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Soultaker (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Vivian Schilling (story) and
Eric Parkinson (story) ...
View company contact information for Soultaker on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 October 1990 (USA) See more »
There is no Stairway to Heaven. See more »
Four teenagers are killed in a car accident. Two of the teenagers refuse to go with "The Grim Reaper" and a race between life and death ensues! Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
(11 articles)
User Reviews:
I directed this movie -- strange experience, strange range of reactions. See more (97 total) »


  (in credits order)

Joe Estevez ... The Man / Soultaker

Vivian Schilling ... Natalie McMillan

Gregg Thomsen ... Zach Taylor

Robert Z'Dar ... Angel of Death

David 'Shark' Fralick ... Brad Deville (as David Shark)
Jean Reiner ... Anna McMillan

Chuck Williams ... Tommy Marcetto
David Fawcett ... Mayor Grant McMillan

Gary Kohler ... Sgt. Haggerty
Dave Scott ... Officer Mel
Peter Dach ... Store Clerk
Cinda Lou Freeman ... Candice
Meschelle Manley ... Karen
Charles Bosworth ... Mr. Taylor
Jeff Deen ... Dr. Richard Reiner
John Edd Thompson ... News Anchor
Eric McLendon ... On-Air Reporter
Bob Grant ... Reporter #1

Eric Parkinson ... News Reporter
Barbara B. Patten ... Nun
Anna H. Watts ... Nun
Eugene Walter ... Nun

Sammy Busby ... David Smith
Josef Holloway ... Orderly
Kimberly Keltner ... Nurse #1
Sally Daniel ... Nurse #2
Alice B. Blake ... Dying Lady
George Wadlow ... Dying Man

Directed by
Michael Rissi 
Writing credits
Vivian Schilling (story) and
Eric Parkinson (story)

Vivian Schilling (screenplay)

Produced by
Dennis J. Carlo .... executive producer
Anthony Dalesandro .... co-producer
Connie Kingrey .... producer
Charles Luria .... executive producer
Eric Parkinson .... producer
Ivor Royston .... executive producer
John Scherer .... co-producer
Original Music by
Jon McCallum 
Cinematography by
James Rosenthal (director of photography) (as James A. Rosenthal)
Film Editing by
Jason Coleman 
Michael Rissi 
Casting by
Mary Gaffney 
Daniel Travis 
Art Direction by
Thad Carr 
Costume Design by
Sylvia Lawrence 
Makeup Department
Terry Barker .... hair stylist
Terry Barker .... makeup artist
Maurissa Bryant .... hair stylist
Maurissa Bryant .... makeup artist
Ron Jacobs .... hair stylist: second unit
Ron Jacobs .... makeup artist: second unit
Jeff Kent .... hair stylist
Jeff Kent .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jason Coleman .... post-production supervisor
John Scherer .... unit production manager
Art Department
Blake Savelle .... property master
Sound Department
Philip G. Allen .... sound designer (as Phillip Allan)
Kami Asgar .... post-production sound
Bob Grant .... sound mixer
Tahamas Ray .... post-production sound
Charlie Shepard .... boom operator (as Charlie Sheppard)
Lawrence L. Simeone .... post-production sound (as Larry Simeone)
Visual Effects by
Jerry Kitz .... animation effects
Jerry Kitz .... opticals
John Lambert .... animation effects
John Lambert .... opticals
Gary Beal .... stunts (as Gary Beall)
David 'Shark' Fralick .... stunts (as David Shark)
Bob Ivy .... stunt coordinator
Bob Ivy .... stunts
David Sanders .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
David Adams .... best boy: second unit
Norman Andrews .... assistant camera: second unit
Glenn Ballard .... grip: second unit
David Dechant .... second assistant camera (as David Dechent)
Greg Dudler .... best boy electric
Tommy Fell .... grip
Matt Gulbin .... best boy grip
Michael Gulbin .... key grip (as Michael Gulfin)
Zoltan Gyulai .... first assistant camera (as Zoli Gyulay)
Darryl Humber .... best boy grip
Robert J. LeRoux .... assistant camera: second unit
Randy Shanofsky .... first assistant camera
Timothy Sheffer .... assistant camera (as Tim Sheffer)
Phillip Sheppard .... grip
David Watson .... gaffer
Jeff Weaver .... electrician
Cynthia Webster .... camera operator: second unit (as Brett Webster)
Casting Department
Joe Guinan .... Additional Casting (Joe Estevez )
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Heidi Fundinger .... wardrobe assistant
Kelly Walker .... wardrobe: second unit
Editorial Department
Michael Kennen .... assistant editor
Other crew
Sally Daniel .... production assistant
Gary Dennis .... production assistant
Cheryl Greathouse .... production assistant
Andrea E. Griffin .... production assistant
Chad Hahn .... production assistant
Debbie Jackson .... production coordinator
Kimberly Jacobs .... production assistant
Kimberly Keltner .... script supervisor
Angela B. Moody .... production assistant
Mike Plantholt .... production assistant
Tyner Reeves .... production assistant
Sharon Yahnke .... craft service
Lonnie Ramati .... production business & legal affairs (uncredited)
Morris Asgar .... special thanks
Mel Cosgrove .... special thanks
Peter Lossing .... special thanks
Ray Quinn .... special thanks
Jim Robilard .... special thanks
Mark Strickland .... special thanks
Tony Williams .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some drug content
94 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The actor who plays the TV newsman in the movie is John Edd Thompson. Thompson has been a local news personality in Mobile, AL, where the film was shot, since the 1960s and continues to appear on news shows well into the 21st century.See more »
Continuity: Natalie's clothes abruptly appear on her when she runs out of the bathroom after undressing to take a bath.See more »
Brad Deville:Led Zeppelin was wrong, man. There is no stairway to heaven.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Carnival of Souls (1962)See more »
Happy TodaySee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
148 out of 193 people found the following review useful.
I directed this movie -- strange experience, strange range of reactions., 28 July 2001
Author: CamMan-5 from Hollywood

I'm Michael Rissi and I directed this picture. I was fresh out of USC film school and was brought on to direct SOULTAKER after the first director was fired when I was 23 years old. Well, making this movie was both an interesting experience and rather gut-wrenching, to be perfectly honest.

I counted something like 3 or 4 catastrophes per day while we were making the movie - from raging thunderstorms with electrical blackouts to a picture car that WOULD NOT START (that's the one that crashes in the movie) to a guy who climbed up into a huge tree while we were shooting at the "SummerFest" location who would not come down, but instead yelled obscenities for HOURS to disrupt us until a fire engine crew showed up and tried in vain for several more hours to get him down and take him away. Whole days during the production were lost for reasons like this. It was truly crazy.

As you can imagine, I have read reviews of SOULTAKER with a mixture of curious interest, dread, and some puzzlement. You certainly take your jabs in this business whether you like it or not and though I was hardly more than a kid when I directed this movie, it has taken on a life of its own.

Ironically, SOULTAKER actually won the BEST VIDEO of the YEAR award in 1991from the famed ACADEMY OF SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY AND HORROR headed by its founder Dr. Donald Reed. I have a Saturn Award sitting on my mantel to prove it. All the official Video Guides gave the movie 2 1/2 out of 4 stars (this was BEFORE the producers sold the rights to MST3K to make fun of it.) MST3K then edited the movie for their own ends, and ever since the movie's ratings have naturally plummeted.

To backtrack, the SCI FI CHANNEL originally presented SOULTAKER as one of its Planetary Premieres in its original form, UNCUT except for commercial breaks, for many years.

After purchasing the rights to mess with it, the folks at MST3K cut the heck out of it (almost a third of the movie) so that it honestly had no chance of making any sense whatsoever and "Re-Presented" it strictly for laughs.

Since SOULTAKER had done very well in its initial release, with very positive reviews in "Daily Variety" and several other major trade publications, you might imagine how perplexed I was initially when I found out they completely hacked up this movie to shreds and then lambasted it on MST3K.

Poor Vivian Schilling was the subject of most of the show's most vicious and acerbic barbs and having worked with her I can tell you that running her down with a series of cheap shots really was unfair. Cheap shots will get cheap laughs. But I doubt anyone reading this would want someone to do it to them.

Frankly, I think the cinematography and staging in the picture hold up fairly well, and practically everyone (apparently including the MST3K folks) knew I had only so much to work with, so they left me alone for the most part. But it's still kind of a bummer to make a low budget movie and see your best stuff hacked up or removed. It's like being a green comedian, being handed some ordinary jokes, going out on stage and getting hit in the face with tomatoes while someone offstage turns the microphone down during the punch lines.

Basically, my job as director on this picture, at least as I saw it, most especially throughout all of obstacles which seemed to plague it from the outset, was to FINISH it as best as I was humanly able, while simultaneously infusing it with as much mood, atmosphere and yes, bits of silly humor as I possibly could along the way.

If you've seen SOULTAKER on MST3K, you may have gotten some good laughs, but you really haven't seen the movie. Of course, ripping on movies and movie people has become part of pop culture today.

Some of you might legitimately DISLIKE the picture, the original version I mean. Fair enough. But the fact is, audiences like members of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror certainly went for it and people like that were the target audience. I autographed quite a few "Soultaker" movie posters at showings like that one, along with the actors. Now I'm told they are collector's items. Strange biz.

The MST3K treatment could make comedies out of many genre movies. A movie like THE SHINING is a good example. But Warner Bros. isn't likely to allow it.

SOULTAKER was made on such a small budget, the sound man (who was one of the only veteran techs on the crew) kept telling me it would be a miracle if we managed to finish the movie. If we had used millions of dollars instead of hundreds and made something like "Battlefield Earth" or "Howard the Duck"...

On the bright side, "Soultaker" made a significant profit, and in the end, for all filmmakers, that's what your job is -- to try to make sure the investors come out on top. At least we did that -- long before it was sliced and diced and served up for breakfast.

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