Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

måndag 7 maj 2018


Directed by: Jackson Stewart
Written by: Stephen Scarlata | Jackson Stewart
Stars:  Graham Skipper, Chase Williamson, Brea Grant... read more

Country: USA
Style: Adventure
Runtime: 1h 24min

Beyond The Gates is an excursion into throwback retro horror. A genre that seems to be embraced more and more as film makers are using the movies they are influenced by from yesteryear to deliver their own personal vision of horror. Other movies that come to recent memory are 'The Void', 'Turbo Kid', 'The Barn', 'The Mind's Eye' plus TV shows such as 'Stranger Things'. With everything some of these movies/shows are better than others and people start criticizing the originality and ingenuity of these current films.

Some claim that the retro vibe is a cop-out and an excuse to appease trendy vinyl/VHS loving hipster fan boys who don't have an original bone in their bodies. Personally I dig most of the throwback films and revel in their 80's/70's, whatever vibe they have going on. I enjoyed 'The Void', a movie which seemed to divide a lot of viewers and 'Turbo Kid' was probably one of my favorite films of the year and no I don't own a record player and my VCR is crusted in dust and dirt somewhere lost in my basement.

I didn't know much about Beyond The Gates before checking it out but the two things that caught my eye were Barbara Crampton on the cover (a beautiful lady who hasn't aged a day since seeing her in the original Re-Animator for the first time, I think she's gotten sexier actually) and reading the premise which involved a video store and a VHS board game. I can remember such VHS movies which tied into board games like 'Clue The Movie' but in the nineties it seemed there was a VHS board game called Nightmare which had a character who would appear on the video called the gatekeeper. The object of the game was to unlock all the keys, a premise that the makers of Beyond The Gates might be familiar with.

Beyond The Gates features a couple of distant brothers Gordon (Graham Skipper) and John (Chase Williamson) who are brought together when their Dad mysteriously disappears. Graham Skipper is familiar with this territory as I have seen him in another couple genre films by Joe Begos which were 'Almost Human' and 'The Minds Eye'. The two very different brothers must pack up and close their father's family business which is a video store. Everything gets even more awkward than it already is when the brothers discover a mysterious board game which may have something to do with their father's disappearance. Right out of the gate (no pun intended) I dug the music in Beyond The Gates, it oozes that ear melting synth 80's vibe and I enjoyed it. The story takes awhile to get set up but both uptight brother Gordon (Skipper) and Dan (Williamson) play off each other pretty well in this. Their Dad's house also suits the tone of the movie because it looks like something out of the eighties and it's where most of the film takes place. One thing I do have to say about Beyond The Gates is it really delivers on the practical gore effects and in some instances they are remarkably jaw dropping and original, something which surprised the hell out of me.

I appreciate the tongue in cheek approach that Beyond The Gates takes in its many turns and it seems to not take itself too seriously in its delivery. Fortunately it manages to balance some cheesy elements such as a gate to another dimension appearing in a basement with some absolutely creepy and eerie moments along with that over the top punch of blood and gore which shows its not afraid to get down and dirty.

For me I feel Beyond The Gates is an effective homage to the genre while retaining its own entertaining identity.

My rating: 4 out of 5


Produced by: Jackson Stewart, Barbara Crampton, Ian Keiser, Jon Kondelik, Amanada Mortimer.
Cinematography by: Brian Sowell
Editing by: Josh Ethier
Special Effects by: Emily Bright, Josh Russell, Sierra Russell
Music by: Wojciech Golczewski
Language: English
Color: Color

Distributor: Thunder Warrior Productions | IFC Midnight


Owner of and writer for Twisted Minds. Combined his love for underground films, music and comics with writing in the 90's. Started tape trading the good stuff around that time when originals of Italian classics by Fulci, Argento, Deodato, Castellari and Margheriti were hard to find. Then came German gore by Ittenbach and Schnaas, Mondo movies and Japanese gore such as Guinea Pig and Men Behind The Sun. Written for Violent Maniacs Cage, Mortados Pages Of Filth, ZFE Films With Attitude, Severed Cinema, Goregasmic Cinema, Pophorror & Extreme Horror Cinema.