It’s amazing! Absolutely amazing! A movie starring Robert Davi, Michæl Ironside, Tiny Lister, Brad Dourif, Karen Black and Deborah Gibson that is actually good. How the hell did this happen? Most of these guys rule on their own accord, but with all of them piled into one movie, this thing should be a complete cluster f**k and I’ll tell you why it isn’t – the creative team behind “Soulkeeper” knew how to make a fun movie, plain and simple.
Don’t let the scary demon face on the DVD box steer ya wrong. “Soulkeeper” is more of a beer swillin’ party movie rather than a pants fillin’ fright fest. Not that there isn’t plenty of supernatural monstrosities or “Nightmare on Elm Street” type hallucinatory sequences to marvel over because the film is chock full of that goodness. It’s just that, Darrin Ferriola and crew decided not to treat the subject matter so seriously (it’s saving grace), so the result is something kinda like the tragically short-lived Sci-Fi Channel series “Good vs. Evil”.
Corey and Terrence, two knucklehead thieves for hire, are mysteriously commissioned to nab the Rock of Lazarus, an ancient stone that has the power to bring evil souls back to Earth. Upon accepting the supernatural mission, our two hapless heroes, who simply care about claiming their cash reward and scoring with strange women, find their lives transformed into a non-stop nightmare by a sorcerer who is also seeking the rock for his own evil deeds. It’s like a 106 minute version of “Freddy’s Nightmares” Abbot and Costello style.
What follows is a series of scenes strung together like a videogame would be rather than a movie – the string being consistent locker room humor, scary monsters, familiar faces like the ones I mentioned earlier on and a series of notes (all on identical looking slips of paper) that guide our heroes from one scene to the next as well as tidbits of information blurted by flatulent drunks. These slices of information send our highly watchable heroes along a series of missions that ultimately lead them to a rather touching conclusion. Touching, but at the same time, a bit out of place. You wouldn’t expect this type of ending from a movie filled with “boys’ night out” type humor. You may even wonder, during the last five minutes, if you’re watching the same movie.
Is “Soulkeeper” fun? Hell yes! But it’s not the brainiest film you’ll ever see. It’s quite light in the story department, but for straight to video fare, it manages to be more entertaining than most films that get released into movie theaters today. “Soulkeeper” beats the straight-to-video stigma by being neither a slow-paced, gutless turd or a primed for Skinemax blue plate special. “Soulkeeper” has spunk. It’s a flashy horror film brimming with laughs and surprisingly good special effects that moves along like a speeding bullet. At the film’s end, you’ll want more. This is fun stuff, kids. Get into it!
Film rating – * * * * – 4 stars ^ DVD rating – * * * – 3 stars