Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe (1990)

Man, look at that poster art. It’s like if you mixed the poster for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier with Masters of the Universe. That’s got to be good, right?

Oh, who am I kidding? The answer is most definitely no.

Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe is not a good movie, but it is a weird one. The titular Abraxas is an alien space cop who has lived for over 10,000 years. Unfortunately, his former partner Secundus goes rogue and forcibly mates with a human woman by waving his hand over her, and the resulting offspring is the Culmator, a being that knows the Anti-Life Equation. With this equation, Secundus could go from rogue super cop to a god while also ending all life in this reality, so the universe police force, which apparently consists of two dudes with bad hair surrounded by mainframes, send Abraxas to stop him.

Unfortunately, Abraxas isn’t as bloodthirsty as they need him to be, so instead of just straight up killing the Culmator and his mother, he takes it upon himself to protect them as Secundus seeks them out. To top it off, Secundus and Abraxas both have reinforced skeletons and higher strength than your typical human, and they’re both bullet proof and heal quicker, so things are gonna turn into a heated slugfest as these two space titans duke it out. Or so you hope anyway. It’s such a shame that this isn’t the case.

Imagine, if you will, a giant mountain of man meat with the personality of a brick. That’s what you’re getting in this movie. Jesse Ventura plays Abraxas, while muscle man Sven-Ole Thorsen plays the villain Secundus. Thorsen is a well known friend of Schwarzenegger, and considering the size of these dudes, I admit I sort of expected old Arnold to wander in as a joke. Unfortunately, the cameo honor falls to Arnie’s partner from Red Heat, James Belushi, in the one scene with some personality in the whole movie. Hell, it’s even a giant reference to his film The Principal! But the rest of it is Ventura and Thorsen flatly reading lines and not emoting. I wonder if it was intentional; Ventura’s not exactly an amazing actor, but he’s better than this! And Thorsen doesn’t typically talk much in movies, but the expressions he’s made in films like Conan the Barbarian and Mallrats make me suspect he’s got far better timing than he lets on. It’s a shame we never get to see it.

As it is, we get a movie that is in bad need of a grip to come in and light it. Some of the fights are done in close up interludes with recurring jump cuts for each blow, so we never feel planted. Hell, this is how it is even during the final battle, only now it’s inter-cut with the Culmator’s face and random explosions. Explosions that could have been cool but instead are just there. Come on, I love explosions!

If there is any moral here, it’s about not disowning your daughter if she is sexually assaulted by a space alien. Like, her father disowns her as soon as she walks in the door with a baby that she literally had been impregnated and birthed 15 minutes before because she didn’t catch Secundus’ name. People get judgemental about her not knowing the father and just blame her instead. I never realized I’d be watching a movie with Jesse Ventura as an alien cop and get commentary on rape culture, but it’s definitely there.

There are a small handful of highlights. One is watching a cop pull an uzi on Thorsen, only for him to take it and use it to blow up a car. There’s also a scene where Ventura gets impaled with a lamp. Oh, and Thorsen eats his bill at a restaurant because he thinks it’s food. None of this even begins to mention Ventura’s rat tail hairstyle. Hey, it was 1990, it was a wild time…

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