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Blu-ray Review: HELLGATE Is A Veritable Smorgasbord Of Horror Tropes - Movies In Focus
Hellgate is a pretty atrocious 1989 B-movie that makes very little sense. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of horror tropes that have been thrown into one movie along with a nod and a wink. You know it’s bad, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off it. The plot has no logic whatsoever – it involves urban myths, ghost towns, magical crystals, zombies, killers, bikers and teenagers (that look forty). Director William A. Levey brings them all together in this South African-shot (but US-set) film that has almost no narrative cohesion. It’s total horror exploitation, but at least the film wears its tongue in its cheek. In an odd way it’s like an Ed Wood movie that has somehow been shot in the ‘80s (although there’s a 1950s-set flashback that confuses matters). Hellgate is pretty much worth your time for the ghost train-like ending which has some interesting imagery – but it is far from a horror classic. Watching Hellgate made me long for celluloid. Today, most low budget horrors are shot on digital and they have that dull plastic sheen – but Hellgate has grain and texture. It makes you feel like you are watching something with much [...]