A little known film, The Gate was an underrated movie of its time. Released in 1987, and directed by Tibor Takacs, it tells the tale of a young boy, Glen, played brilliantly by a young Stephen Dorff, who, along with his friend Terry, investigate a hole left in his backyard after the removal of a tree. The hole becomes a gateway that allows demons to terrorize Glen, Terry, and Glen’s sister, Al. Utilizing stop motion for the scenes involving the demons, it is reminiscent of the effects found in Jason and the Argonauts.
Strange deaths at a recently reopened textile mill all take place during the graveyard shift. The basement is infested with rats, prompting a clean up in which a more blood chilling discovery is made. Based on a Stephen King short story, the film, which was shot in Maine, a popular location for King’s stories, did fairly well at the box office.
Peter Straub’s successful book, Ghost Story, became adapted for the screen in 1981. The members of the Chowder Society entertain each other by telling scary stories. One story haunts all of the members leaving a trail of death behind. A masterfully crafted tale by Straub, the movie performed well in the theatres but garnered mixed reviews.
Part horror, part comedy, Gremlins touted an uncanny dark side. Executive producer Stephen Spielberg joined by director Joe Dante, brought us the story of a young man and his unusual pet, Gizmo. There are strict rules you have to follow to keep Gizmo, and when they’re not followed, chaos ensues. An aggressive marketing campaign helped to spur ticket sales, and audience’s fondness for Spielberg helped the film to earn over $148 million dollars.
Godzilla, a giant reptilian creature that was the direct result of mutation due to nuclear radiation, menaces Japan. Originally made in 1954, an edited version was released in the United States in 1956 with the title of Godzilla, King of the Monsters. You can find the original version with the title of Gojira. A world recognized icon, there has been much by the way of merchandising and spin-off films since the first movie. Today Godzilla is a cultural icon.