Abraxas [Retro Review]

“My box has VD.”

The Scoop: 1991 PG-13, directed by Damian Lee and starring Jesse Ventura, Sven-Ole Thorsen and Damian Lee

Summary Capsule: It’s the plot of The Terminator run through a processed cheese machine.

Justin’s Rating: I wish that I had Jesse’s girl…

Justin’s Review: There’s some unwritten rule that bad scifi movies (and books, for that matter) try to overcompensate for their lack of acting, budget and effects with terminology that’s so twisty-turvy convoluted that the U.S. Tax Code is light reading in comparison. In his first starring role in a feature film, Jesse Ventura voluntarily chose to be associated with terms like “anti-life equation”, “Finder”, “answer boxes”, “Culmator”, and, well, “Abraxas”.

Following this, citizens of Minnesota voted him into office. I’d like to think the public admired the confidence it took to star in a movie where he had to wear a tiny ponytail and talk to his forearm on multiple occasions, and that tipped the scales at the voting booths.

Ventura is Abraxas, intergalactic police officer and general lunkhead. Between talking in monotone and narrating in monotone, he wiles his days away chasing (in monotone) his former partner/current nemesis Secundus across the galaxy to the “fourth planet from the Sun”: Earth. It’s a bit like a flannel-flavored Moonlighting, just with random explosions and grunting middle-aged men who look as though they were hijacked on the way to a logging convention and forced to act in a movie.

The Cliff Notes version of the plot is pretty much “a cheesier version of The Terminator“. The full-length version is headache-inducing: On the run from the law, Secundus impregnates a human female by patting her belly (least fun mating ritual EVER), forcing her to go into labor in less than two minutes. Despite wearing pants, she magically produces a child and Secundus gets sent off to the intergalactic Sing-Sing.

Cue five years later. Nobody believes mommy’s story, except for the escaped Secundus and the hot-on-his-trail Abraxas. Secundus wants the kid because he’s the “culmator” who has the “anti-life equation” that can give Secundus supreme powers in the anti-life universe. Or something. Cue a hideously long — rest of the movie, bascially — chase sequence as cops fail to stop the Terminator-esque Secundus, Abraxas gets his butt whooped time and again, the kid develops superhero mental powers which he uses to make a bully wet his pants, and pretty much everything explodes. Throw in a soft jazz soundtrack and a trio of narrators, and life as you know it is over. A new age has begun.

An Abraxas Age.

Straight-to-DVD bad scifi offers such a wide, putrid selection that it’s hard to recommend one above any other, but Abraxas strains and struggles to the top of the fetid pile with scene after scene of ridiculous developments and dialogue that has absolutely no problem with saying things like “My box has VD.” Bad movie enthusiasts have much to feast on, and the CIA has another tool in their interrogation kit.

Rejoice, for Jesse Ventura is watching over all of us, and we have nothing to fear. Lo!

Kids, practice safe sex. Always wear gloves.

Intermission:

  • Was originally rated R by the MPAA, but was given the PG-13 rating after a topless scene was cut.
  • James Belushi appeared in a cameo role as Principal Latimer, as a favour to his then wife Marjorie Bransfield, who plays Sonia in the film.

Groovy Dialogue:

    Abraxas: My box has VD.
    Mother: Your what?
    Abraxas: VD. Vibrational Detection. 

    Abraxas: My force was taught to avoid VD.

    Secundus: Follow me, and she dies! Have a nice day!

    Abraxas: [to a little kid while he’s naked] Hello. I suppose you’re not tired. Do you want to sit up here with me? I’ll tell you a story. It’s about two men who were partners.

    Sonia: Why don’t you just tell them to stop teasing him, to stop pushing him, to stop calling him all kinds of names. Have you ever thought of just telling them to stop it?
    Principal Latimer: [long pause] No. No I haven’t. Um, I’m – I’ll try that. I’ll just speak to the kids. I’ll just – I’ll just tell them directly. That’s a good suggestion. I’m going to try that.

    Secundus: I looooove children.

    Secundus: Are you a birthing member of the human race?
    Sonia: Huh?
    Secundus: I need your body!

If you enjoyed this movie, try:

  • The Terminator
  • Predator
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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Al does Babylon 5: Thirdspace « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

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