- Written and Directed by Damian Lee
- March 1, 1991 (Toronto)
An interstellar police officer known as a Finder must stop his former partner from obtaining the Anti-Life Equation which lies within a small child on Earth.
The elephant in the room when discussing this is the main plot element of the Anti-Life Equation. Anybody familiar with DC comics or even just Zack Snyder’s Justice League is aware that the Anti-Life Equation there is a mathematical formula sought by Darkseid which would allow him unlimited power.
Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe has absolutely nothing to do with DC comics nor is it an early attempt at a DC film universe. Instead it is a science fiction spin on the cop-gone-bad-and-his-former-partner-must-take-him-down plot. As a film it is done on the cheap with all the polish and cohesion one would expect from a Uwe Boll effort.
Being the thing that the whole story hinges on, the workings of the Anti-Life Equation are poorly defined here. They keep talking about unlimited power but what exactly that is I don’t know. It might allow for an unlimited life span, and it appears to cause things to explode when tested for.
You know you’re in trouble in a movie when the two best actors are Jesse Ventura and Jim Belushi who reprises his role as Principal Rick Latimer from The Principal in an a pointless cameo. And that is how you connect films!
Jesse Ventura is the titular Abraxas who has been assigned to bring in his former partner Secundus (Sven Ole-Thorsen) who has come to Earth to use his space powers to impregnate a human with his DNA in order to create a Culmator child which will be able to calculate the Anti-Life Equation because a Culmator is the only being that can. That they can test for it implies that others beyond Culmators can calculate it. Anyway…
Sonia (Marjorie Bransfield) is the mother of the Culmator Tommy (Francis Mitchell) though all she knows is that something weird happened involving Jesse Ventura and Sven Ole-Thorsen one snowy night with her boyfriend Carl (Ken Quinn). Thinking back I am not sure if Carl died or ran off when it all went down. He certainly ceases to factor into anything once Secundus shows up. Nobody even asks where he is.
Bransfield’s acting is..not good. She is less mom and more horror movie babysitter. Bransfield is one of many models turned actresses that just cannot act. Unsure if she took classes or not or how many or if she did but even by low budget B-movie standards she was not up to the job. Even in the trashiest of films you need to be kinda convincing and she just is not. She is not even enjoyably bad.
Early in the movie there is set up a crush by Deputy Johnny White (David Mitchell) on Sonia. You would think this might make it important for the story but once they decided to pair Sonia and Abraxas it gets forgotten with he and his boss walking off to get coffee and barely noting the preceding events in the end. The thing is early on it is established Johnny is going out of his way to stop in Sonia’s store and much of his actions early on are driven by concerns for her safety. And then…
Many things are tossed in here and never explained or just forgotten or just plain weird in a creepy way. Where did Carl go? Where did the UZI Secundas uses come from and how was it not useful to him? Sonia gives birth in the snow fully clothed. How does the Answer Box (a communicator/scanner/library combo) know if the Anti-Life Equation is present before it even tests? Why do people die when the test that is apparently unnecessary is run? Who thought a barely clothed Abraxas in bed having a heart to heart with Tommy was a good idea?
Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe is a weird rip-off of The Terminator, Firestarter, and the general rogue cop story. We have explosions and pontificating superiors to Abraxas and a distinct lack of lighting to cover the extremely limited budget. Shots are tight to the point of looking unnatural and much of the story is related in narration by three narrators (Abraxas, Secundus, and Sonia) which if it were removed would make for a much worse movie all done with this weird jazz music more suited to a cheesy mystery movie than a science fiction film.
While no great thespian, Jesse Ventura is a better actor than what you see here. He tries to play Abraxas emotionlessly but is just stilted. Sven Ole-Thorsen is no great actor himself but his lack of skill gives a certain charm to this train wreck. And Francis Mitchell as Tommy manages to give an inferior performance to Jake Lloyd as Anakin in The Phantom Menace though the former utters not a word…mostly. He does say one word when he greets his mom just after they talk about him being mute.
But there is a certain charm to this for lovers of bad movies. The people behind it clearly put their best foot forward. Unfortunately their best foot was not that good to begin with but they gave it their all and tried to craft something entertaining even though it was low quality. Somehow with all its flaws it manages to succeed in that. It holds you for its mindless entertainment value and your curiosity of just what can be done poorly next.
Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe is nothing great. It’s a guilty pleasure at best. If you like bad movies done with the intent of being good, then this will be for you. Otherwise skip it.