Yet another zombie movie by the Italian gore-meister Lucio Fulci. This time, the gates of hell are opened up following a priest's suicide and zombies walk the earth. It all has something to do with the Book of Enoch, a supposedly secret book of the Bible.
Like his better "Zombie," this film features a decent, Goblin-esque rock music score and some stand-out gore scenes, including one where a woman pukes all of her guts out and another where a guy is killed via drill-in-the-head.
The film has more hellish supernatural elements than "Zombie," including flying glass that causes walls to bleed and a swarm of maggots. It's also more dreamlike. The effects are impressive. I still can't figure out how Fulci managed to film people staring, eyes wide open, with blood suddenly dripping from the bottom of their eyelids.
The film is wonderfully photographed, with blue lighting reminiscent of John Carpenter's "Halloween," but great atmosphere can't make up for an almost total lack of a plot. In the end, "Gates of Hell" is a pretty good "Zombie" knock off. It has all the gore and Christopher George to lend it a little B-movie-star credibility Fulci would strike some similar, hellish themes in the artsy, but woefully flawed, "The Beyond." Like that film, some fans consider this one "art."
-- Review by Lucius Gore