Tuesday, February 09, 2010


    Two thieves down on their luck get hired to steal the Rock of Lazarus, an ancient relic capable of returning evil souls to earth.
    37% liked it


    Director: Darin Ferriola

    February 7, 2010: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

    With dung heaps like Legion (2010) stinking up the cinemas, who could be blamed for wondering if there are actually any movies in existence which take some liberties with the Christian religion, but do so respectfully? Well, Soulkeeper does just that, AND does it with a smile. In Soulkeeper God is still the good guy, angels still enjoy working for Him, and, most amazingly of all, the Church is still in the business of acting as a force for good in the world. Not one single murderous albino monk in sight.

    As nice as that is, what really makes the movie enjoyable are the two leads. Rodney Rowland and Kevin Patrick Walls play two hapless buddies who specialize in the acquisition (legal or otherwise) of rare collectables. They come across as real friends, comfortable with each other in any situation, be it some questionable caper (such as swiping Abe Lincoln’s hat) or just quibbling over the fact that it’s Deborah Gibson now, not Debbie Gibson. The two have a palpable devotion to one another that ends up adding an unexpected layer of heart to an otherwise goofy movie.

    The pair ends up being hired to track down a mystical stone the antichrist intends to use to raise a world conquering army of evil souls. Unfortunately, not being the godliest of men, the two appear woefully inadequate for the task and spend most of the movie getting their butts handed to them by the rubber monster suits of Satan. Realizing that only men with pure hearts have any chance of defeating the devil, the pair reluctantly head off to the nearest confessional. However, having avoided the sacrament for ages, each has quite a long and VERY detailed list of sins to unload on the poor unsuspecting priest. Their transgressions no longer on their conscience, the duo find themselves invisible to the dark lord… but only for as long as they can remain pure. Which isn’t really their forte. Chaos ensues.

    Obviously, these two guys would be among the last ones you’d expect to be entrusted with a mission from God. But as this week’s readings point out, that’s pretty much always the case. Isaiah exclaims, “I am a man of unclean lips!” Paul bemoans, “I am the least of the apostles!” And Peter states flatly, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” In His mercy, however, God never waits on someone “worthy” of His work. (Just because He has infinity to bide His time, doesn’t mean He wants to.) Instead He puts the task in the hands of those of us who are simply willing to step forward and say “Here I am, send me!” As the traditional Prayer of Access says, “We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies.” After that, just like in Soulkeeper, God handles the rest.


    Anonymous said...

    Why only evil souls? Ca va a little bit pas, non?

    I mean, it stands to reason that the devil would have no power over souls already received at least into Purgatory. But by the same token, the devil has no power over the bodies of the dead, even of the condemned -- or at least, no more power than he has over any other bits of creation, which is to say, corruption, but not destruction.

    So, in what way could the devil use those souls already in his demesne, within the natural world, to make of them an all-conquering army? Are we talking the evil undead, again, here? Or untouchable ghosts who somehow have the ability to affect what they can't be affected by?

    (Sorry if this rather fails on the "suspension of disbelief" thingy; I'm afraid I've been dramatically humor-impaired all day today.)


    EegahInc said...

    Sorry, I'm trying to keep these "movie of the week" things under 500 words because I thinking about posting them to Flixter. The down side is that they're a little thin on detail.

    This is one of the few Sci-Fi originals I actually enjoy, but... it's still a Sci-Fi original. So, yeah, they mess up the theology. In this movie's world the stone allows the souls of various sociopaths to displace the souls of the living and take over their bodies. This allows the antichrist to have his demons and an army of living nutcases to do his bidding. It's pure fantasy, but you have to have your macguffin to get things rolling. Like I said, the main attraction is that the good guys and bad guys are who they're supposed to be, which is getting rarer in movies these days.

    Anonymous said...

    [reboot suspension of disbelief]
    [upgrade humor chip]

    So, sort of a low-budget goat-burner, then...

    ...and an army of living nutcases to do his bidding.

    I'm in mind of that scene in MiB, when our hero first sees the big wall-screen tracking anthropomorphic aliens. Whom might we suspect of being unnaturally sociopathic and nutty? Oh, my!


    Rocket Scientist said...

    Great fun! I'll have to look this one up. Loved your comment about Sci-Fi originals. Badmovies.org gives 4 extra points (in their "How to Find a Bad Movie") for any one which "Says that it is a Sci-Fi Channel original production". :)

    EegahInc said...

    I bet the Vatican already has a big wall-screen like that down in the secret archives (right next to the real Bible and the bones of Jesus). Hmm, that gives me some story ideas for a bad movie. Wonder if I could pitch them as a Sc-Fi, er... SyFy original?