Hellgate (1989)

Directed by: William A. Levey

Written by: Michael O'Rourke


Ron Palillo .... Matt
Abigail Wolcott .... Josie
Carel Trichardt .... Lucas
Petrea Curran .... Pam
Evan J. Klisser .... Chuck
Joanne Warde .... Bobby
Frank Notard .... Buzz
Lance Vaughan .... Zonk

Release Date: Cannes Film Festival: May, 1989






In 1957 a group of bikers lead by two men named Buzz (Frank Notard) and Zonk (Lance Vaughan) cause trouble with some locals at a diner and kidnap as well as rape one of the customers there named Josie (Abigail Wolcott) in which they murder her in a town called Hellgate too leaving her old eccentric father Lucas (Carel Trichardt) in misery and alone but a townsfolk named Nervous Norman (Jonathan Taylor) finds a crystal like object that zaps dead things to life and Lucas uses this to resurrect his daughter during present day and filled Hell Gate with re-animated corpses in which they were victims seduced by Josie who is now a beuatiful zombie herself.
She spots a man she is in awe with named Matt (Ron Palillo) who she finds the final object of her desire wanting to spend etenrity with him in bed but her father wants him dead.


The work in this flick is very stiff in whichwe spot three supporting characters Pam, Chuck and Bobby at a house by having a discussion with Chuck himself by telling a story about Hellgate which looked amateurishly done.
We also spot a scene mainly Buzz and Zonk as bikers in a diner causing trouble as it was laughable when this scene tried to make it disturbing especially where they torment and kidnap Josie. I just shook my head with this moment.
We do spot a good slow motion shot between both actors Zonk swinging his chain towards Lucas while he pulls out his axe.
Good shot on Lucas at a graveyard with mist floating around while he's holding a crystal towards a graveyard in which it shows a nice Halloween type horror feel to it on resurrecting his daughter.
A nice scene between Matt towards a waitress at the diner going face to face with him and telling him about Hellgate.
A good shot on Josie by standing in the middle of a road stopping a car with him coming out of the car face to face with her acting aggressive and then symathising with her while she acts expressionless.
We have many good shots on Matt and Josie driving through the Hellgate carnival with good close up shots on a couple of people staring evilly at them driving by.
A good shot on Josie trying to seduce Matt crawling up and down on him with a sudden moment on Lucas entering the room staring coldly at them.
We spot a good shot on Lucas holding the laser crystal and shoooting it showing an explosion along with Matt speeding away.
Many good shots between Matt and Pam by having a discussion about what he saw as well as their conversations on other stuff in which the scene's looked like a realistic couple with shots on their faces as well as the two of them snuggling with one another.
A good moment with Buzz throwing around Matt in his workshop and then he gets aggressive with Buzz by asking if they can talk. There's many good shots on Buzz sharpening stuff like an axe etc.
We spot some good cheesy shots on all four Matt, Pam, Chuck and Bobby by going to a graveyard with shots on them staring at one of the tombstones looking a little frightened although it seems very corny but many great takes on them with the mist floating around. A nice shot on Chuck slowly putting his hand on a cement figure of a woman's breast at a tombstone and then doing a chant and later a thunderstorm happens in which the makers made that moment extremely effective.
There's a good moment with Lucas doing a chant along with good distant shots on the graveyard with zombie's rising from the grave and walking around. It was one of my favourite scene's of all.
There's trashy conversations between deputies at their station which is the worst moments of all in the film. Way too comedic and unfunny too.
Many good takes on the four characters that was mentioned before trying to get away from the zombie's with many good shots on the zombie faces.
A good shot on Bobby watching a show with Lucas coming up behind her and choking her with a rope which didn't look convincing at all.
We spot a good moment with Matt lying on a bed in a trance with
Josie lustfully talking to him as well as Pam coming in and acting tough holding a shotgun towards Josie.
Good close up scene with both Chuck and Bobby in a car acting ghostly towards Matt and Josie to get in.
Many good scene's with Matt and Josie trying to speed away in a vehicle with evil expressions on Lucas trying to stop them with good explosions on some of the carnival houses exploding.
Bottom line is that it's a film that looks trashy but yet well done at the time time. So it's a so bad it's good type of a film. It's an enjoyable retro horror zombie flick with other sorts of hauntings too kind of done in a Night of the Demons type of fashion.
There's many nice outdoor scene's with the mist and some corny one liners too making the film a nice one to watch during Halloween or with a group of friends partying out too.
The 80's were nearing it's end and alot of these low budgeters were in demand at rental stores and if you like cult type flicks then I think you'll have a blast watching this film. Some of the scene's however looked a bit amateurish such as the bikers causing trouble at a diner during the late 50's etc. but it makes up after the haunting moments with the zombie's invading the carnival of Hellgate. It's a bit rushed at times though.
Nowadays this film is hard to come by since DVD is in demand at rental stores and is hard to find obscure films at rental places these days but if you come across it then check it out if you're in the mood for party flicks.

The acting is a bit corny but passable. We have Ron Palillo (Matt) playing the lead role proving he can pull off another character than the dweeby Sweathog Horshak from Welcome Back Kotter as he shows a good serious attitude to his part and great energy too for all he goes through in the movie. He's good at being aggressive too as well as having a nice charming attitude too.
Abigail Wolcott
(Josie) showed a good mysterious behavior to her part acting expressionless and evil too. She has a good soft but cold voice to her part as someone resurrected in the film. However, her acting lacked a bit in the prologue of the film.
Carel Trichardt
(Lucas) showed many good moments with his evil attitude in the film showing nice angered expressions and a good madman appeal to his part.
Petrea Curran
(Pam) was a total virtual unknown but she was the best actress I found in the movie showing a good masculine type of attitude to her part and acting tough when she needed to along with a good adventureous energy to all the stuff she has to do like trying to survive from the zombie's and other spirits too.
Frank Notard
(Buzz) was great acting violent and aggressive as a former biker gang member in the film as he really stood out well on film and shows some good characteristics along with tons of good energy for what he had to do throughout the plot.

We spot many nude scene's performed by Abigail Wolcott as she pulls down her top trying to seduce someone. Then we spot her naked in a dance hall. There's also a moment when she's in bed with a see through bra and then completely topless in bed putting someone under a trance.
Ron Palillo
reveals his butt sitting on top of his on screen girlfriend in bed.

A guy's head is chopped off
A woman spits out blood

The music was quite good composed by Barry Fasman and Dana Walden in which they both show nice screeching sounds for the zombie moments for this film plus has some good cheesy type keyboard and synthesizer type music suitable for a teenage zombie flick like this one.