A "Trashterpiece" For All Generations: The Soultangler DVD Review + Screenshots

Another little-seen film gets a nice dvd release from the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA).

Studio: American Genre Film Archive (AGFA)

Release Date: 1987 (Video) / March 13th, 2018 (dvd)

Run Time: 90 Minutes (1 Hour 30 Minutes) (Wide Release) / 62 Minutes (1 Hour 2 Minutes) (Director's Cut)

Region Code: REGION FREE

Picture: 480p (1.33:1 Aspect Ratio)

Sound: English Dolby Digital 2.0

Starring: Tom Bawna, Pierre Deveaux, Jamie Kinser, and Louise Millman

Written by Pat Bishow and Lance Laurie

Directed by Pat Bishow

Rating: NR (Strong Graphic Violence and Some Language)

soultangler title card


Commentary with director Pat Bishow

The Soultangler (Director’s Cut) (1h 2m, SD)

Behind the Scenes Footage (12m 14s, SD)

The Soultangler (Trailer) (55s, SD)

The Dead of Night Town (Trailer) (1m, SD)

Hypnolovewheel “Wow” (2m 57s, SD)

For a film that was barely seen even during the video store boom of the 80’s and 90’s, I was impressed with the number of special features this disc has. We get two versions of the film (Director’s Cut and Wide Release Version) which are great to look at one after the other to see how the film differs. We also get a great commentary track from the film’s director. He talks about everything under the sun and there isn’t a dead spot during the whole thing. The behind the scenes footage is really interesting especially for those who like to see who films are made. We also get two trailers, one for the film and another for another film that the director made, as well as a music video also directed by Bishow. The features here are really entertaining and full of insights into how films like this are made. I highly recommend giving these features a watch and/or listen.


The disc is REGION FREE.

doctor sued for looking meancingly at a patient


The Soultangler was shot on 16mm, but the filmmakers edited the film on video (which was a common practice for low budget filmmakers as they would not have to pay the cost of editing on film.) The film seems to be lost, but the director held onto the 1” master tape and that is what is used here (also the reason why there is no blu-ray version of this release). The 1” master is in pretty good condition with a few hiccups here and there. There are a few times where the video suffers from brief video bumps, but these bumps are few and far between. All in all, this is a good-looking transfer.

The sound, a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, is decent. The sound mixing and recording are all over the place with some of the dialogue being dubbed in later. This results in a wonky soundtrack where some of the dialogue is muffled. Luckily, most of the soundtrack sounds good, but those instances do make some of the plot points a bit hard to follow.

men are burned with a blue flame


A mad scientist name Anton Lupesky invents a drug that can free the soul of the user and allow them to possess the bodies of corpses. The horrible side effect is sometimes fatal hallucinations that leave the survivors incurably mad.

The Soultangler came to my attention when this dvd was announced and the trailer looked crazy. When I finally was able to sit down with the film I found that it did live up to the hype, but only the shorter director's cut. The longer wide release version of the film takes to long to get going and can be confusing at times. The director was forced to shoot scenes to pad the run time to 90 minutes and it shows. Now, don't get me wrong about the film. It is enjoyable in both of its iterations but the wide release version is painfully slow at times while the director's cut is leaner and meaner. Also, both versions contain all of the gore on display so you won't have to worry about watching both versions to get the gore. The Soultangler is an entertaining film that has great gore effects and a love for the films that it is trying to emulate.

a skull looks on proudly at what is happening offscreen


The Soultangler is a down and dirty independent film that uses every trick in the book to entertain its audience. Most of it works, but some of it, mostly the needless padding scenes, don’t work. Luckily there is a shorter, tighter version of the film in the special features section that helps with most of the issues I had with the film. This is the type of film that you would dare your friends to watch at a sleepover and then keep it in your memory until it is released on dvd or blu-ray.

The blu-ray, from AGFA, is really nice. The picture and audio quality are the best that they will ever be and the special features, while not as numerous as other films of the era, are fantastic and worth the time. I really had a great time with this release and highly recommend it to horror fans and those looking for a film that doesn’t shy away from the gore.


tiny woman interviews giant woman

man walks through airport trying not to look suspicous

woman runs awkwardly next to a fence

the zodiac killer realizes that he didn't put eyeholes in his mask

man tries to rock mustache but soon realizes that it is the wrong look

woman looks intently at something.

woman pretends to read book

this is the fakest looking police station of all time

hugh hefner is interviewed in his awkward hippie phase

a dance off is about to happen. who will win? stay tuned

talkin' in front of a dirty lake

this is what the grown up child of jeffrey combs and jeffrey dahmer would look like

the guts have a face. never noticed that before

i wonder what made him lose his head. couldn't be because of those hands in the frame.

these are supposed to be the police in town.

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