The movie opens with a couple of animal liberators spraying “SCIENCE KILLS” on the walls of a lab, before driving away with a heavy, growling crate. Whatever they are liberating is seen peeping out with creepy eyes and an impressively long rubber tongue. Naturally this rings no alarm bells, and the rescued creature shows its gratitude by tearing the men to pieces and escaping in the direction of a nearby cemetery.
By coincidence, student filmmaker Hunter is headed for the same cemetery, for the location of his horror film ‘The Cemetery Gates’. And by even more of a coincidence, Hunter’s father happens to be the scientist who runs the lab that was broken into. Wow.
So the scientist father, with his female colleague and his ill-advised ponytail, heads out to find the creature – a giant mutant tasmanian devil called ‘Precious’. But after her headstart in a truck and all the countryside to hide in, how will they ever find her? Fortunately she jumps out and eats a jogger right in front of them, so at least they get a clue.
The student actors include a blonde who’s not too bright, ‘loves the gays’, flirts shamelessly, fellates lollipops, gets her boobies out, and takes hardly any persuading to do ‘the sexy burrito’ on video.
No stereotypes were harmed in the making of this movie.
Another fails to notice he is urinating on a sleeping, giant hairy monster – twice. We also meet a couple of stoners (cameos by horror make-up wizards Howard Berger and Gregory Nicotero), and 2 rapey rednecks – who seem surprisingly unphased after witnessing a ferocious creature mangling their own potential victim.
A few inches below the graveyard are a series of old caves, which must have made burying coffins a lot of fun. A bit like playing wack-a-mole in reverse.
As for Precious, early in the film we only see glimpses of her (some sharp teeth, an eye, and – er – that tongue) which work well, and it’s commendable that they saved CGI for blood effects rather than the creature. But it’s not long before Precious is shown in full and looks fabulously like a man on all fours in a hairy costume. When Hunter reveals his mother is dead because of Precious, I did wonder if she simply died laughing.
Having said all that, it’s a fun adventure, with enough implausibility, cheap effects and amusing dialogue to keep me entertained, and as a cheesy b-movie I really enjoyed it.
Cemetery Gates is sometimes shown on TV in the UK, and is available to purchase from amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, play.com and other retailers.
Cemetery Gates/2006/Graveyard Filmworks/Kismet Entertainment Group/Dir: R Knyrim/Prod: DE Allen