Thursday, March 29, 2012

Abelar: Tales of an Ancient Empire

Albert Pyun, wow. There's a name I haven't thought about in years. He directed "Abelar: Tales of an Ancient Empire" which should stop the review right there. The IMDb says this about the man:

No other film director has been so much vituperated against as Albert Pyun. Frequently compared with Edward D. Wood Jr., they both share a fascination for the bizarre. Pyun has a feel for the stylistic and hypnotic, changing the conventions of fiction, and makes each of his movies extreme experiences.

I can attest to every word of that little bio.  He was responsible for some pretty funky films like "Dollman" and "Brain Smasher, a love story?"  He was also responsible for huge mountain of crap usually involving cyborgs, the desert, and yellow film filters.  So it was with a special sort of terror and expectation that I started to watch Abelar.

True to Pyun's tendency to direct action films without having action, the beginning of Abelar begins with an epic credit crawl and mass exposition.  Instead of having actual actors 9/10 is told in really crappy drawings.  We learn that the vampires want to do nasty things to the world so a mercenary and his buddies do some vampire killing.  The mercenary has a faux samurai hairdoo but is dressed more European middle age/world of warcraft style.  He kills the head vampire and is about to kill his daughter when he suddenly gets the hots for her and the do the nasty right there next to dead daddy.  She instantly becomes nine months pregnant so he kills her.  He takes the baby though.

Twenty years later we have Kevin Sorbo in need of a check.  He's trying to do a Conan/Han Solo combo and is failing epically.  He meets the sister he didn't know he had.  They are also met by a princess on the run from the vampire lady slain at the beginning who has risen again and is in a bad mood.  So all these literal bastards search for other bastards and there mercenary daddy to defeat the vampires. 

So we get yellow filters (naturally), bad action scenes, bad acting, truly bad Kevin Sorbo acting, and people dressed in a combo of world or warcraft/middle age/post apocalypse fashions.  There is a weird, funky bright murkiness here in terms of the writing.  After awhile you just stop trying to follow the plot and just let the whole thing jump on your brain.  It's certainly not a good film, but its a whole 'nother dimension of bad that a true film fan might want to take a look at.

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