Posted on Monday, July 6th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
I understand the role remakes play in Hollywood and for the most part I’m fine with it. But when I can’t get through a single work day without reporting on another remake, the grind gets a old. Today it’s a corker: Bloody-Disgusting reports that Alex Winter (yeah, that Bill and Ted Alex Winter) has found financing for his proposed 3D remake of The Gate, which origially starred a very young and round-faced Stephen Dorff as a kid who finds a gate to a prison containing ancient demons. Naturally, they want to take over the world, just like the army of remakes we’ve been facing down for the last few years.
Granted, Winter is the guy who co-directed the fun, weird and nearly forgotten Freaked!, so if anyone is going to revive a story of backyard demons and heavy metal, I’m glad it’s him. BD’s report says production company H2O secured the film’s financing comes from a pair of German companies, and production will begin at a studio in Cologne later this summer. Total financing so far is slight — adds up to a couple million US. This will be the second collaboration between H2O and one of the financiers, who previously paid for the Michelle Pfeiffer period piece Cheri, now failing to recoup costs in theatres.
We don’t know much about the plot details. The original followed Glen (Dorff), his sister Al (Christa Denton) and Glen’s friend Terry (Louis Tripp) and their fight against demons unleashed from an unusual gate found when an old tree is removed from Glen’s backyard. The kids learn the truth about the tiny demons from a metal record which is actually a demonic tome called The Dark Book. No better way to engage and make fun of mid-’80s paranoia about that satanic metal music! The film was fun and creepy, with some great practical effects. H2O has hired Pixomondo (2012, Ninja Assassin) to do the effects this time, but I expect they’ll be largely digital. Let’s hope for at least a few good practical demon dolls.
One thing I do know: Winter’s promotions crew will have to work overtime to come up with art that is as perfectly suitable to the story as the original one-sheet, which remains one of my faves from the era.
Trailer for the original film: