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SOULTAKER (1990) **

Joe Estevez “stars” as the titular Soultaker, a guy that dresses all in black and hangs around in hospital wards stealing the souls of terminally ill patients.  He reports back to his superior (the huge-faced Robert Z’Dar) who tells Joe that his next mission is to grab the souls of some teens who are about to die in a car accident.  When Joe notices that one of the teens is the reincarnation of his former lover (Soultakers used to be humans, or something like that), he lets his emotions get the best of him and kinda screws things up.  Now the soul of Joe’s lost love (Vivian Schilling) is caught between Heaven and Hell (kinda like in Ghost, from the same year) and has to reunite herself with her body, which is laying in a coma at the hospital, before Joe can get his grubby hands on her.

 

Soultaker has a few good ideas (as well as some truly horrid late 80’s fashions), but is woefully hamstringed by a measly budget.  Although some of the FX are OK, for the most part, the script (which was also written by Schilling) is just too ambitious for its own good.  The acting is also pretty lame and doesn’t do the movie any favors.  Estevez is a Sleepwalker as the Soultaker and the teens aren’t very likable.  There is some fun to be had from Z’Dar’s humongous chin, which needed its own billing.  It’s David (Uncle Sam) Shark as the mullet-headed teen who caused the accident who gets the best line of the movie.  After he is turned into a Soultaker, he laments, “Led Zepplin was wrong, man!  There is no Stairway to Heaven!”

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