Soultaker (1990)

Directed & Edited by: Michael Rissi

Written by: Vivian Schilling

Story by: Eric Parkinson & Vivian Schilling


Joe Estevez .... The Man (Soultaker)
Vivian Schilling .... Natalie McMillan
Gregg Thomsen .... Zach Taylor
David Shark .... Brad Deville
Jean Reiner .... Anna McMillan
Chuck Williams .... Tommy Marcetto
Robert Z'Dar .... Angel of Death
David Fawcett .... Mayor Grant McMillan
Cinda Lou Freeman .... Candice

Release Date:
Limited Theatrical: October 26, 1990




A group of teenagers are returning from an outdoor party driving along a long narrow road. The driver Brad Deville (David Shark) is heavily intoxicated and is driving at full speed.
Two mysterious men in black who are evil spirits taking victims souls cause the car to crash in a tree and their bodies are in critical condition leaving their own souls apart from them while the bodies are towed away in an ambulance and sent to a hospital.
These teens do not realise that they are temporarily dead but encounter one of the mysterious men in black called the Soultaker (Joe Estevez) as they witness him taking the spirits souls away.
The Soultaker notices one of the teens Natalie McMillan (Vivian Schilling) who resembles his wife from the past when he was alive whom he murdered for cheating on him.
He kills all but her and her boyfriend Zach Taylor (Gregg Thomsen) as they try to escape from his evil wrath. The Soultaker wants Natalie back in his world even if his boss the Angel of Death (Robert Z'Dar) wants her soul too as he gets him to do the deeds for him.
Zach and Natalie both realise that they have only till 12:05 am till they can recover back in their own bodies.
They try to escape from the Soultaker any way possible to return to the hospital so they can return to their lifetime.


The film starts off with a nice beginning as a Soultaker appearing and disappearing while walking in a hospital hallway and going into a patient room as well using his hand to take the patients life which I must say is a great beginning for a horror flick.
However it seems to slump a bit after that with the teens getting ready to go out for a party or when the party happens it looked way too cheesy as it took place in total daytime too as usually parties take place at night.
Some discussions with Natalie McMillan between Anna and Mayor Grant McMillan about an event she wants to go to and some disagreement on it which looked slightly rough on how everything was done as it looked a bit too planned out and not natural enough.
Many great different camera shots on both the Soultaker and the Angel of Death walking up a hill of a road. There's a good discussion with the Angel of Death questioning the Soultaker by who he sees with nice shots on the two of them.
There's lots of cheesy camera shots on the partying teens dancing to some music outside along with the others which also looked unnatural and too wooden on how these scenes were done.
But yet it does pick up with one of the drugged out teens Brad Deville going at full speed with his car along with his friends on a long winding road in which this looked incredibly suspenseful knowing if anyone drives this fast a deadly accident is guaranteed to happen. This moment was totally psychological.
Then there's a great shot on the Soultaker stepping in the middle of the road.
Nice shots on most of the teens lying on the ground and then getting up trying to figure stuff out which looked pretty good.
Then there's the fun horror touches with the Soultaker chasing after the teens who are souls at the moment and trying to talk to a store clerk in which this was well written in on someone not seeing or hearing them talk but yet can see the door opening and closing. The ghostly moments were a perfect touch making you wonder if someone was really lifeless could do that since many have witnessed ghostly events.
A good shot between Natalie and Zach Taylor telling him off about what has all happened which looked highly energetic.
Then there's a moment with the surviving teens named Zach and Natalie returning to Nat's mansion as well as her talking to her Mom in which you wonder why she can see them and no one else can which makes this film incredibly mysterious. Eventually you do think to yourself that she is not who she says she is and still bringing on the action used here.
A good serious interaction with Anna talking towards Natalie about her boyfriend which this moment certainly brought some good twisits by what was about to unravel as well as Anna herself wickedly telling her that her bath is ready which really brought a good mysterious situation.
A nice camera shot on Natalie taking off her clothes getting ready to go in a bathtub as well as a good camera shot on Anna peeking through the crack of the bathroom door.
A nice evil approach by the Soultaker charging into the bathroom with Natalie freaking out and trying to gently talk to her about not wanting to hurt her and being tempting towards her. This looked quite good and convincing.
There's more great terrifying moments with the Soultaker kidnapping Natalie and taking her up on an elevator to a floor that doesn't exist which is incredibly imaginative.
There's also alot of struggling moments on Zach trying to help him and Natalie get to their bodies on time which makes you keep watching wondering if they will succeed in time before their deadline is up.
A nice moment with a family man in a hospital crying about his son of his along with a nice interaction on Grant and Anna talking to him and acting sympathetic which looked believeable and emotional as I found this to be one of the best moments.
Many great takes with Zach and Natalie running through the hospital hallways with high adrenaline which was impressive while there's a nice camera shot looking up on the Soultaker with an evil expression walking through the hospital hallways.
There's a great close up shot on Natalie lying in a coma on a hospital bed and then having the camera rotate on both Grant and Anna sobbing which looked greatly done.
There's a great additional touch with Brad now as a soultaker explaining to Zach as to what happens after a soul is taken which was well written in and greatly entertaining by all that goes on making it a nice key moment to the whole story of the film.
A nice shot on the Soultaker coming face to face with Natalie and convincing her to be with him which sounded very soft and peaceful like.
Bottom line is although this film was made on quite a low budget it's very well paced with a great storyline. I loved the visual and sound effects in the film and the adventurous plot. I give this film two thumbs up!!!

The acting is fairly good but at times cheesy. Yet this was a low budget film so what do you expect?
Joe Estevez
(Soultaker) really brought out a great evilness to his character as well as a nice serious type of speaking too. He also showed a nice versatality in his part by trying to show a sympathetic type of attitude. He brought out alot to what he had to do and proved that he can be just as talented and equal to his brother.
There's a great moment with him grabbing two of his fellow actors and pointing a gun towards him which looked pretty powerfully performed. This film marked him to lead a successful career in other cheesy low budget films.
ivian Schilling (Natalie McMillan) had the nice lustful and beautiful looks to portray a rich girl in the flick and also brings out some nice characterisitcs in her role too plus shows some descent aggressions when she needed to along with some great terrified behavior too. All in all she really had it all for a horror film type of innocent character.
Gregg Thomsen
(Zach Taylor) had the perfect good looking guy appeal as one of those teenage type of jocks and shows some good energy in his role too. A nice shocked expression after what he spots on TV which looked quite natural. A good sobbing reaction when he tries to revive someone in the hospital bed which looked not too badly. He really knew on how to be heroic quarter way through the film and could easily get work playing these types in other films.
David Shark
(Brad Deville) seemed to be just a line reader as a troublemaking drunken teen with a drug addiction to top it all off in which he had the looks for this role but that seemed to do most of the talking compared to his performance. He was a little too wooden but later on when he returns as a soultaker he improved a tiny bit but not much. Yet he did appeal well to the camera.
Jean Reiner
(Anna McMillan) seemed to have the evil looks but yet comes across as a nice caring family woman into the film and made her part very believeable in which I found her to be the best actress in the film. She also really knew on how to bring a coldness to her part when she is portrayed as a disguise too. Plus she also knew on how to cry emotionally well. She was the best.
Chuck Williams
(Tommy Marcetto) seemed to have the right looks at those geeky partying type of teens and showed off alot of spunk into his role on set. He definetely proved himself to be a worthy character actor in his first co-starring role before landing more work in low budget horror films as well as working as a producer and writer on the side.
Robert Z'Dar
(Angel of Death) had his voice overdubbed to sound robotic and demonic like so it was tough to tell his acting skills but with his looks is just convincing that he was a scary type of horror villain in the film or any of his other work in low budget horror films for that matter.

There's many cheesy synthesizer playings but it sounded quite neat with low music and at times high icy effects too. Plus there was the odd tinkling sounds in certain areas along with a southern type of twanging too. Plus there's some interesting chanting sounds after the teenage cast awakens after the car accident along with a nice piano playing and violin type of music with one of them undressing to take a bath. There's other moments with this too all done by John McCallum

There's also
a great soundtrack by 80's type bands such as Karen Lawrence (I especially loved her song during the closing credits which is called "Somewhere in Paradise") with her nice singing voice and guitar playing along with of course the keyboard music too. However it sounded cheesy at times.
The songtracks were played throughout the film which makes it enjoyable to watch too. In which there were many effective guitar playing which adds a nice touch to the scene's used in the flick whenever a song started playing.

Angel of Death: You must restore the balance or pay the penalty.

The Man: You can't kill a man who's already dead.

Brad Deville: Led Zeppelin was wrong, man. There is no stairway to heaven.