Plot: Mark (Addison Randall) has been terrified of Halloween since he was a child, when his father nearly drowned him in a tragic session of bobbing for apples, an event that scarred him for life. In the wake of the aquatic apple nightmare, Mark is involved in some incidents of sudden, vicious violence toward people who turn him down for dates or burn panties in his presence. While he has been contained at his family’s estate for a while, when Halloween arrives, he decides to have some fun and orders several costumes to enhance his festivities. The holiday kicks off when Mark murders his own grandmother, then waits for the costume shop to deliver his outfits, unaware the shop has sent a group of teens instead. Will any of these unsuspecting teens survive a night with Mark at the blood soaked Hollow Gate estate?
Entertainment Value: This is one oddball ride, a low rent, shot on video horror movie that delivers a blend of cheap bloodshed and over the top humor, but the general wackiness is the real draw for Hollow Gate. The narrative is basic and predictable, as a madman hunts down hapless teens, but Mark is a fun villain and his constant costume changes help keep things fresh. After all, why stick with one mask when you kill teens as a soldier, cowboy, doctor, and more? These costume shifts also allow for more bad jokes and one liners specific to each new look, which actor Addison Randall delivers with great enthusiasm. Randall is one of the main reasons Hollow Gate is fun to watch, as he is so over the top and ridiculous, really embracing the b movie cheese and making the most of his colorful role. The victims are fun as well, mostly the usual teen slasher fodder, but Richard Dry shoots for the moon with his take on the horror movie nerd, which gives the movie another memorable, hilarious performance. This is a bad movie, through and through, but it is also a wild, fun ride and fans of 80s horror schlock or shot on video movies should have a good time here.
No nakedness. This one has no sleaze and given the goofiness of the characters involved, that is no surprise. There is some bloodshed, but keep in mind this is a horror comedy, so the gore isn’t graphic, but cheap and humorous. The kills are fun and some are quite creative, while not soaked with blood, I think the violence here adds a lot to the movie and can be fun to watch. This includes scissors to the eyes, adorable dogs mauling a poor bozo, a combine on the rampage, and more, with some basic killings, but mostly fun, silly kind of stuff. Again this all looks super cheap, but that is part of the fun with a movie like Hollow Gate, at least from my perspective. The dialogue is outlandish and hilarious, with terrible lines and ridiculous exchanges throughout. As I said before, Randall really goes for it as Mark, so his one liners are great even when they’re real groaners, thanks to his enthusiasm. I love the awful decisions our teens make as well, especially the final girl, who is a total idiot here. As for craziness, the entire movie is wall to wall wackiness from the outlandish performances to the cheap horror elements to the laughable script, so there’s some solid points scored in Hollow Gate.
Overall Insanity: 5/10