Guardian of the Realm (2004) Poster

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Some entertaining moments.... it won't kill you
mstomaso16 March 2007
Guardian of the Realm has surprisingly good production quality and special effects considering its low budget. It is the story of a couple of demon hunters who are about to face the biggest challenge of their careers - an ancient demonic power has escaped hell and rallied a small militia of demonic minions at a local night-club.

The overall cinematography and effects is comparable to the TV-movie work of the Pre-Battlestar Galactica Sci-Fi Channel, though the cast isn't quite as talented as the typical Sci-fi channel cast. Most of the effects involve people morphing into demons and some well-done wire work. The martial arts choreograohy is also pretty good.

Thankfully, Guardian does not take itself too seriously. Though Glen Levy and a few other cast members are competent actors, the directing and editing do fairly little to help them convey their talent. Many of the performances are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and lend the film a cheap, exploitation B-movie feeling. This becomes more and more clear as the film approaches its utterly absurd climax.

This is definitely not a must-see, and whether you leave it on during a random channel-surf late at night is entirely your own decision. I suspect that most people will be LESS entertained by it than I was.
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Weirdly Watchable
skooshie21 June 2007
By no means was this a prefect film, but oddly enough it was very very watchable. The look of the film kind of distracts by its digital look but if it had been filmed any other way it probably would have been noted as bad. The leads were nice looking and the storyline was decent. The sets looked like they were in someones garage but were well done for what they were. The acting was OK. Not as bad as some and the acting could have used a little more rehearsal but the actions scenes were pretty good. Really enjoyed the costume of the main bad guy (girl) Nikki. Well worth a look if you have nothing better to do on a Saturday night.
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Great low-budget action film that does a lot of things better than the studios
ccp-dw28 March 2006
Guardian is what I always looked and hoped for when I was as kid - a buried treasure, a hidden surprise. Remember when you took a chance and rented those films with the questionable covers, and nine out of ten times, you got burned? Not this time. Guardian is obviously a labor of love, by people who love the movies, and that love, passion, and fun shows in every frame of it.

Yes, the flick is low-budget, but it does amazing things with what amounts to pro-sumer equipment that most anyone has access to. Young filmmakers, take note: you will spend many viewings trying to figure out how they did some of this stuff. Most films operating at this level are simple dramas with talking heads, or make no attempt at large-scale stunts or effects, but not the guys who made this flick - they went nuts. Check out the references to Johnny Quest, Anime, Mad Max, Chop-Socky, Ghostbusters, South Park, and if you look very closely, even Blade Runner!

Never mind all of that, however - just enjoy the flick. Glen Levy is charming and aerodynamic, Tanya Dempsey gives a star-making performance and is one of the most beautiful actresses to come along in a long time, and Lana Piryan is dead-sexy, with an accent that makes you really not care if you get possessed by a demon or not. The rest of the supporting cast is either funny, handsome, or sexy, and the plot, although a bit derivative of other things, is very well constructed, and some of the dialogue is quite funny. There is a gag involving a bottle of ketchup that has to be seen to be believed.

Guardian may be the first low-budget, indie feature that I have seen try a "Hollywood" style approach to everything, instead of hedging its' bets every step of the way. Not perfect by any means, but the best "B" flick I've seen in a long time, and hopefully not the last feature that Ted Smith will make. "Stay sharp - like a razor."
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Straight from hell
unbrokenmetal6 November 2008
At the beginning, there is a scene at a Goth disco, the "Devil's Den", and I thought: 'Oh no, this is going to be another flick where somebody invited his untalented pale-faced goth friends... who think they look so cool in moonlight that they must be filmed'! Fortunately, I was wrong. "Guardian of the Realm" develops into a funny but violent genre flick, looking rather like an episode from a TV series than a big movie, but despite the mediocre effects it shows quite a lot of effort was put into it. Camera work, lights and music (atmospheric strings, not too much rock) are all done well, and the story contains enough sense of ironic humor to make you forget that this isn't the first time ghost-hunters fight a demon creature. The running time of 110 minutes was flying by and never felt like it was too long. Glen Levy, a former stuntman from series such as "Xena", "Hercules" and "Cleo 2525", becomes a sympathetic hero. Obviously, he gets a lot of fights, too, because that's what he does best. So, what I can say about "Guardian of the Realm": I enjoyed it, want to watch it again some time, even if it's not the biggest thing since "Blade".
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Artfully done, with love for the genre
davidlee830 June 2006
I bought GUARDIAN OF THE REALM because I know the special effects supervisor Tom Seymour. I have to admit that I'm proud of the St. Louis natives Tom, Ted Smith and Wyatt Weed for crafting an entertaining film. It had humor, good makeup, limited but effective fight scenes and decent sound effects and music. The actors did a fair job with the material, which avoided most clichés. Glen Levy was a real surprise with his charm and humor, but especially good in his fight choreography. The armored demon was impressive, but overall, the set design and props were excellent. You can't expect too much for a movie of this nature, and the makers stretched the budget to the limits. You can tell that they love the genre, and for the most part, it was artfully done.
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yucky digital, yucky sound, but hey i was entertained
Worldofgrim15 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers

Everything about this movie reeks of cheap sets, props, effects, sound recording & post, too long of shots on too long of inexperienced actors, but gosh, lots of character demons, gore, some action, a decent attempt at humor... not bad.

As a cg artist I saw all their cg attempts, all cheesy, but used... and used... and I'm just impressed these guys went for it... I mean the sparks and clouds and fire and meteors and computer interface stuff. And as for demon designs, wow! I'm impressed with the sub demons, the pure demon, the warrior demon, the shaman demon, the pet demon, the she demon... etc... I mean, not just one silly monster, but a whole bunch of power ranger things, and they all made sense, as an entourage. And why not! So as schlocky as digital feels, as cheap as digital audio sounds, as glaring as video colors are, as painfully obvious gel lights glare... they went for it and i hope they get a chance to go for it again with more money. But I hope they keep to the same fun schlock! Good luck guys.

And love all the downtown L.A. sites, brings back memories, and all the sites in my neighborhood of Hollywood. You guys stayed here to do it, awesome.
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A lot of fun, not as bad as you'd expect
cujoe_da_man5 March 2020
So, let me start off by saying that this is not anywhere near as good as a movie with a proper budget and crew. However, for what it is, I felt like the director actually had some sense of what he was doing. The actors were at least likable and many of them came off as interested in what they were doing. While the acting itself wasn't stellar, most of the actors weren't so wooden like many other low budget movies. The lead 'demon' actress, Nikki, is played by a woman with a very thick accent and it can be a bit off-putting at times because it was obvious they only put her in for the sex appeal, but I have seen/heard much, much worse from much higher budget works (Pamela Anderson?). The two lead demon hunters worked well together and while I felt the chemistry was kind of forced by the writing, I actually felt a bit of attachment to both of them. I certainly wasn't cracking up laughing or balling my eyes out, but they were decent and fun to watch.

Watching this now in 2020, it would be unfair of me to say that the CG effects were terrible. Even by 2004 standards, this would have been panned badly, but I think for what they had to work with, they kept a lot of the effects to a minimum and that actually worked in their favor. They used a lot of nice looking costumes for the armor and demon effects and while in some instances you could plainly see they were just foam and rubber, it wasn't so bad that it distracted you from the rest of the movie. If I had to pin a look to this, I would say this looks about on par with the likes of Bibleman (a show I have not watched, but have seen enough of to get the idea). However, what makes this a step above is actually taking the actors off a soundstage to actual locations and having real things like bikes, cars, motorcycles, weather, etc and actually making them work rather than having the actor in front of a blue screen with a blurry background flying by. A lot of the demon makeup was very well done, especially the demon god when he shows up. Though, I will say one thing, the added "clink" sound they added to the armored demon was very annoying and was not needed, but the armor was neat looking and the actor playing in the suit managed to make it look like it was a big, hulking demon wearing armor.

The fight scenes, for the few there are, actually were lots of fun to watch. Everyone that had to fight actually had some very well done choreography, while (again) not up to standards with a well polished Hollywood movie, it was apparent that the fight scenes were done over the course of hours/days rather than "pull some punches and we'll cut the scene together". Some actual acrobatics were used and the sword fight in the end had very nice, thought out moves that made it fun to watch. There were a few moments where it was bordering on 'Power Rangers' type fighting, but it wasn't overdone or too over the top.

The story itself certainly wasn't deep or provocative and honestly, I don't think it needed to be. The writer(s) and director at least put some thought into the plot and while you might be able to guess what's going to happen next, you might not mind because it's done well enough that you can be like "that's how I would have done it", but there are a few points where it managed to surprise me with something even though I was able to call out a scene just prior, they would throw something in just a bit extra to be like "you saw this coming, but not this...". There are a few moments where a plot point won't go anywhere, but I get that from a lot of these movies, so it's to be expected (the one where Nikki up-chucks something into the demon's mouth is neither explained nor brought up again after it happens). One thing that the plot suffers from is a lot of exposition, while not as bad as some movies, there are a couple moments that could have been explained better or in a different way, but that's only a nitpick.

A lot of the camera work we done well enough, some establishing shots to set up a scene, framing was decent without any strange angles to make it "look like art" or edgy. Sound mixing was ok, I would have liked for a better voice for Nikki when she breaks out into her demon voice and the aforementioned 'clink' footsteps of the armored demon were really bad. I didn't notice an real issues with voices otherwise, music didn't overlap and drown out dialogue (as can be an issue in a lot of these movies) and I didn't see any boom mics getting in the way.

Overall, just a fun movie to waste a couple hours on. If you're expecting another "Blade" or "Ghostbusters", this won't be for you, but if you like cheesy B-movies that actually have some sort of effort put forth, you might actually enjoy this.
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Acceptable and campy
abisio6 May 2019
The story is not particularly original but it could have benefited for shorter runtime and a better climax. It is obvious the budget was very low but intentions were fine. Acting is decent and some scenes are quite elaborated. The most interesting thing of the movie es Glen Levy; a stuntman capable of decent acting and a few good action scenes. They guy has some style that deserve a better movie. In brief; it is not a great picture but I saw a lot worse and less entertaining.
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Don't see Guardian for what it is, see it for what it's not
R_Grey2 October 2007
to say this movie is bad is an understatement. Guardian represents everything that's possible to be wrong with a movie, that's also its sole redeeming quality. The reason I gave this movie it's single star (aside from the fact that there is no option to put 0 stars) is because it has certain educational purpose. Robert Altman, when asked which movies influenced him the most, said: "the movies I hated the most," he'd see a film and think "I'll never make a movie like that." That's the case with Guardian. Watching it makes you understand how and why a movie can be bad (or oh-my-god-it-burns-my-eye bad in this instance). There is not single aspect I can start you off with, it's bad globally: every line is a cliché stolen from Buffy, Blade, or some other B vampire movie (and the ending is a word-for-word rip off from the first Blade -- I can't spoil the movie with this, it hits the bottom on the first line); the image is terrible, either they used magnifying glass for a lens or rented a wrong camcorder, because this is not shot on film with an HDCAM, not even on HDV or DVX from the looks of it; the cinematography is ...well, I don't think they thought about lighting; the set pieces and the makeup is admirably expensive for such a low budget, but the actors wearing the suits couldn't act their way out of a noose on the day of their sentence.

At first I actually thought I was watching a rerun of a Buffy episode, but then I realized that even Buffy wasn't that bad (and there weren't any commercials!). I watched further and I couldn't believe it was on a premium channel, on cable! But seeing this piece of s$@t make it this far, I now know that any film can find distribution...
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10 things about Guardian of the Realm
jn-73-71498226 August 2012
1 boring .... 2 movie was low quality .... 3 the vampires even lower .. 4 bad acting .... 5 even on HD seems like the quality is really bad .... 6 I gave it a 3 stars cause I feel sorry for the actors and crew ... 7 This is best for people who loves to watch crappy movies .... 8 nothing against those bad movie lovers but it's really terrible movie... 9 even if you have nothing else to watch, re-watch something else ... 10 and oh did i mention this movie is not about vampires, but hey I don't know i only watched about half way so i might have missed the vampires ...

Overall don't waste you money and watch something else, this movie should have all copies incinerated
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This is a boring knock-off
oscar-3511 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
*Spoiler/plot- 2004, In the city, evil lurks in the shadows. Two 'Guardians' also known as demon hunters are on the trial of an occult group who has stolen some mysterious magical artifacts. They have unwittingly released the ancient and powerful demon god Virago upon Los Angeles in the form of a beautiful woman. Its up to the two demon hunters and their powerful spy-like organization to stop this ancient evil before a horde of demons take over. If they fail, there will be Hell on Earth.

*Special Stars- Glen Levy, Tanya Dempsey, Lana Piryan

*Theme- The right teamwork will conquer any evil.

*Trivia/location/goofs- Downtown street areas of Los Angles and along the LA river.

*Emotion- The male lead did his work admirably. This is a boring knock-off of the current vampire, demons, and very dated 'dungeons and dragons' film themes. A bore. Top notch film effects and movie production values but the female actresses seem to put little into their camera 'acting' and much more into their makeup and 'posing' for camera like amateur low paid models. Totally forgettable for a film they wished to be a franchise of many movies. It has the look of a film based video game.
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nogodnomasters4 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The cover has nothing to do with the movie. This movie reminded me of an adult version of a Bible man superhero type show. Tanya Dempsey has the acting ability of a porn star, but keeps her skimpy clothes on during the whole movie. Only demons get naked.

We do discover that demons live on earth disguised as humans and like a bad Romulan cloaking device, they must reveal themselves prior to attacking. The movie was campy and at times had a "Japanese Sci-Fi" flavor to it.

It would be a perfect candidate for an MST-3000 episode. 8 stars for all the wrong reasons.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, sex, nudity.
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A great guilty pleasure
slayrrr66612 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Guardian of the Realm" is a digitized mess with a few pretty decent moments.


A year after being resurrected, demon-possessed Nikki, (Lana Piryan) is on the loose and is being targeted by Josh Griffin, (Glen Levy) an agent for a special police task force that deals with demons loose in the world. Another agent, Alex Marlowe, (Tanya Dempsey) arrives to help out the case, which she feels is connected to a recent robbery of occult merchandise in the area. With agents Roger Bannon, (Tom Seymour) and Max Patterson, (Robin Raedeke) giving them help, and a vicious crime spree from a gaggle of loose demons terrorizes the city. Trying to get a lead on the stolen artifacts, they manage to come upon a special sect that is connected by to Nikki and her gang of followers. Launching a round of retaliation, the demons strike back and lure the agents into a series of traps and are able to take out most of the field agents as well as themselves. Making a last-ditch effort, the remaining agents gather their arms and begin a war against them before they are able to harvest their powers and take control of the dimension.

The Good News: This wasn't as bad as it could've been. One of the best points is that there's a lot of action in here with a lot of confrontations between the sides. There's a whole large amount of gunfights in here, and the several in the warehouse near the end are quite thrilling. The few fistfights are quite acceptable, and the main fight between four demons manages to look quite good for the kind of film this is. Between these and the several other main fights in here, this one manages to stay pretty quickly paced and manages to remain watchable throughout due to it's pace. The demons here aren't that badly done, with traditional distorted features, fang-lined jaws and the emphasis on a certain facial feature to the point of parody. This one has the eyes, and they look creepy at first but become a little comical after awhile, which makes them look funny. The last really big plus is that there's a really high body count, which allows for some great kills in here. There's several that have their chest torn open and have their hearts removed, another has their face broken and smashed completely in, another has a dagger thrown into their chest, a stomach and chest is brutally ripped and clawed open and the most violent one, where a sword is slammed into a head vertically and stops at the neck, slicing the head open. That's not to include the non-violent ones as broken necks and off-screen ones come into play as well. The twist involving the one main character is a complete shock that makes perfect sense but comes out of left-field, but otherwise that's about it for the film.

The Bad News: There's only one really big thing in this one that doesn't work. This is the absolutely cheesy and terrible looking CGI used in the film. This has no real chance of impressing anyone with how terrible it looks. Several affects scenes, including any time a victim is set on fire or have any sorts of wounds on them are rendered in computer effects so bad that the digitized pixels are quite easily visible as it's so obvious that's how they were created. That this is done for every single instance manages to take the viewer out, as there's no possible way to overlook this. They look absolutely terrible, and will in no way convince anyone they are anything more than what they are. That it continues throughout the entire film for practically anything that requires a special effect, be it wounds, background or enhancement of demon-makeup, the CGI is used and it's terrible and quite distracting. There's a few other little flaws in this one, but that terrible, low-grade CGI is what's going to be the main focusing point of hatred for this film.

The Final Verdict: This is a pretty hard one, as those who are going to be put off by it's one big flaw will use that as the excuse not to get into it at all. It's still watchable despite it, so if you can overlook that huge flaw, give it a shot as it's not that bad outside of a stylistic choice that really hurts the film.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Nudity and a mild sex scene
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