Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

WARNING:   I’m giving away the entire plot, but with this movie, that doesn’t say much.

I saw this title on Netflix when looking for new movies to watch. (After watching The Running Man, I was looking for other movies that Jesse Ventura had been in.) Before renting the movie, I took a look on Epinions. There were two other reviews on it. Both reviewers gave the film one star, mentioning that the film had very few redeeming qualities. The movie was suddenly elevated to bad-accident status. I know I shouldn’t have gotten it, but I just couldn’t look away. Both of the previous reviews were accurate.

Ventura plays this alien police officer named Abraxas. He’s a ‘finder’ who’s after a renegade finder named Secundus, who’s on Earth to find someone to impregnate. If successful in impregnating a woman, the woman will bear a child that bears the formula for anti-life or something like that. This will give Secundus immortality and unlimited power, which he almost has as a finder. (Apparently, almost isn’t good enough.)

Secundus finds Sonia, who’s played by Marjorie Bransfield. He puts his hand on her, his hand glows, and she’s giving birth five minutes later. Not only can she do this with her clothes on, I don’t recall seeing any blood or other liquids or anything. (I think something like that would be obvious since it’s snowing.) Also, she’s able to get up and walk to her parents’ house. Secundus is transported away and imprisoned. Abraxas is supposed to kill Sonia, but can’t bring himself to do it. He goes on to his next assignment and Sonia and child attempt to go about their business.

No one believes Sonia’s story. Her parents disown her and it’s difficult for Sonia to get a birth certificate for her son, who she names Tommy. Things get more difficult since Tommy is deliberately mute. In every other respect, he seems like a normal human. (With all of the tests, it’s surprising that no genetic anomalies were found, especially considering that on a genetic level, Secundus’s blood shows up as non-human.) It’s getting close to Tommy’s sixth birthday and as far as anyone can tell, he’s a normal child that just won’t talk.

To make matters worse, Tommy’s being bullied at school. The principal, played by Jim Belushi, would rather kick Tommy out of school than deal with the bullies. He says that his school is a normal school for normal children. When Sonia suggests punishing the bullies, the principal has an “oh, yeah; I’ll try that” kind of attitude. His acting is so bad in this, I can’t tell if it was meant to be sarcastic or if the principal really hadn’t thought of that. It almost seems like Belushi had been brought in five minutes before the scene and barely had the time to learn his lines.

About that time, Secundus breaks out of prison and returns to Earth to find his son and extract the secret to anti-life. Abraxas is sent after him to prevent him from finding Tommy. Both land on Earth with no weapons. They just have their clothes and these computerized assistants called answer boxes that seem to know everything. (The also serve as a communication link to Finder Central Command.) Somehow, Secundus knows just what he needs to know. He steals a car and magically knows how to drive it. He also knows where to go to look up Tommy and Sonia and actually knows how to use the computer and what their names are. When he gets the information, he doesn’t need to get directions. However, he doesn’t know how to order from a menu and he doesn’t know what a stripper is.

Abraxas is apparently much more successful in finding Tommy and Sonia and is able to protect them. Abraxas is constantly prodded by central command to kill the child, but Abraxas decides not to, citing that the child isn’t the problem. It’s Secundus that has to be dealt with. Eventually, after a cat-and-mouse game, Secundus catches up with Tommy and starts going through this elaborate routine to get Tommy to cough up the anti-life formula. Fortunately, Abraxas is able to stop Secundus in time. Everyone lives happily ever after.

Like I said, I’m not giving away much. The writing is the worst and the acting is almost as bad. Bransfield and Ventura were the only two notable major actors. The special effects are mostly cheap. The pyrotechnics are similar to the Highlander series. The rest of the movie is part Superman, part Terminator and part Top  Secret! in a b-movie kind of way. It’s incredibly corny. For instance, Abraxas will be 11,861 years old “next Tuesday.” (It always amazes me that aliens can convert to Earth years so quickly.)

The DVD has the movie and some notes, but the notes aren’t really that notable. It’s just some stuff about Jesse Ventura. Had it not been for Netflix, I wouldn’t have gotten this movie. If you catch it late one night on TV, it might be enough to compel you to go back to bed. Otherwise, don’t bother.

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