It is not without a fair and honest warning that I suggest this entry at number 16 on our Halloween countdown, 1988’s Hollow Gate.
This shot-on-video gem is only recommended for lovers of true train-wrecks. Ya know who you are, and if that’s your bag, then Hollow Gate is your Halloween movie.
While certainly not the piece de resistance of truly terrible cinema, there’s enough awfulness on display here to satiate any bad movie lover’s Halloween fix.
Mark has had a checkered past with Halloween. See, he was no good at apple bobbing, so his drunken father tried to drown him in the apple tub. Strike 1. Little Mark hates Halloween.
In his teen years, while working at a gas station, a horny young Halloween couple torment him during a routine fill-up. So he promptly blows up their car. Strike 2. Now Mark’s a Halloween avenger.
A few years later while at the convenience store on (you guessed it) Halloween, he attempts to take the cashier out to the movies. When she refuses, he locks her in the store with him and then…uh, scares her? Strike 3, I guess, so now he’s just a “nutcake.”
So these days, he just lives locked up and taking medication at his grandmother’s estate, Hollow Gate. That is, until one Halloween where he loses his shit completely and murders her. Now he can hang out with all the other “nutcakes” at a Halloween party.
Some submarine sandwich loving kids on their way to a Halloween party at a hangar (?) are convinced by a lazy costume shop keeper to deliver an order out to Hollow Gate.
So, Mark get his costumes and begins murdering the kids one by one in his various generic outfits; broke racist marine, goofy cowboy, foolish doctor, and weird British fox hunter.
It’s terrible, if you couldn’t discern that from this far too lengthy plot description, and any normal person would probably cancel this nonsense 5 minutes deep. But, I love me a bad horror movie, and so long as the ridiculousness and shitty acting is coming fast enough to keep me laughing, I’m all in.
Mark is a Grade-A B-movie villain, giving it his all yet never seeming to inspire anything beyond general unease. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in a room talking to this nutcake, but genuine fear is nowhere on the map.
And the kids beat all, providing some seriously enjoyable overacting as they attempt to convey that same nonexistent fear.
So if you’re looking for a little early turkey for Halloween dinner, this fucker’s got the stuffing to boot. Get a few drinks and a few friends and have a few laughs.
Happy 16th, nutcakes!