20 October 2014

Guardian of the Abyss (1980)
50 min.
Airdate: November 15, 1980
Directed by Don Sharp.
With Ray Lonnen, Rosalyn Landor, John Carson, Paul Darrow, and Barbara Ewing.
Jose Cruz
This devilish drama is good, clean occult fun.

The Chorozon Society, led by the nefarious Charles Randolph (Carson), is attempting to summon the demon of their namesake who serves as the guardian to the Gates of Hell. Their attempts have failed thus far, so they call upon the next in their line of sacrificial maidens, Allison (Landor).

Meanwhile, an antique mirror is purchased at an auction by dealer Laura (Ewing). She gives it to friend and exporter Michael (Lonnen) to have appraised. It seems to be of particular value, not to mention having the ability to conjure up visions of misty vistas. It is only after Michael encounters Allison does he discover the true nature of the mirror.

Turns out that it is actually a scrying glass, and it is needed to be matched up to its twin at the Society in order to complete the ceremony. And Randolph is intent on obtaining it by any means necessary so that the world may herald the coming of the Guardian.

Drawing on the countryís rich history of occultism, including the exploits of Aleister Crowley, Guardian of the Abyss moves at a great clip and brings to mind some of Hammerís classic fare like The Devil Rides Out (1968). Carsonís reptilian Randolph is indeed similar to Charles Grayís Mocata, with his hypnotic eyes and suave power.

This series didnít feature too many out-and-out villains, but Carson joins Patricia Quinn and Peter Cushing in creating a trinity of super-evil, super-cool baddies who chew into their dark roles with relish.

This entry also boasts some nifty creature makeup at the climax, and the ceremony scenes that start and cap off our adventure are genuinely and quietly eerie.

A nice hellish romp in the brimstone.

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