Release Date: October 26th, 1990
Directed by: Michael Rissi
Written by: Vivian Schilling, Eric Parkinson
Music by: Jon McCallum
Cast: Joe Estevez, Vivian Schilling, Gregg Thomsen, Chuck Williams, Robert Z’Dar, David “Shark” Fralick, Jean Reiner
AIP Home Video, 94 Minutes
There is an old saying that goes something like, “If you see Joe Estevez as the top billed star, you’re in for an awful time.” Okay, maybe I just made that up but I have yet to see the least known acting member of the Estevez/Sheen family bring any sort of talent to the screen. But then Robert Z’Dar is in this wearing a wig that makes him look like a freakish Poison groupie, so that balances things out a bit.
Soultaker is a strange vanity project for Vivian Schilling. She wrote the film for herself to star in. Too bad she only gets second billing behind Estevez. That’s probably due to the fact that he has the charisma of baked potato while Schilling has the charisma of a shoe.
From what I’ve read, Schilling stays fairly busy as a novelist and screenwriter. Based off of her writing in Soultaker, however, I’d be really skeptical of her other work. That doesn’t mean she hasn’t found her footing, as many people in film start on awful projects.
Soultaker sees Joe Estevez play a grim reaper type of character. Robert Z’Dar plays his boss, the Angel of Death. Estevez is sent to collect the souls of some teenagers who get into a horrible accident. The teens escape the clutches of the reaper and while half of them eventually get caught, the two main characters are on the run in an effort to resurrect themselves in a race against time. The reaper is also in a race against time for some mystical reason that is never really quite clear. If I was a grim reaper, I’d toy with my prey for months like a house cat after crippling a lizard.
The acting is crap, the special effects are crap, the music is crap and the story is crap and nonsensical almost every step of the way.
The only really positive thing about this film is that it is featured as the season ten premier of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is one of the best episodes, as Joel and TV’s Frank return in cameos and we get to see Joel and Mike together on the Satellite of Love.