Guardian of the Abyss (1980)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on September 11, 2018 in 1 Oogie, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Hammer House of Horror / 0 Comments

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Guardian of the Abyss (1980)
Guardian of the Abyss (1980)

Main cast: Ray Lonnen (Michael Roberts), Barbara Ewing (Laura Stephens), Rosalyn Landor (Allison), John Carson (Charles Randolph), Paul Darrow (Andrews), and Caroline Langrishe (Tina)
Director: Don Sharp

Despite its grand-sounding title, Guardian of the Abyss is actually a complete snore. It was as if everyone involved in this episode had completely forgotten what it takes to make a horror show fun to watch, and instead resorted to having the characters wander around in a meandering haze.

Michael Roberts’s friend Laura purchases a strange mirror, among other things, at an auction. His curiosity is piqued by the unusual markings on the frame, as well as how an interested fellow is so eager for Laura to sell it to him that he raised his offer from five pounds in fifty. Surely the mirror is worth something, so he asks Laura to lend it to him so that he can have it appraised. As luck would have it, the mirror is instrumental in the efforts of a cult to summon a demon into this world. Michael soon stumbles upon Allison, who is on the run from that cult – she’s marked as their sacrifice – and the two of them quickly become the target of the cult leader Charles Randolph’s ire.

Jason Carson makes a pretty chilling bad guy, but my goodness, this episode is just pointless wandering around and chatter. Not to mention, the two times they show the demon, it’s just some guy in some hilariously fake, rubbery mask and body suit – I’d think hell will voluntarily boot that ugly thing for bringing the cringe among its ranks. I wish I can say that there are genuine scares, gore, or anything else that can be considered “fun” or “entertaining”, but this is one episode that encapsulates the true meaning of the word pointlessness.

I’m not shocked that Don Sharp and scriptwriter David Fisher had zero experience with horror prior to this, and looking at their CV, they remained blissfully inexperienced and clueless about horror after this episode. Maybe that’s for the best. Let them be happy doing something else, and let this dreary, lifeless episode be something best left forgotten.

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Cantankerous muffin who loves boys that sparkle, unicorns, money, chocolates, and fantastical stories.


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