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Blu-Ray Review: The Gate (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-Ray Review: The Gate (Vestron Video Collector's Series)

The Gate
Blu-Ray (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)
Director: Tibor Takács
Screenwriter: Michael Nankin
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Louis Tripp, Kelly Rowan, Jennifer Irwin
Distributor: Lionsgate
Rated PG-13 | 85 Minutes
Release Date: February 28, 2017

Like Gremlins, Ghoulies, and Critters, 1987’s The Gate is a horror movie about pint-sized demons hell-bent on taking over the planet. Directed by Tibor Takács (I, Madman), the film stars Stephen Dorff and Louis Tripp as Glen and Terry, two suburban kids who unearth a gateway to a nightmarish realm brimming with evil.

A mix of The Goonies, The Monster Squad, and the aforementioned “little rubber monster movies,” The Gate is a kid-friendly horror movie with tiny creatures who want wreak havoc and terrorize children. What’s also interesting is that there’s a bit of a horror-metal edge to it, like Trick or Treat or Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, with Terry being a metalhead obsessed with The Dark Book, an album by the heavy metal band Sacrifyx. The album liner notes contain passages to – of course – summon and defeat demons, which is particularly useful considering they just opened a portal to hell.

For many kids in the ’80s and early ’90s, The Gate was one of those movies they saw on cable or rented at their local mom ‘n’ pop video store, and were scarred (or fascinated) by. It isn’t that scary or bloody – it’s PG-13 after all – but there’s something about the minions, the film’s mean-ass little monsters, that is unnerving. It’s the way they move, a mixture of forced perspective photography with performers in suits and stop-motion miniatures, that give the creatures this surreal, “unstuck from time” quality, where they scurry about in unnatural ways. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s absolutely worth a look, especially now that a definitive high-definition release is available!

Restored and remastered, the Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray features a 1080p transfer (16×9 widescreen 1.85:1) from the original film elements. The original 2.0 Stereo Audio is included, as well as DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Audio. There’s also all-new special features, including two audio commentary tracks, one with Takács, writer Michael Nankin, and special effects designer and supervisor Randall William Cook, and another with Cook, special make-up effects artist Craig Reardon, special effects artist Frank Carere, and matte photographer Bill Taylor.

There’s a wealth of newly produced featurettes included on this Collector’s Series release as well, including The Gate: Unlocked, a nostalgic look back with Takács and Cook; Minion Maker, an interview about creature design with Reardon; From Hell It Came with producer Andras Hamori; The Workman Speaks! with Workman actor Carl Kraines; Made in Canada with Robert Wertheimer, Jonathan Llyr, Scott Denton, H. Gordon Woodside, Trysha Bakker, and Kathleen Meade; From Hell: The Creatures & Demons of The Gate with Cook and Reardon, and The Gatekeepers, a look at the genesis of the screenplay with Michael and Takács.

There’s also Making of The Gate, a vintage behind-the-scenes featurette, as well as isolated score selections and an interview with composers Michael Hoenig and J. Peter Robinson, teaser and theatrical trailers, a TV spot, storyboard gallery, and behind-the-scenes still gallery.

With a solid high-definition transfer and a plethora of insightful special features, The Gate is Vestron Video’s most impressive release yet and a must-have for fans of ’80s horror, Demon Lords, and practical effects! Now if we could only get 1990’s The Gate II: Trespassers on Blu-ray!

The Gate is now available at Amazon.

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Cover Art

Blu-Ray Review: The Gate (Vestron Video Collector's Series)

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