Jim Wynorski (also known as Jay Andrews and other names) is responsible for cult classics such as the killer robot riot Chopping Mall (1986) and the hilarious Return of Swamp Thing (1989), along with hundreds of other titles which fit into the beloved unofficial sub-genre of ”so bad it’s good.” I haven’t seen enough of his movies (because that would take forever and I don’t expect to live as long as that), but, from the little I have seen, his movies have been a trashy good time. I went into Gargoyle: Wings of Darkness without any prior knowledge of the existence of the flick at all: but I like gargoyles and Netflix reviewers seemed to enjoy it, so I took a chance. Needless to say I was not disappointed; for a brain switcher offer, this delivered an abundance of daft entertainment to waste a few brain cells to. Mindless fun was what I needed and Gargoyle was the sweet, filling box of popcorn to satisfy my craving.
In the 1980’s Michael Pare was a star for awhile; Streets of Fire (1984) is the role he’s most remembered for, but since the 90’s his career has relegated to mostly straight-to-video action and horror movies that only get watched by connoisseurs of cheese such as myself. Gargoyle probably isn’t one of his proudest moments, in which he plays a CIA agent sent to Romania to investigate a kidnapping only to be confronted with a centuries old computer generated gargoyle hellbent on the Apocalypse.
It opens in 1532 where a gargoyle is terrorizing attacking a village. A priest and a hot village woman manage to put a brief stop to the beast and trap it underground. Fast forward to the present day and the gargoyle is loose in Romania once again and it’s up to a poor mans Mulder and Scully to put a stop to it. Halfway through the movie there’s a ridiculous sub-plot introduced involving a cult that makes little to no sense at all; but that’s not to say it isn’t welcomed.
The special effects aren’t the worst you’ll ever see, the lines are witty and the acting is the right amount of bad. There’s plenty of action involving gargoyle attacks and car chases to ensure the movie is never boring. For an entertaining time passer, it fits the criteria and I’d go as far to call it a little underrated gem; albeit a crappy one. It’s not completely inept – just really cheap and ridiculous. 7/10 (for pure entertainment factor).
Michael Pare, Sandra Hess, Fintan McKeown
Horror, Action, Fantasy