Recipe for Hell’s Gate:
- Start with a cupful of “Jack The Ripper films”
- Add a pinch of Hannibal Lechter
- A sprinkle of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
- Layer in a mixture of Hand That Rocks The Cradle or Tie That Binds
- Mix in a paste of B-Film standard acting and production
- Cover with a thick Argento and Bava sauce
- Bake for 92 minutes
- Serve hot
A young girl (Kensit) is literally shocked into remembering that she was once the mole of Jack The Ripper. In the Darden Mental Institution she believes she has found her former lover, Jack, in her psychiatrist Trey Campbell (Muldoon) She soon escapes and stalks Trey and his family on an isolated New England resort island.
The soundtrack is a rather straightforward Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation with almost all of the sounds generated in the center channel. Rear sounds are almost non-existent and subtle when they are revealed. The dialogue is always clean and clear. There is almost no score.
Hell’s Gate is presented in a pan & scan image billed on the jacket as a “special feature” Ouch! The picture is not remarkable but is clear. The colors are acceptable and the film uses a grainier stock to portray the flashbacks to 19th Century London to good effect. There are a few film artifacts present but nothing too distracting. Blacks are adequate.
Sadly the only features are the standard fare of still gallery, trailer, and cast and crew bios.
Hell’s Gate is not a very good film, but it is not that bad either. There are some decent moments of genuine fright and suspense. There is a great deal of on-screen violence reminiscent of the Italian slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s. While there is little to no score, the opening and closing credit song is quite good. Definitely a good renter for a stormy Friday night. How does it all end? “We’ll have to wait for the next life to find out.”