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Hell's Gate (2001)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: John Hough

Patrick Muldoon/Trey
Patsy Kensit/Agnes
Ami Locane/Carly
5 10
Some psycho hottie (Kensit) who believes she was Jack the Ripper’s mistress in a past life, escapes the loony bin and proceeds to terrorize her doctor (Muldoon) and his family. Why would she do such a vile thing? Because she thinks he was Jack the Ripper in a past life and wants to be reunited with him, of course!
This is one of those low IQ, HIGHLY predictable (I guessed every plot turn) type of B-movie that pollutes the horror section at your local video store on a regular basis. It’s filled with more holes than a Vegas showgirl and inconsistencies up the highway. But maybe it was the lazy mood that I was in, or maybe it was because I hadn’t gotten laid in 24 hours but I somehow managed to have fun with it in an “I’m ashamed I got some wet licks out of this flick” kind of way.

On the upside, the flick moves very fast and is mostly always interesting. It has a groovy reincarnation angle (I would’ve milked it more though), showcases lots of gruesome gore (sometimes cheap), display some minuscule tense moments and lots of female skin. Patsy Kensit (Agnes) is bang-on as the cold, calculated PMS-ing female nutjob and I relished every moment that she was onscreen. It's obvious to me that she had a riot playing this left-field role and I had a blast watching her go at it. If it wasn’t for her engaging presence holding the film together, it most likely would’ve been a total waste of breath. The movie also has a smutty feel that I, of course, lapped up (all about a lesbian club and a Doc fooling around with a sedated patient) and I dug the “Jack the Ripper” era flashbacks, even though they seemed to have all been shot on one same street (damn low budget). The Ireland locations were also beautiful to look at.

Of course, the boos-boos in this one are mucho in your face. The first would have to be the awkward opening scene where this ATROCIOUSLY BAD actress is being tortured by some rambling mechanic. Although I did dig the sly “Psycho” reference, I almost pressed the stop button in the middle of that scene. Thankfully, I roughed it out and the movie got better. What really annoyed me about that prologue (apart from the fact that it was badly executed) is that the blonde dunce was supposed to be playing the Kensit character “before the fact”. Problem is, she looked nothing like Kensit and I didn’t buy the half assed cover up they slapped my way later on. Here’s their explanation: Kensit had plastic surgery when she was on the run! Come on! Talk about a makeover: smaller tits, nicer ass and better acting skills!

The see-through plot holes didn’t stop there and came a-knocking some more. Most of them were all there to guide the narrative in the generic direction it HAD to go in. There are really too many to mention and I don’t want this review to be five pages long, but I will say this though: Why do leads always make the wrong moves? When folks are burned alive, wouldn’t they scream? Do cars always explode so easily? Do folks always pass out when shot in the shoulder? And that’s just the tip of the six-pack! To top that off, all of the secondary actors suck the big one and I mean SUCK. That cop dude, the blonde tramp and that Arthur fellow should all go back to “acting workshop 101” pronto. Even Ami Locane is off. Talk about stinky!

But having spat all that venom, I still got some guilty smiles off this one. I don’t get it either! WHAT’S GOING ON! SOMEBODY WHACK ME WITH A BEER BOTTLE ACROSS THE HEAD PLEASE (make it a Bud)! I’m reading over my review right now and it sounds like a pure piece of garbage…and it is! But I derived pleasure, smiles and easy escapism from this trash so I guess that’s worth something. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense...back to the shrink chair I go!
The BBQ sauce flows freely here. We get a bit off lip, bit off tongue, slit throats galore, bloody stabbings all over the place, a needle in the eye, livers and hearts being removed from their bodies. The gore effects sometimes looked cheap but it didn’t bother me for some reason.
Patrick Muldoon (Trey) plays Patrick Muldoon in every movie but at least he’s an interesting brooder to watch as a lead. It was funny to see him share scenes with the lesser actors too; he blew them all out of the water. Patsy Kensit (Agnes) is dead effective as the killer with a screw loose. Her hot looks aren’t too shabby either. She’s got killer eyes! Ami Locane (Carly) didn’t impress me one bit; then again all she’s given to do is smile and cry. She got the bland “token” wife part.
T & A
We get some full nudity from some blonde dame early on (nice shaven pube line there honey, just like the strippers back home!) and two more pairs of titties throughout the movie. Kensit also shares a lesbian kiss with some gal but she keeps her shirt on (back to "Lethal Weapon 2" I go). Ladies who dig ladies will get some juice here, ladies who don’t, will get to stare at Muldoon’s nose for an hour and a half. Great nose!
The directing is half/half, sometimes it feels very bland in a “cable movie of the week” type way, and other times, it displays kool hints of style through either a creative shot or/and flashiness.
The score by Harry Manfredini (yes, of Friday the 13th fame) is by the numbers. Nothing special.
Distributor: Artisan Entertainment

IMAGE: The full-frame video transfer sports lots of grain and lacks definition.

SOUND: The Dolby 5.1 sound is actually decent, the score, the dialogue and the sounds all resonated clearly.

EXTRAS: Not much to go “ga-ga” about. We get a Photo Gallery, a Trailer, and a Cast and Crew Filmography
You ever bang that ugly chick at a party, had fun while doing the deed and then regretted it the next day? Well, I would compare this movie to that same type of experience. For some odd cosmic reason, I enjoyed this movie while watching it but the next day I said to myself “what I have I done?” This movie really deserves a one and half stars but I got some easy candy out of it and had a good time with it so I’m giving it a two. I guess a meaningless head job can take you a long way, even if it’s the reject chick at the shindig giving it to ya. BOOYA!
This film was based on Douglas Clegg’s book “Bad Karma”. You can check out his official site here.
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