Thursday, June 28, 2007


It's never a good idea – especially in a horror flick – when a pair of dorky animal rights nuts decide to break into a research facility, free some test subjects and wreck the joint. It's an even worse idea when they decide to liberate the "very sad and very lonely" mutant Tasmanian Devil named "Precious" that's kept in the kind of cage usually reserved for some sort of howling mutant protoplasm in a Paul Naschy flick.

If you've already jumped to the conclusion that "Precious" will gut the two well-meaning bunny huggers, then you're just the kind of person director Ray Knyrim made this gory, fun flick for. If you've also figured out that "Precious" will cross paths with a gang of amateur filmmakers shooting a no-budget tits and gore zombie flick in the nearby cemetery, then I want to party with you.

PHANTASM series star Reggie Bannister plays Belmont, a researcher with a list of secrets almost as long as his pony tail. It seems that "Precious" was once the family pet, but went apeshit (or should that be Tasmanian Devilshit?) and killed Belmont's wife. The researcher's son Hunter (Peter Stickles), who was rather attached to the murderous creature, is turning 21 and instead of hanging with Dad (who looks like he probably has access to some bitching pharmaceuticals and medical marijuana) heads off with a vanload of characters so stereotypical that I'm not even sure why they bothered with names beyond Slutty Chick (who deep throats a lollipop and looks like a hot version of Tara Reid), Stoner Dude and Greaseball. In other words, a group of "friends" that would ONLY be believable in a low-budget horror flick about a mutant Looney Tunes character.

The gang of filmmakers, rounded out with a chick named Kym (Nicole DuPort)who appears to have some sort of attraction to Hunter, reach the woods and begin shooting, only to encounter a drunken caretaker and his two idiot hillbilly sons. Lucky for "Precious" other Future Dead of America include a pair of hippie hitchhikers (played by Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger of KNB Efx Group), a jogger, and some more random bags of flesh and bone.

With a creature that bears more than a passing resemblance to the title creature from 1986's RAWHEAD REX, CEMETERY GATES takes a little time building up a head of steam but doesn't fail to disappoint. Just when I thought all the violent bloodletting was going to take place off-screen leaving us with nothing but disappointing aftermath shots, Knyrim amps up the gore and keeps his foot on the accelerator till the credits roll.

If you like limbs torn off, dead hicks, dead hippies, rivers of blood, topless chicks and pompous pontificating like "movies are the poetry of the new millennium" from a guy making a Z-grade topless campers movie, then CEMETERY GATES is right up your alley.



Cinema Suicide said...

Man, I'm going to have to look into this one. I've passed it up a million times at the store but I'm getting into some of the recent indies. I'm usually pretty suspicious of low budget horror movies because so many of them fail to hit the mark even in the b-movie market. You can have a bad movie that's a lot of fun and full of cliches, but most of them take themselves too seriously and forget the fun part, leaving only cliches.

I watched Behind The Mask last night, dude, I strongly recommend it and just did a write-up for it over at my blog. Definitely see it if you haven't already.

Dan said...

There's a decent crop of straight to video B-movie goodness lurking out there and this is one of them, as long as a gory, brainless monster mash is up your alley. (And from your comments and your site it sounds like it is.) If you hang with this one for the first 20 minutes or so you'll be handsomely rewarded with a nice little piece of trash. Unlike Uli Lommel's woefully inept and mistitled ZOMBIE NATION which I'll review in the near future.

I'll definitely have to check out BEHIND THE MASK... I still love a good slasher flick.