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The Gate

The Gate DVD cover
Directed by Tibor Takács
Produced by John Kemeny
Written by Michael Nankin
Starring Stephen Dorff,
Christa Denton,
Louis Tripp,
Kelly Rowan
Music by Michael Hoenig,
J. Peter Robinson
Cinematography Thomas Vámos
Editing by Rit Wallis
Distributed by New Century Vista Film Company (USA, theatrical)
Release date(s) May 15, 1987 (USA) and (Canada)
Running time 85 min.
Country Canada
United States
Language English
Followed by The Gate II: Trespassers

The Gate is a 1987 horror movie starring Stephen Dorff and directed by Tibor Takács. The movie utilizes stop motion, Harryhausen-esque creatures.



The removal of an old tree in the backyard of Glen (Stephen Dorff) reveals a large and mysterious hole. With the help of his friend Terry, Glen further excavates the hole after the tree removers attempt to fill it up. Inside, the boys find a large geode. In digging out the hole, Glen is hurt by a splinter and leaves a small bit of blood behind.[1]

Glen's parents leave his sister Al in charge for three days as they will be out of town. Al takes advantage of her parents being out of town and throws a party. Terry and Glen skip the party, but Terry sleeps over. That night Glen reads aloud the strange writing from the geode. Bizarre things begin to happen and the family dog, Angus, dies. All of the oddities seem centered around the "hole." The next day Terry brings over a heavy metal album from his house, claiming that the lyrics and music are based on a demonic book called "The Dark Book" and that the hole in Glen's yard is actually a gateway to the domain of demonic "Old Gods" who once ruled the universe. Terry also says that only a form of light, love, and purity can stop these Old Gods. Terry speculates that the recitation of the words from the geode and Glen's blood from the splinter started the process. Unbeknownst to the boys the demons are unable to fully manifest without a full sacrifice. Unfortunately a guy Al has a crush on, Eric, dumps Angus into the hole to complete the summoning[2].

By nightfall, as the Lee sisters visit Al, hordes of minions climb out of the gate to capture two ideal human sacrifices to cement their rule on Earth. Losing the album, Glen and Terry attempt to stop the creatures by reading Bible passages, but are only able to briefly slow the creatures down as Al kicks her friends out. Later that night, Terry and Al are captured by the Workman, a manifestation of a worker Terry made up to scare Glen earlier. By then, Glen realizes that the rocket Al intended to give him for his birthday is the only handy representation of love, light, and purity he has. As such, the rocket is the only thing that can stop the rise of the Old Gods. Glen attempts to launch the rocket manually as evil floods out of the gate and a giant, multi-limbed, serpentine Demon Lord emerges. The Demon Lord spares Glen as he is the one who brought it into this world. The Demon Lord causes an eye to grow in the palm of Glen's hand. Glen musters enough courage to stab out the eye and uses a battery-powered launcher to fire the rocket at the Demon, destroying him and stopping the invasion. Terry and Al return, restored and unharmed with a revived Angus. The kids' only remaining worry is how to explain the status of the house to their parents.



It was first released on DVD by Platinum Disc Corporation (now Echo Bridge Home Entertainment) in 2003; that release has since gone out of print. Lionsgate released a special edition of the film on October 6, 2009.


  • The Gate II: Trespassers (1992)
  • The Gate - 20 Years Later (announced)


On 23 September 2009, it was announced that Alex Winter will be directing a 3D remake of the film based on a screenplay by Kerric Macdonald.[3] The shoot is set to begin at the end of 2009 in the H20 Motion Pictures studios.[4] H.R. Giger concepted and designed the creatures of the movie.[5]


  • Won the 1988 Golden Reel Award at the Genie Awards.
  • Christa Denton won Best Young Actress in a Horror Motion Picture at the 1988 Young Artist Awards. Stephen Dorff was nominated for Best Young Actor in a Horror Motion Picture at the same festival.
  • Stephen Dorff was nominated for Best Performance by a Younger Actor at the 1988 Saturn Awards.


External links

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