A spine-tingling taint-moistener of the highest order, Hellgate is a fever-inducing nightmare come to life for one reason, and one reason only. No, not because the film, directed by William A. Levey (Skatetown, USA) and written by Michael O'Rourke, features women who walk through walls. And not because a biker gets axed in the head. No, the reason this film had me toweling off so many damp areas after it was over was because I saw Ron Palillo, Arnold Horshack from TV's Welcome Back Kotter, naked. I know, you're thinking to yourself: So what if you saw Ron Palillo, Arnold Horshack from TV's Welcome Back Kotter, nude for a brief second as his character, oh, let's say, got into the shower. Well, that's just it. He's not naked for a "brief second." I didn't have my stopwatch handy, but I'd say Ron Palillo, Arnold Horshack from TV's Welcome Back Kotter, is naked for at least three minutes. And get this, he's naked in a manner I've never seen anyone naked before. Straddling his naked girlfriend on the bed after they just had sex on, Ron Palillo, Arnold Horshack from TV's Welcome Back Kotter, proceeds to give her a back massage. Think about it. You're lying naked on your stomach with Ron Palillo's jizz-spent cock and balls pressing tightly against your recently waxed coin-slot. How weird is that? It's highly irregular, if you ask me.
It wouldn't shock me to learn that Ron Palillo's razor-wire-esque pubic hair caressed her buttery anus with a forceful yet gentle swooshing motion. I know that's not the image most of you want rattling around inside your heads at the moment. But you've got to remember, I'm not the type of person to shirk the sight of a naked Ron Palillo, Arnold Horshack from TV's Welcome Back Kotter, straddling a naked woman for an extended period of time. If anything, I'm the type of person who welcomes the sight of a naked Ron Palillo, Arnold Horshack from TV's Welcome Back Kotter. I say, bring it on.
In an expected twist, three women make plays for Ron Palillo's cock in this movie. It would have been four, but Bobby (Joanne Warde) is a staunch lesbian. More on Bobby in a second. Playing Matt... Actually, two women make plays for Ron Palillo's cock, one of the women, Pam (Petrea Curran), already owns Ron Palillo's cock.
As I was saying. Playing Matt, a college student of some kind, Ron Palillo must fight the urge to have sexual intercourse with a diner waitress played by Kimberleigh Stark (Cyborg Cop and Cyborg Cop II) and a mysterious woman named Josie Carlyle (Abigail Wolcott), an apparition who thinks she's leggy as all get out.
(She's not leggy as all get out?) Oh, don't get me wrong, she's leggy. I just don't think she's as leggy as she thinks she is. Plus, she seems to think that she has pretty hands. (Huh?) Just watch the way she moves her hands in this movie. You'd think she was modeling gloves or something. I, on the other hand, have pretty hands. Yet, you don't see me constantly shoving them in people's faces, practically begging the meaty-pawed masses to bask in the ethereal creaminess of their ghost-like delicacy.
Anyway, while Josie uses her leggy, but not as leggy as she thinks they are, legs to snag herself some rarefied Horshackian boy-cunt, the diner waitress uses clothes and make-up.
Now, most people who lived during the 1980s utilized the styles of the decade quite sparingly. A neon scrunchie here, a pair of parachute pants there. Your average citizen, though, merely dabbled with the 1980s. The diner waitress in Hellgate, however, said, fuck that, and told the clerk at the 1980s store to give her everything the decade had to offer.
Meaning, her character is walking advertisement for the 1980s. Yet, despite her commitment to the 1980s, she is, like Josie, unable to secure herself a juicy slice of Palillo's pasty penis for penetration purposes.
What is it about Ron Palillo circa 1989 that makes him so damned desirable to human females?
Remember that scene in The 40 Year-Old Virgin where Seth Rogen tells Steve Carell to act David Caruso from the movie Jade before hitting on a bookstore employee played by Elizabeth Banks? Yeah, well, Seth Rogen could have easily told Steve Carell to act like Ron Palillo from Hellgate instead and not lost one iota of douchebag-adjacent swagger (the majority of humans currently walking the face of the Earth owe their very existence to douchebag-adjacent swagger).
When the film opens, we're introduced to three friends, Bobby, Pam and Chuck (Evan J. Klisser), who are telling scary stories by the fireplace in their cabin in Sierra Forest. What struck me about the opening scene was the actresses who play Bobby and Pam. While reciting scripted dialogue in a convincing manner isn't exactly their strong suit, they both have certain qualities about them that I found appealing. This bodes well for the rest of the movie, as no matter how putrid things get, at least two of the film's female leads are interesting to look at.
Getting back to the ghost stories. Unsatisfied with the caliber of ghost stories Chuck was telling, Bobby decides to share with the group the tale of the "Hellgate Hitchhiker."
Taking place in the 1950s, the story involves a woman named Josie and an unruly gang of bikers. Entering Jay's Diner with a moronic elan, Josie... Seriously, Josie. What were you thinking? The way she just saunters into diner without making sure the diner isn't crawling with unruly bikers beforehand was beyond aggravating. I know, she's there to pick up an apple pie for her father. But still, the steady stream of customers fleeing the diner after the unruly bikers arrive should have clued you in to dangers that lay ahead.
That being said, if Josie never did enter Jay's Diner, there would be no Hellgate. You know what that means, right. (We wouldn't get to see Josie running around an authentic 1890s ghost town in her black panties.) Well, yeah, that. I was thinking more along lines of: We would never get to see Ron Palillo naked. Either way, a lot amazing things wouldn't have occurred if Josie had never set foot in Jay's Diner. So, thank you, Josie. Thank you for setting in motion the events that ultimately lead to your death.
Actually, death isn't the right word for what happens to Josie. You see, Jonas (Victor Melleny), an employee who works for Lucas Carlyle (Carl Trichardt), Josie's dad and the owner of Lucas Carlyle's Hellgate, an 1890s-style ghost town, finds a magic crystal while poking around in the town gold mine. And like any good employee, Jonas dutifully bringing the magic crystal to Lucas. When it's discovered that the magic crystal can bring dead things back to life, Lucas heads down to the local cemetery to resurrect his dead daughter.
However, instead coming back normal, Josie is doomed to wander the roads luring men, and, I suppose, women, to Hellgate.
Anyone care to guess who Zombie Josie is going to lure tonight? That's right, it's Ron Palillo's Matt Coleman. Who, if it weren't for Chuck's wonky directions, would be at the cabin straddling Pam.
Oh, and before Matt meets Zombie Josie, he flirts with Kimberleigh Stark's diner waitress. I was being serious, by the way, when suggested that Miss Stark bought everything at the 1980s store. In fact, she looks like one of those people you see nowadays who dress up in so-called "80s clothes" for Halloween. In other words, it comes across as a little too '80s, if you know what I mean.
Instead of taking Matt to Hellgate, Zombie Josie has him drive her home (which is in Hellgate, but not in Hellgate proper). There, Zombie Josie shows Matt her leggy, but not as leggy as she think they are, legs. Just as they're about to kiss, Matt remembers Pam, his interesting looking girlfriend, who, I'm sure, isn't going to be all that thrilled when she learns that he's been out cavorting with a blonde zombie.
After escaping from Zombie Josie (Lucas nearly zaps him with his magic crystal as he casually flees the scene), Matt scolds Chuck for giving him wonky directions. "You know you're an asshole," he tells him. Matt reaffirms this by saying, "You really are." To hit the point home, Matt adds, "I mean it."
Kooky fun-fact: The whole, "You're an asshole... You really are... I mean it," bit is used a total of three times over the course of the movie.
Technically, the movie should be over. But for some strange reason, Bobby, Pam, Chuck and Matt all decide to go to Hellgate. (The place where Matt was nearly killed?) The very same. On the bright side, Bobby, thanks to an impromptu can-can number, discovers that she's a lesbian. While the film doesn't really come out and say it, it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that the scene where Bobby watches five women kick up a storm can-can-style is her coming out scene.
Now that I think about it. The reason Bobby, Pam, Chuck and Matt decide to go to Hellgate is because they're drawn to it. Much in the same way Candace Hilligoss is drawn to the Saltair Pavilion in Carnival of Souls. Now that I think about it some more. The plot's of Hellgate and Carnival of Souls are eerily similar. The biggest difference of course is that Hellgate has a naked Ron Palillo, a cunnilingus scene, a mutant exploding goldfish, and a pretty sly reference to Miami Vice. Film Review Links, A-Z