|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2011)|
|Directed by||Michael Rissi|
|Produced by||Connie Kingrey
|Written by||Vivian Schilling and
Eric Parkinson (story)
Vivian Schilling (screenplay)
David "Shark" Fralick
|Music by||Jon McCallum|
|Edited by||Jason Coleman
|Distributed by||AIP Home Video|
|October 26, 1990 (USA)|
|Box office||$233,150 (USA)|
Soultaker is a 1990 fantasy horror film starring Vivian Schilling, Joe Estevez, Chuck Williams and Robert Z'Dar. The film is notable for winning a Saturn Award for Best Genre Video Release in 1992, despite later being turned into an episode of movie-mocking TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The film begins in a hospital where the Soultaker is trying to find a room containing an elderly man. He eventually finds the room. The Soultaker looks at his pocket watch before using a ring to take the man's soul. The next day, a rich teen-aged girl named Natalie McMillan and her friend Karen get ready to go to "Summerfest". Meanwhile, a teenaged boy named Brad (David "Shark" Fralick) goes to pick up Natalie's former boyfriend Zack to go to Summerfest. Zack tells Brad that he wants to see Natalie again, but Brad tells him that he can never win a girl like Natalie again without money. Later they go to pick up another teenager named Tommy Marcetto.
At Summerfest, the Angel of Death tells Soultaker to kill Brad, Tommy (Chuck Williams), Zack, Natalie, and Brad's girlfriend Candice at 8:00. During Summerfest, Karen leaves Summerfest with her boyfriend John leaving Natalie behind. Before Brad, Tommy, Zack, and Candice leave the festival, Zack notices Natalie alone. Zack comes up to Natalie and the two reconcile. Zack offers to take Natalie home. Natalie takes his offer. The five teenagers take Brad's car and leave Summerfest. Brad - who is high on cocaine - is speeding. The Soultaker steps in the middle of the road. To avoid running over the Soultaker, Brad swerves and crashes into a tree. After the crash, Natalie, Brad, Zack, and Tommy find themselves a little away from the car unharmed. The four realize that Candice is missing.
Meanwhile, the Soultaker is at the crash site where it is shown that everyone has been critically injured. Soultaker takes Candice's soul. When Soultaker tries to get Brad's soul, he discovers that Candice's soul was still in her body but every one else's souls flew out. The Soultaker delivers the soul to the Angel of Death and explains that the others were displaced from their bodies, however it is never explained how this happened. The Angel of Death tells Soultaker to hunt down the other souls before midnight, and he must abide by the rules of time and space (although this is never clarified either). Later, the police and the ambulance are at the site. The ambulance takes the bodies and the police search the car. The police finds the cocaine that Brad had hidden in the car. Everybody comes back to the crash site after the police and the ambulance have gone. Brad searches the car to find his cocaine. All of the souls realize that Candice had died in the crash.
The Soultaker reveals himself, materializing from within the car, and claims Brad's soul while the others are helpless to stop him, and flee. The others find a convenience store where they try to tell the cashier that someone is trying to kill them, but the cashier does not notice their presence. Assuming the man is ignoring them, they leave the store, and the Soultaker appears again and grabs Natalie, to claim her soul, but her resemblance to his past love stays his hand. Zack rescues Natalie and they both flee, leaving Tommy behind. Tommy runs back to the store, and pleads for help from the cashier, to no avail. Tommy attempts to gain his attention by breaking a soda bottle, but this only confuses the cashier. The Soultaker is about to claim Tommy, when the Angel of Death appears to collect Brad's soul, and to reprimand his subordinate for failing to take Natalie when he had the chance. After delivering Brad's soul, the Soultaker enters the store and claims Tommy's soul.
Natalie and Zack are still fleeing with The Man behind them. The duo make it to Natalie's house. Before they open the door, Natalie's mother, Anna (Jean Reiner) opens the door. Zack and Natalie tells them about the Soultaker. Anna tells them that they will be safe inside. Anna tells Natalie that she will run a bath for Natalie, so she can relax. After Anna goes upstairs, Natalie apologizes to Zack for the loss of his friend. Zack also apologizes about the cocaine in the car.
Natalie goes upstairs. When she gets upstairs Natalie and Anna talks about Natalie's relationship with Zack. Natalie tells Anna that she will go to her room and lie down. When Natalie goes lie down, she falls asleep and dreams about being taken to the hospital. Anna wakes her to tell Natalie that the tub is full. Meanwhile, downstairs Zack hears something growling in the kitchen. When he goes to investigate, it was only the family dog, Charlie. Zack tells Charlie that no one will hurt him. It is shown that the reason Charlie is growling is because he can't see Zack, but can sense his presence.
Back upstairs, Natalie gets ready to bathe, and it is revealed that her mother is watching her undress.
While watching T.V., the news comes on and reports about the car crash. One of the reporters interviewing Natalie's father Grant reports that with parents permission the life support systems for Natalie and Zack will be shut of at midnight. Zack sees Anna on the news. Natalie discovers her mother watching her, and is disgusted, then horrified when her mother suddenly morphs into the Man that has been pursuing them. Instead of attacking her, The Soultaker attempts to make a pact with her, offering her eternal life, with the one proviso being that she stay by his side forever. Zack arrives and attempts to attack the Soultaker, but is easily overpowered. Natalie gets her father's shotgun and shoots the Man, to no effect, as the Soultaker reveals his nature by claiming that she "can't kill a man that is already dead."
The two manage to escape and flee to the hospital to return to their bodies before midnight before their life support systems will be shut off. In the hospital, Natalie is captured by the Man on an elevator which leads to the afterlife. The Man claims he is an angel and his duty it to collect the souls of the dying. He manages to convince Natalie that there is nothing left for her in living realm, and that Zack is already dead, but she can be saved if she stays with him. While searching for Natalie, Zack encounters Brad, who has become a grim reaper. Brad reveals that those who take a life, even if accidentally, they must pay for it through service as a grim reaper. Brad gives Zach two empty soul rings to help Zach and Natalie into their bodies, and helps him rescue Natalie from the Soultaker.
Natalie places herself in the ring over her body, but she still remains comatose. Zach discovers that a pendant she was wearing somehow acted as a barrier between her soul and her body, and he pulls her soul from her body and is about to attempt to return her to her body again, when the Soultaker appears again. The Soultaker chases Zack all the way to the top of the hospital, and corners him on the roof. Zach remembers that he is a soul and is no longer bound by death or pain, and escapes by leaping off the roof. The Soultaker is about to give chase, but is confronted by the Angel of Death once again. The Angel of Death informs him that it is past midnight and that the Soultaker has failed, for if the two died now, their souls would be lost forever. The Soultaker pleas with the Angel, promising that he can correct these errors, but is beyond forgiveness, and is collected into a soul ring by his master.
The movie ends with Zack visiting Natalie in the hospital on the day of her release. Zack is greeted happily by Natalie's parents who used to not care for Zack at all. The two go outside to see that Zack finally fixed up his old car and the two kiss and drive off together.
- Joe Estevez - The Soultaker (listed as "The Man" in film credits)
- Vivian Schilling - Natalie McMillan
- Robert Z'Dar - The Angel Of Death (Z'Dar is uncredited in the film, and his character unnamed)
- Gregg Thomsen - Zack Taylor
- David "Shark" Fralick - Brad Deville (Listed as "David Shark")
- Jean Reiner - Anna McMillan
- Chuck Williams - Tommy Marcetto
- David Fawcett - Mayor Grant McMillan
- Gary Kohler - Sgt. Haggerty
- Dave Scott - Officer Mel
- Cinda Lou Freeman - Candice
Image Entertainment released the film onto DVD in 2000. However, this DVD is currently out of print. In 2009, Shout! Factory released the MST3K episode featuring the film as part of the "Mystery Science Theater 3000 - XIV" DVD box set. This release includes an interview with Joe Estevez as a bonus feature.