Sunday 20 September 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review – Number 48 Soultaker

Tonight we're treated to, what is known here at the office, as a run of the mill shitflick. We've got all the basic B100 instruments of torture present; lack of coherence, lack of excitement, lack of acting, lack of sense. Angels of Death mix with the human world, and boredom ensues. We're even handed a drug subplot that never really goes anywhere either. All in all, this flick lacks conviction, and I don't blame it. There is literally nothing to believe in, when you watch...

The dynamic angel duo. That fucking dude though. Even for the 90s... 

Soultaker (1990)

Damn, another 90s flick to totally bowl over my theory of the 60s being the shittiest in terms of film making and interior decor. The 90s are running this show like a Bob Barker who was denied another golfing trophy – angrily and without mercy. This flick, according to the cover, was super hyped up from various critics. The cover is very low resolution, so I can't quite see exactly who said “Very interesting. More consistently presented than... Ghost!” It looks like somebody from Variety? I don't even really know what something being more consistently presented than something else means? Is it presented on a more regular basis? Or are all of the individual minutes in Soultaker presented better than each individual minute of Ghost? Also this movie wasn't interesting. In the least. It was boring. Life after death? That is interesting. This movie's take on life after death? About as interesting as having your crotch repeatedly kicked by a throng of enraged donkeys. If you believe that happening is interesting, this movie might be for you. We'll look at how this movie deals with life after death later on, and we will do so without further exploring the donkey metaphor. Sorry folks.

Shitfriend... look at that hair no seriously are you looking? I hope he has a permit for that. 
This movie is about love across the boundaries of social class. It's also about love between parents and their offspring. It's also about totally non-homoerotic love between two guys. We open by seeing a super tired looking dude in a long black duffel coat suck the soul out of an old geezer at the hospital just when death sets in. That scene ends, and we're supposed to be left with a sense of excitement and anticipation. And we are. Of the movie ending some 90 minutes later. Oh well. Zac and Natalie are our main protagonists and are very much possibly in love. I say possibly because they have the same picture of themselves on their respective dressers, but when they meet up, they act like they went on one date and this is the awkward “oops I didn’t know you’d also be here even if I totally hoped you would" accidental date follow up. But for all the movies intents and purposes, they are steadily dating. Natalie's parents, one of which is the mayor of the town, do not approve of Zac. Zac is bad people, they seem to indicate. It's very loosely touched upon, but I believe Zac somehow was involved, possibly innocently, in a cocaine deal gone terribly wrong, and Natalie's dad got him out of it, on account of being the mayor. Like I said, it's mentioned in passing. Suffice to say, Zac is persona non grata at the Natalie residence. But Natalie is about him, so she goes to some kind of festival, hoping, I think, that Zac will also be there. They haven't planned anything, but Zac, who is a dead ringer for Thriller-era Michael Jackson at first (he loses the MJ touch about half way through the movie - sad if you’re into MJ) is of course also at the festival. He is there with his douchey friend, and another dude, moronfriend, who kind of reminds me why abortions were invented. His douchey friend hates Natalie, and does not waste a second telling Zac exactly how shitty he finds her. This douchey friend is also an ACTUAL DRUG DEALER! And I firmly believe he was the one who got Zac into deep shit before.

This hair is so crazy, I had to have another picture of it. Look at that fucking hairdo. I can't even.
The tired looking angel turns up with the goofiest looking motherfucker I've seen for a while. We'll deal with him in a moment. They are there to, I guess, get Natalie and Zac and shitfriend and idiotfriend and random girl shitfriend has picked ups souls. Why? Nobody knows. Tired looking dude sees Natalie and flashes back to some girl he used to know. This is apparently significant, but we can’t know why yet. Zac convinces his shitty friend to give them a ride. For no particular reason, besides being a dick, this shitty friend drinks, snorts coke and drives in a haphazard way. Of course he crashes his car, when the tired looking dude from earlier steps in front of it on the road. 4 of them (everybody sans random girl) wakes up, thrown clear of the car with no bruises. They are only mildly surprised by this. Tired looking guy sucks the soul of random girl and gives chase. Goofy looking angel of death is apparently top dog among angels of death and tells tired looking angel of death to get off his god damn angel of death ass and suck some souls, or so help him... Tired looking dude is about Natalie though, and wants nothing more than to keep flashing back to something from his past we can only guess at for now. He kills off shitfriend. And shortly after moronfriend goes the same way. But Zac and Natalie run home to her place, where we are treated to truly baffling scenes that include Zac being told he isn't welcome, yet he sits down and watches TV and is left to his own devices like he is expected to let himself out later, and Natalie's mother ogling Natalie take a bath. It's... yeah. It's a thing. Zac watches the news, and realizes both Natalie's parents are really at the hospital, and that Zac and Nat's bodies will be taken off life support at midnight (for some reason this is announced on the news.) Then who the fuck is the person looking like her mother in the house? He panics, runs upstairs and realizes Natalie's mother at the house is really tired looking angel of death in a clever disguise. Shit hits the fan, leading us to a chase across town and into the hospital, where shitfriend, who has returned as an angel of death, helps Zac kick tired angel’s ass, and recover life for him and his loved one.

Oh god that hair. Marginally better in his post-death incarnation. But still... it's bodacious.
Phew, quite a ride, huh? Nope. Not at all. It was exceedingly dull and without excitement. I guess for a second I wasn't sure if they'd let Zac die for Natalie, but really the whole thing would've been even more pointless if he had. They both survived. Spoiler alert? Hardly. You would've figured this out (yes you, you know who you are). Now, we see a few scenes that take place in the void between our world, and the world of the angels of death. Their shit is mostly just really bright, which is the universally agreed upon feel of the afterlife in movies. Bright lights. But the movie offers zero opinions on why the angels of death wanted these 5 people dead to begin with. Shitfriend, in his new persona as angel of death (complete with bottle of Jack Daniels) literally says “You still don't get it do you?” when Zac asks for an explanation, but then proceeds to explain that they aren't told anything, and he doesn't know what is going on or if there is a heaven. So much for being a smartass, dickweed. I guess you don’t get it either. More dialogue that made me go what the fuck: when the mayor comes out of his daughter's hospital room and says they have agreed with the doctor's decision to take his daughter off of life support, one of the reporters asks him, “when will they pull the plug on your daughter?” Two things here. He literally JUST fucking said when he made the decision and also announced a specific fucking time for when they would do it. Why ask? Also, who the fuck asks a grieving man something as inconsiderate as “when will you pull the plug on your daughter?” Good lord. That's the media for you.

Zac and Natalie in the climactic scene where he totally puts her soul back into her body. Or something. Amazing. 
I find with a lot of these movies, when I watch them, I'm pretty complacent and docile. There are some exceptions, and if you've followed this blog long enough, you'll probably be able to remember one or two. But in general I'm just watching with mild apprehension. Later on, when typing up my reviews, however, I often find myself getting increasingly annoyed with how shitty the movie actually was. I can't decide if this is somehow an accomplishment of these films? They invoke an emotional response in me, and I have to give them credit for that shit. I also want to set fire to them for forcing me to feel my own feels! This movie was on the slighter end of the annoyance scale. It wasn't good in any way shape or form, but I didn't want to sign up for the first manned flight to Mars (aptly named 'Mission Certain Death') either. If the characters had been fleshed out a bit, perhaps, the movie would've made it out of the B100 list. Tired dude for instance. He flashes back to his wife/girlfriend in bed with another dude, and I think we’re supposed to believe he killed her and the dude for adultery. The woman in bed is supposed to remind him of Natalie, but in the flashbacks it literally is her. I don't know if this was deliberate or what. I mean her being in the scene was deliberate, but if she is supposed to be a reincarnation or just remind him so much that he replaces her in his own imagination. It's kind of insinuated, I think, that if you kill somebody you have to pay that sin back by being an angel of death. It's not explained why. So he is paying the penance for killing his lady and her lover. He wants Natalie to come with him, but we don't really know where. The after life? A cloud somewhere? Uganda? Nobody knows. And the goofy looking angel is not about it. Also they distorted his voice to make him sound more menacing or something. He sounds like a toilet flushing. And I hate him. His face is instantly recognizable though, yet I have no idea where I've seen him before. He has 119 credits to his name, and only one thing on there I know off the top of my head, even if I haven't ever seen it (Tango & Cash). His remaining 118 credits I don't know at all. Well 117, since I've now seen Soultaker.

Tired angel kills old dude. The rings are a thing, that are also not explained. Lots isn't explained.
Overall it's safe to say, that this movie left me with more open questions than before I started, and sadly not the kind of questions that will remain in my head slowly mulled over subconsciously for months. Just the kind of questions that would've been cool had they been answered during the movie, but they weren't and that's not really a big problem for me. I can let this go easily. Acting and effects here are really crappy, and you can probably imagine my surprise, when I found out that it won an award. The woman who plays Natalie wrote the story, and won a Saturn Award. I’m not sure what a Saturn award really is, but there's a picture of her accepting it next to Arnold Schwarzenegger who is accepting his for T2: Judgment Day. So it’s big enough for Arnie to show up. I'm irrationally pissed off, that these two movies were somehow in the same award show, and both won something. That's just outright crazy. She is apparently semi well known for various other things. It's hard to really know how well known, but she appears in a picture with Cary Elwes, so she must be up there for sure. Cary doesn't look suave as fuck for just anybody. She hasn't worked in a bit, so perhaps she is focusing on something else. And perhaps that is for the best. Soultaker might be nearly 30 years old, but shit like that doesn't just go away. It lurks, and I'm sure she's cooking up another story, just waiting for the right moment to pounce.


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