Beyond the darkness terror lives forever.
Touted as a product of "the special effects masters that brought you Hellraiser and Hellbound," the film instantly leeches onto the notoriety of the franchise to fuel its own PR campaign. Remarkably enough, however, the only real connection that Hellgate has to those films is a man named Alan Hedgecock, whose sole credit is apparently as an assistant on Keen's team for Hellbound. Definitely not a good start.
The real punch in the gut however are the actual special effects themselves which, quite honestly, are comparable to the backyard shenanigans of a high school drama club dropout. Okay, perhaps that's being a little harsh. We are treated to a proliferation of reanimated corpses, dismemberment and anatomical combustion, but nothing that can really compare to the overall spectacle that Hellrasier provided and certainly not the work of a "master."
Hellgate was also the last film directed by William A. Levey (his first was Blackenstein, 1973) and though he tries to find that familiar formula of horror and comedy, the story instead becomes downright awkward offering few laughs and even fewer scares. Speaking of the story, I've purposefully neglected to mention it because there really isn't much of one to review. There's something about a crystal that brings the dead back to life (kind of like a portable Pet Cemetary) and an undead biker gang... I don't know, the characters were generally rather slow-moving and