“Prison” (1988) REVIEW


I liked this movie. I mean, I think I liked this movie. I don’t feel I’m being fair giving it such a low rating since I wasn’t paying attention half the time. But perhaps the fact that it didn’t hold my attention is saying something. In my defense, the print I watched wasn’t the cleanest – it was murky, old. Perhaps if I saw it on Blu-ray or something I might’ve been more invested. I am, by no means, saying a film needs to be pristine to be appreciated. However, the version I saw…the quality was crap.

That all said, the movie has major pedigree! Renny Harlin-directed, and starring a pre-fame Viggo Mortensen, alongside familiar faces Lane Smith, Chelsea Field, Tom Everett; and bit players like ‘Tiny’ Lister, Larry Flash Jenkins, Hal Landon Jr.,…even Kane Hodder!

Plus, it was written/produced by Irwin Yablans (producer of “Halloween”) and Charles Band (creator of every straight-to-video horror movie), respectively.

So where’d they go wrong? I can’t really put my finger on it. I will say, however, the movie is filmed with some sort of bluish filter on the lens – or they were using blue lights – whatever it is, the movie is like BLUE, the whole thing. And while it’s a unique, creative choice, it just made the film feel monotonous and washed out. But then, perhaps it was the print I watched.

Lastly, it should be noted, this was one of several “executed-prisoner-comes-back-to-life-and-seeks-vengeance” films released within the same two year period. Others include “Shocker”, “The Horror Show”, “Destroyer”, and “the Chair”.

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