Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In short: Hellgate (1990)

William A. Levey's sort of horror, kind of comedy movie about the repercussions the murder of a woman by a motorcycle gang has thirty years later, about a guy whose face got nibbled on by a possessed turtle shooting lasers out of a crystal, a ghostly hitch hiker, and about ghost love, recommends itself through a lot of things that'll make it practically unwatchable for a lot of people but that are exactly the sort of things bound to endear a movie to people like me and mine.

So there are all manner of charming types of bad acting, going from the zoned-out, inflectionless whispering of our leading ghost lady (Abigail Wolcott), to the more rarefied "I'm just pretending to be a normal guy, you know, even though I am so very very pretty" shtick of Ron Palillo, to whatever it is some of the other actors think they're actually doing.

To make matters worse/even more beautiful, the film's second half consists of our heroes wandering through an amusement park ghost town ghost town and encountering people with really bad ghost make-up dressed up like amusement park ghost town actors. There's a warning against the dire consequences of getting shit-faced and watching dead can can dancers while visiting a ghost town, naked breasts, and many a scene of people telling each other in-jokes nobody else, particularly the audience, will find funny, and which I can only assume are improvised, because nobody could script something this unfunny, right? Right? It's all pretty fantastic in an utterly wrong-headed way, and that's before I mentioned the bad decapitation, aging through bad hair-dye, and the film's frightening attempts at sexy times.

I don't know what director Levey or scriptwriter Michael O'Rourke were thinking with any plot or directorial decision they take in Hellgate (except for the "breasts sell" part, which is pretty self-evident, yet also completely untrue in a case like this where no amount of nudity could distract anyone watching from realizing that this is all they ever dreamed of/just horrible crap). Frankly, I don't want to know, for a film as peculiar (in the same way a parallel dimension full of cannibals is peculiar) as Hellgate is should stay a mystery, or, as the film would phrase it "Get away from my boyfriend, zombie bitch!". There really isn't anything I could add to that.

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