Hellgate

1989

Action / Comedy / Horror

4
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 57%
IMDb Rating 3.2 10 1204

Synopsis


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Cast

Ron Palillo as Matt
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
654.55 MB
1280*714
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 31 min
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1.37 GB
1920*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 31 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Mr_Ectoplasma 6 / 10

Great surrealist concept, poorly executed

"Hellgate" begins with a narrative-within-a-narrative, as college students awaiting their friend's arrival at their vacation cabin relay the urban legend of a young woman who was kidnapped and murdered in the nearby ghost town of Hellgate. Little do they know, their friend is meanwhile encountering her on a deserted road en route, and the group become embroiled in the bizarre town's goings-on, where the dead are animated by a magical crystal.

Quite frankly one of the most disjointed and bizarre concepts I've encountered as a lifelong horror enthusiast, "Hellgate" is one for the history books that has been left out of them. Not because it's a good film—it's a very, very bad film—but it's also one of the most ridiculously fun (and ridiculously stupid) late-eighties horror offerings out there.

I knew within the first five minutes what I was getting myself into; the opening scene in the "fifties diner" appeared to be a reverse-anachronism, sporting so many historical inaccuracies and the heaviest late eighties/early nineties vibes you could possibly imagine, and things just went further down the rabbit hole from there on out. The sets in general are not too dissimilar from those you'd see in a high school play, and the ghost town itself looks like an unused studio backlot that was slapped together to appear as a (thoroughly unconvincing) western town. And yet, in spite of these limitations, the film manages to be somewhat atmospheric in its own bizarre way. Maybe it's the tackiness of the sets, or the way they're shot, but the apparent failed intent contributes to the overall weirdness of the film.

As for the special effects—well, gather round, folks, and check out the bat on the string, the exploding fishbowl, and the demonic turtle! The film is also littered with hilarious slow-motion shots during key moments of action. The acting and dialogue is by and large bad, and Ron Pallilo is essentially the only actor here who isn't an unknown (or whose film this wasn't his/her only credit). The script overall is disjointed, and the film appears as if it's trying to be multiple things at once: a creature feature, a slasher film, a ghost story, a sci-fi adventure—it's even sometimes humorous, though the one thing it never quite reaches is seriously "dramatic."

And, alas, despite all of the majorly problematic things I've listed about "Hellgate," I have to say that I found it as equally charming as it was absurd. I also feel that there is a good skeleton to the film—it is the execution of it that tears it to shreds. The film has a fantastically bizarre, creepy premise, and there are moments in the film where it nears a certain kind of surrealism that it seems to be striving for; the scene in which Pallilo encounters the ghostly Abigail Wolcott on the dark, rural road is a prime example. There are shades of David Lynch (and Cronenberg) here, and while the turnout is far from great, or even good, I felt the core of the film was actually rather intriguing.

Overall, "Hellgate" is quite obviously a bad film, but it's also supremely enjoyable for a niche audience of people who relish these sorts of bad horror films—and I count myself as one of those people. In spite of all of the film's technical flaws, I do believe there is a solid film here somewhere, but the filmmakers never found it. Even as a lost opportunity, "Hellgate" is a one-of-a- kind in its ability to leave you utterly dumbfounded. 6/10.

Reviewed by bregund 2 / 10

Welcome Back, Tedium

If you want to see Horshack speaking in a normal voice, the novelty is interesting for about one minute. Yes it's a bad film, worse than Troll II. Pick any ten random people on the sidewalk and ask them to be in a film, give them a script, and they'll probably act circles around the people who were apparently paid to be in this movie. When I see a forgotten gem like this, I wonder where in the world it was shown when it was released, and who actually paid money to watch it. I'm thinking it was a double bill with another film at drive in theaters?

If you don't fall asleep in the first few minutes, there is actually a really neat overhead shot of Hellgate as the bikers ride into town. After that, you can stop watching.

Reviewed by GL84 4 / 10

Heavily flawed and troubling but still watchable

After hearing of a mysterious ghost-town nearby, a group of friends realize one of their recent encounters with a towns-member there warrants further investigation and head off to find the town, which doesn't sit well with the murderous locals.

On the whole this one wasn't really all that enjoyable and had a lot of problems with it. What really hurts this one more than anything is the incredibly tiring concept of not getting any answers for anything that happens here as just about everything never makes any kind of sense. There's nothing in here about the strange crystal that reactivates the dead, what happens to them when they return or anything else, there's little about the ghost town other than the legend about the waitress and even that doesn't make sense for it seems to be a revenge scenario about the dead girl's father bringing her back to life but she doesn't go after her attackers and the entire process is just utterly confusing. On top of that, the motivations here are a complete mess with this one taking the hero out to the location of the cursed town at the very beginning and getting rightly freaked out but then turning around and going back later on with friends on a completely contrived and ludicrous explanation that never once comes off as believable. This also creates such a haphazard and lazy story that it shuffles around between several different plot-points coming from several different places and can't make up its mind which one it wants to be and further confuses matters with the way this handles the group getting to the cursed town, which all-told makes the first half of this one extremely tough to get into. Not only is the plot tough to get into, but the fact that this one tends to really stumble about in the last half with a series of lame scare scenes that are laughable in the fact that they're meant to be terrifying, from being afraid of a can-can line of dancers, a scene where stuffed turtles, fish and frogs get reanimated and turn on the spectators in the room or the seduction attempts that get passed off as legitimate despite one second it's under their psychotic spell while another has it to be his own choosing simply makes this one come off even lamer with the rather cheesy attacks that are supposed to induce thrills. Still, there's some good stuff at work here including the main story about the legendary ghost town which is prime for stuff like this to really mark a strong impression overall here as it's got a great back-story with plenty to like about it, and the recap scenes are certainly enjoyable enough as well. As well, this one's biggest plus is the fact that there's a quite enjoyable finale stuck in the haunted town which has a lot of chasing, some decent deaths here that come off quite nicely and plenty of action, with frantic chases through town by the freak-show attendees and the frantic chasing in the house as well as the finale which is a strikingly fun car chase to end things on a positive note. There's also the rampant nudity here that comes from those well- prepared to deliver it, at least on the female side which is all enough to make this one watchable but it's still highly flawed regardless.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Full Nudity, a sex scene and drug use.

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