine all this demonic wishful-thinking occurred before little Billy got his hands on the oh-so-fuzzy Gizmo, got it wet, and revealed it was just a cute demon.
Sound far-fetched? You’ve seen a wet gremlin, haven’t you? So, A, never get gremlins wet, and B, never ever allow a demon to grant your wish. Why? I don’t know, bad things were tend-to-happen. Gremlin or demon, it all boils down to semantics. I googled it.
As the title suggests, The Gate II is a sequel to the original 1987 horror movie The Gate. I have yet to see the original movie, but I should. It stars a young Stephen Dorff. I know it would be common sense to watch them in sequential order. But this here is 50 B Movies To See Before You Die. And time is short, so we decide and watch and hope it’s worth writing about. Who knows how much time we have left?
For instance, how do I know which of these B Movies will be the final one I watch before I die? I don’t. How could anyone know what their last watch will be before the eternal curtains close? No idea. But I’d rather go out recommending a solid B movie to you. Cheers. Here’s to another!
The horror on display here is both gnarly to behold and simultaneously visually primitive. Like an angry cave dweller, the Wallace and Gromit like Claymation demons rip open your eyelids before taking an intrusive dump. Be warned, that’s what happens when you play with demons.
We learn they make the wishes granted of excrement return to their true form after a few hours, like in some Cinderella tales. Believe me, when I say seeing material wishes decaying into poop is pretty funny.
Practical is what the FX is about. They depict the demons using stop-motion animation. The interactions between our hero and the stop-motion demons are unsettling. It’s a step above bad CGI and that works marvelously as this is a B Horror movie. Everything thus eschews this cool Jason and The Argonauts vibe.
Strap in and allow yourself to be transported to 1990. Hear me, the cheesy FX here lends an unsettling effect and feels more in line with the 90s horror vibe than any creation juiced up on CGI like it was HGH and paraded across the big screen as convincing. It’s shinier, but it feels like crap, a lot of times. That’s kind of like the fruits of the demonic wishes granted here, where the goods all come with a half-life that renders them looking exactly like a steaming pile of Fernando poo.
This is some very fine well rotten cheese, my friends. You’ve seen the setup time and time again on film. The local bullies spoil the lonely nerd’s good time. Said bullies keep a hot young lady in their posse and she subsequently has a weird thing for the nerd. It is a timeworn setup.
In the case of The Gate II, our intrepid teenage hero is right in the middle of summoning some demons. What could go wrong? Cue the bully’s joining him in his circle of protection in time to harass him when he needs to be at his most focused. The back and forth is 90s dialogue. We get a cool little demon appearance. And the sequence ends with the bully putting a bullet into the imp, apparently killing it.
The Gate II demands to be opened. I mean The Gate II demands to be watched. So do yourself a favor, and pop yourself some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the B movie.
Watch it where?
I streamed it on Tubi at the time of this writing. Being an older film, it may permanently live there, so check it out.