The Gate 2 (1992)
Director: Tibor Takacs
The dork (Tripp) from the first "Gate" movie re-opens the gate in order to help his heavy drinking dad get his shit together. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose. Won't these damn mooks ever learn???
Returning from the original Gate is director Tibor Takacs, screenwriter Michael Nankin and star (I use that term loosely) Louis Tripp. Unfortunately they forgot to bring with them the essential ingredient that made the first one stand out and that is: “fun”. This lamo sequel, that sat on the shelves for 3 years, doesn’t have much on its side and unless you’re pissed drunk when you watch it, you probably won't get much pleasure out of it either.
First off, the lead is painfully annoying. I assume they couldn’t afford Stephen Dorff so they brought back Louis Tripp. In the first film, he was a kid so I let a lot of shit slide but here he’s a teen and I can’t hold it in anymore. I just can’t warm up to this dude! His close-ups hurt my eyes, his voice makes my ears bleed and I kept hoping that the demonic minion would rip him a new a-hole…didn’t happen. A theory of mine: If I can’t feel for the lead in a movie, it’s most likely that I won’t care much for the film. That was proven here.
I’m not sure what this sequel was going for. Did it want to be funny? Scary? Cheesy? I have no idea. Having Terry (Tripp) dressing up in hockey gear to capture the escaped minion was too much to be funny but just enough to be fucking stupid. What was up with that? I also did not once feel an ounce of tension or suspense so I guess they weren’t going for that. The film does succeed on the "cheese" factor though. The first half of the film is so bad that it’s actually amusing. James Villemaire and Simon Reynolds play the bullies to a tilt. They cracked my ass up! The minion action is well done and kinda cute (some silly creature antics and somewhat amusing situations). The dialogue is so bad that it’s hilarious. My two fav lines were 1) “If demons would be rock stars he’d be a roadie and 2) “Who needs demons when you got chicks”. And the wishes that turned to shit were a nice shitty touch.
But in the second half, the film loses its dumb cheese vibe and shifts into a snore fest. The crappy love subplot kicks in (puke), the characters turn into cheapo demons with funny voices (urgh), the effects go from okay to awful and we get to visit the other side of The Gate that basically looks like my backyard. The dialogue becomes more and more laced with spiritual mumbo jumbo and the finale is just too silly looking to enjoy on any level. "The Gate 2" has a bad script, bad acting and bad production values and unless you’re hitting the bong like Cheech or Chong, your enjoyment level will probably be very low. Close the gate! This series is dead!
The minion stop motion effect is on the money, the initial demon change is pretty gross but the end demons look dumb and cheap.
Louis Tripp (Terry) is hard to look at and tested my nerves. He’s just not my cup of blood. James Villemaire (John) is so over the top with his bad boy portrayal that he becomes funny in a kool way. He reminded me of a young Travolta and he made me laugh. Pamela Segall (Liz) does ok but has the worst lines (“I touched the infinite”…Shut the fuck up!). Simon Reynolds (Moe) plays stoned very well, was that real weed he was smoking?
T & A
Pamela Segall keeps her top on. The minion is butt naked though…mmm…does he work out?
Takacs has a good eye. He sometimes manages to capture hints of creepiness we should’ve felt the whole way in full force. He has no handle on his actors though and should really be pickier with the scripts that he chooses.
A score that goes from subtle and adequate to super tacky. Uneven.
A good movie starts with a good script. Who approved this stinker? At first this sequel is so bad that it’s amusing but then it just becomes painful to watch. If you really HAVE to see this sequel, I recommend you stock up on alcohol BIGT-IME before hitting it. Otherwise you’re in for a slow and mostly agonizing ride. Who says booze is bad?
This film was shot in Ontario Canada.
Pamela Segall does the voice of Bobby in the animated TV show “King Of The Hill”.