11 March 2018 | Michael_Elliott
A Cave and Some Monks
The Hell's Gate (1989)
** (out of 4)
A man is doing some sort of isolation test in a cave but when his friends hear him screaming they decide to enter and see what's going on. Pretty soon the new group of people find themselves seeing a variety of strange things and it might be linked to some monks who entered the cave seven hundred years earlier.
Umberto Lenzi made a handful of movies in 1989 and sadly the majority of them were pretty poor. This was due to some rather unoriginal screenplays plus the fact that the Italian horror genre had pretty much dried up and directors weren't given the same time of budgets like they had been in the earlier part of the decade. THE HELL'S GATE isn't a good movie but it's one of those films that mildly hold your attention because you keep expecting something to happen yet it never does and before you know it the movie is over.
Is that a solid recommendation? Probably not but if you're a fan of Italian horror then you might want to check this out because in all honesty it's actually a lot more entertaining than most of the films the genre was pumping out during this period. There's no question that the market fell out for these types of movies so what was released were unoriginal pieces without much of a budget for anything.
What I did enjoy about this movie was the cave setting, which I thought was rather effective. For the most part the cast is decent enough and we even get Paul Muller in a small role at the end. The violence is mostly tame but there are a couple aftermath shots including one eye getting really damaged and there's another sequence with spiders, which will remind people of Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND.
With all of that being said, one shouldn't go into this with high expectations because there's really not much here.