The Vintagent Classics: The films that inspired us.


Run Time: 1:50:00
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Writer: Mark Steven Johnson (screenplay)
Key Cast: Nicholas Cage, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliot


Long ago, he made a deal… to save someone he loved… What he didn’t know was the price he would have to pay…

Ghost Rider is a 2007 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film was written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, known for helming 2003’s Daredevil previously, and stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider, with Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Sam Elliott, Donal Logue, Matt Long, and Peter Fonda in supporting roles.


When motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze sells his soul to the Devil to save his father’s life, he is transformed into the Ghost Rider, the Devil’s own bounty hunter, and is sent to hunt down sinners.

PLOT: The demon Mephistopheles sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve the contract of San Venganza for control of a thousand corrupt souls. Seeing that the agreement would give Mephistopheles the power to bring hell on Earth, the Rider refuses and escapes with it. In 1986, Mephistopheles reaches out to 17-year-old Johnny Blaze, offering to cure his father’s cancer in exchange for Johnny’s soul. The next morning, Johnny awakens to discover the cancer cured, but his father dies later that same day from burns sustained in a stunt accident. Johnny accuses Mephistopheles of causing his father’s death, but Mephistopheles considers his side of the contract fulfilled and promises to see Johnny again.

Mephistopheles’ son Blackheart comes to Earth and seeks aid from the Hidden (three fallen angels bonded with the elements of air, earth, and water) to find the lost contract of San Venganza.

In 2007, Johnny has become a famous stunt motorcycle rider. He runs into his former sweetheart Roxanne Simpson, now a news reporter, whom he abandoned after his father’s death. He convinces her to attend a dinner date.

Mephistopheles makes Johnny the new Ghost Rider and offers to return his soul if he defeats Blackheart. Johnny transforms into the Ghost Rider, his flesh burning off his skeleton, and kills the earth angel Gressil. He then uses the Penance Stare, a power that causes mortals to feel all the pain they have caused others, searing their soul, on a street thug. The next day, he meets a man called the Caretaker, who knows about the Ghost Rider’s history. He assures Johnny that what happened was real and will happen again, especially at night, when he is near an evil soul.

Johnny leaves to find Roxanne, who’s reporting the previous night’s events on the news. At home, Johnny tries to control his firepower. Roxanne comes to visit before leaving town, and Johnny reveals himself as the Devil’s bounty hunter. Unconvinced, she walks away in disbelief. After brief imprisonment for murders Blackheart committed, Johnny kills the air angel Abigor and escapes from the police. He returns to the Caretaker, who tells him of his predecessor Carter Slade, a Texas Ranger who hid the contract of San Venganza. At home, Johnny discovers that Blackheart has killed his friend Mack and taken Roxanne hostage, intending to kill her if Johnny does not deliver the contract. Johnny tries to use the Penance Stare on Blackheart, but it proves ineffective as Blackheart has no soul. Blackheart then orders Johnny to retrieve the contract and bring it to him in San Venganza.

Johnny returns to the Caretaker, demanding the contract to save Roxanne. The Caretaker reveals that it is hidden inside a spade, telling Johnny that he is more powerful than his predecessors because he sold his soul for love rather than greed, before giving the contract. The Caretaker then transforms with Blaze, revealing that the Caretaker was actually Carter Slade. Slade then leads Johnny to San Venganza and gives him a lever-action shotgun before bidding farewell and apparently having finally shaken off the curse, fades into dust as he rides away.

After killing the water angel Wallow, Johnny gives Blackheart the contract. He transforms into the Ghost Rider to subdue Blackheart, but is rendered powerless at sunrise. Using the contract to absorb the thousand souls, Blackheart attempts to finish Johnny off, but is distracted when Roxanne uses Johnny’s discarded shotgun to separate them. Johnny shoots Blackheart with the gun, holding it in the shadows to allow him to enhance it with his power. Keeping his own body in shadow, he transforms again and uses his Penance Stare to render Blackheart catatonic by burning all the corrupt souls within him. Mephistopheles appears and declares the contract is complete, offering to take back the curse of the Ghost Rider. Determined not to let anyone else make another deal, Johnny declines, declaring that he will use his power against the demon and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated, Mephistopheles vows to make Johnny pay and disappears with Blackheart’s body. Roxanne tells Johnny that he has his second chance and kisses him. Johnny rides away on his motorcycle, preparing for his new life as the Ghost Rider.


Buy/Rent Ghost Rider (2007)

Buy/Rent Ghost Rider 2: Spirit Of Vengeance (2011)

Read about the origin in Marvel Comics.

Fun Fact: My Dad, Bill Mantlo (the prolific comic book writer) wrote Issue #16 of Ghost Rider in 1973.


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