A terrifing tale of ancient evil unfolds as an anthropologist and his daughter battle to save the earth from being taken over by a clan of grotesque demon like Gargoyles. Award winning special effects by Stan Winston that ... more »brought you Jurassic Park and Terminator II & Milt Rice that did Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Stars Cornel Wilde & Jennifer Salt. 74 minutes/color/1972« less
Tony R. Tucker | Crewe, VA United States | 10/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I was a kid, my friends and I would watch the "Plenty Scary Movies" on channel 8 in Tulsa, Oklahoma every friday night. It was a tradition. It seemed like once every 2 months the feature would be "Gargoyles", and we NEVER got tired of it.With a creepy soundtrack and amazing makeup by Stan Winston, Gargoyles was a fantastic scare for us. I know a lot of people will roll their eyes and say that there's nothing scary about this film, but I think that is just because we have become used to non-stop action, explosions, shaking camerawork, quick-cut editting, and CGI monsters.When Jennifer Salt is walking back to the motel in the dark and you hear noises coming from the darkness, well, I'm sorry, but that is just creepy. When Bernie Casey (amazing as the head Gargoyle) emerges from the darkness, I still feel a chill.This movie used to be on TBS several times a year. It was on so much that I never bothered to get it on video tape. Then when it stopped showing up on cable TV, I thought I might never see it again. Thank goodness it is available again! And on DVD! This Halloween, do yourself a favor and include Gargoyles in your scary-movie-mix. When you hear the Gargoyle's voice (sounding like he is talking through a fan) saying "you have nothing to fear", you'll know he is lying. I just felt a shiver up my spine. I think I am going to have to go watch this movie again!"
From 70s TV Comes an Ancient Evil
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 01/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A made-for-TV flick that originally aired on CBS in November of 1972, GARGOYLES tells the story of an anthropology researcher (Cornel Wilde) who, with the assistance of his adult daughter (Jennifer Salt), travels to the Arizona desert to investigate an unusual skeleton discovered there. However, when the duo try to transport the bony remains away from the discovery site, they are pursued by a number of gargoyle-like creatures who want to reclaim the unearthed skeleton, and the scientist and his daughter soon find themselves at the locus of an age-old battle between mankind and an evil race of garrulous reptilians.Yes, it's cheesy. But for many horror fans who grew up in the 1970s, it's one of those guilty pleasures that, in spite of any intrinsic sense of good taste, will always have a special place in their nostalgic little hearts--right there next to Wacky Packages stickers and CRACKED magazine. And to be honest, it's really not all that bad, especially when compared to a lot of the other tripe spewed by the one-eyed monster during the "ME" decade.At times GARGOYLES can be really atmospheric, especially during the night scenes in which the titular creatures attempt to reclaim the bones of their dead, but at other times it is blatantly ridiculous. The first half of the film actually plays better than the second, as the viewer is then offered only brief glimpses of the nightmarish reptilians as they swoop down on moving autos or attack folk in secluded buildings. The "magic" quickly dissipates, however, when the creatures finally appear in full view and the audience can easily see the Gargoyles for what they really are--a group of actors and stuntmen in unconvincing rubber suits. The one exception to this rule is the make-up job on the Gargoyle king, played by former professional football player Bernie Casey. This character looks like a greenish incarnation of Satan himself, and when combined with the eerie vibrato of his voice, he never fails to invoke plenty of gooseflesh.In spite of the hokey premise of the plot and the rubber-suit monsters, GARGOYLES is definitely a must-see for serious horror fans. There are some genuinely spooky moments, especially early on, and the film is also historically notable for being the first major professional gig for make-up FX master Stan Winston. (Considering the masterful work he's produced in the years since--everything from Cicely Tyson's "aged" skin in TV's THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN to EDWARD SCISSORHANDS to several incarnations of the TERMINATOR--it's not unreasonable to assume that he was responsible for the outstanding make-up of the Gargoyle king and not the rubber suits.)The DVD from VCI is short on extras, and the image has that same softness common to older TV shows that are transferred to disc. However, the digital transfer was made from the complete, uncut version of the film that was apparently screened only in Europe, and that means that even long-time fans of the show in North America may actually see a few bits they didn't see initially on CBS or during the film's numerous syndicated reruns. Definitely worth picking up a copy."
Top-of-the-line monster flick!
Dirk | Warren, Ohio | 08/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whether it's 1972 or 2002, it doesn't matter, "Gargoyles" is just simply grand entertainment of the highest order. A professor/writer and his daughter (Cornel Wilde & Jennifer Salt) come across a bunch of (recently re-birthed) gargoyles in the desert. Some of the highlights: an excellent and mysterious beginning (the first 20 minutes or so wherein some old desert rat shows the professor and his daughter a gargoyle skeleton in some dark barn/shack out in the middle of the desert; night comes down and then the gargoyles attack), Great spooky atmosphere, haunting soundtrack, excellent gargoyle costumes (remember this was a TV movie, not some big-budget blockbuster), good cast, dirt bikers, chases, hellish cave sets, cool gargoyle voices, grisly gargoyle murders, etc., etc. Hey, there's got to be a reason all these Amazon costumers are giving this TV flick such a high rating and stating how they never tire of seeing. Add me to the list! Definite proof that you don't need a big budget to make a great, engrossing flick."
Intelligent handling of a bizarre subject. . .
John A. Kuczma | Marietta, GA USA | 11/15/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of us who like a touch of thought with our horror films, Gargoyles fits in nicely. The film does a superb job of physically depicting the creatures and makes them more sympathetic and human than some of the "normal" residents of the area. The clever use of unusual camera angles, subdued lighting and a "Gargoyle-view" perspective effectively counters the lack of modern special effects. Bernie Casey is excellent as the leader of his resurgent species. Certainly, this is not in the same league as "Alien" or similar efforts, but "Gargoyles" has withstood the test of time and remains an effective, enjoyable thriller through repeated viewings."
Why we really go out to the desert
Rottenberg's rotten book review | nyc | 01/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A long hibernating race of intelligent and thoroughly evil reptiles, comes back to life - not in some corner of western Europe, where Chruches and palaces are covered with their images, but in the New Mexican desert. It's up to an anthropologist and his plucky (and beautiful) daughter to save humanity. Not for the beautiful sunsets, the magnificent desolation or even the pristine beauty of the desert has this TV movie become a classic. No some magic, perhaps owing to race memories of the gargoyles draw us. Or maybe it's just some childhood memory of Jennifer Salt in a halter top fleeing the gargoyles. How old were we when we saw this now little-seen gem? 5? 6? 4? How many made-for-TV chillers have we forgotten about since then? Probably too many. Yet this will stick in our minds, and not even the lovely Jennifer Salt, though perhaps the first true damsel-in-distress my TV-pure brain had ever seen. As the anthropologist's daughter, she attracts an inordinate amount of the beasties'attention. Yet, beyond that, there is the moral ambiguities of the main charachters (a bunch of bikers, first suspected for the Gargoyles' reign of terror, become the heroes), and the seeming open-ended finale. There's an understated (probably unintended) message that the Gargoyles really should win out. Strangely, with the cult status of this flick, nobody has ever given thought to a sequel. Lucky for us - there is something very kookie 1970's about this flick that'd be impossible to reproduce today."