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John’s Horror Corner: Hellgate (1990), featuring a mutant zombie goldfish!

May 15, 2013

MY CALL:  This totally random WTF-style horror movie is often intentionally funny and embraces its own campiness with extra cheese.  If you love bad old school horror, then you should embrace this, too.  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  Other WTF-style horror movies such as The Sentinel (1977; serious).  The Nesting (1981; serious), The Outing (1987; funny), Deadly Blessing (1981; funny), The Possessed (1975; funny), Xtro (1983; weird) and Superstition (1982; funny).

This rather tasteless, tactless schlock flick begins when in 1957 when some bikers kidnap a local young beauty named Josie and bring her to the town of Hellgate.  Things get out of hand during a rape-y game of cat and mouse and Josie is accidentally killed.  Josie’s bereft father comes across some dumb magical glowy crystal which reanimates the dead and turns goldfish and sea turtles into giant mutant zombie monsters that explode.

Mutant goldfish zombie

With his newfound powers of resurrection, he brings his daughter back as a slutty well-preserved zombie that lures men to Hellgate to enjoy…ummmm…her.  The down side is that now you have to meet her father, who looks a bit like Dr. Doom with chunks of metal on his face and a metal arm–evidently replacement parts for injuries suffered from his exploding reanimated zombie pets.  Dad gets homicidal whenever Josie drops her top.

Daddy Dearest

Well after 37 years of her slutty antics, Josie meets Matt (Ron Palillo; Friday the 13th Part VI), takes him home, drops her top and decides that she really likes him.  So she keeps her dad at bay while he makes his escape.

A white dude with a jerry curl.  What slutty zombie chick could resist?

But Matt decides to return for Josie and brings his buddy and their girlfriends.  Why he’d bring his girlfriend with him to get together with an even hotter girl is beyond me.  Now furious with Matt’s return, dad raises all of the dead in the local cemetery as zombies to take care of him.

Matt’s girlfriend making her “oh” face.

Needless to say, the acting hurts.  But the cast makes up for it with loads tasteless nudity to remind us that they clearly weren’t hired for their gifts for dialogue.

There were some fine attempts at gore including some dismemberment.  There were also some very cheesy gore scenes including a lame strangulation.  Other special effects include such highlights as a rubber bat being shaken from fishing line (that we can see), crystals that shoot lasers, and coloring a bodybuilder’s hair gray as the sole effort to make him look 37 years older (since he was in the 1957 scene).

The zombie make-up was generally nothing special.

But at least they tried.

This movie is often intentionally funny and embraces its own campiness with extra cheese.  If you love bad old school horror, then you should embrace this, too.

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