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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2013
A young drifter gets sent down for a crime he didn't commit and has to use his fists in order to not be passed around like currency. He quickly joins the inmates boxing club and starts to float like a butterfly, making friends and enemies in the process but when a lucrative offer comes around in the form of a boxing tournament, where horny jail tramps and freedom are the prize, will he have the moves in order to be 'hey number one'..?
Amusing boxing comedy with elements of drama and erm. . . brotherly love. Ive never been a big fan of prison movies but this is a good enough entry in the subgenre and its easy to see why it led to a couple of sequels. The acting is a bit ropey (pun intended!) but the dialogue and action is champion (pun also intended), with a light hearted, yet frank and at times brutal directorial eye. The old trainer dude steals the show and some of the hairstyles are worth there (considerable) weight in gold. Despite the fact that there are indeed a lot of sweaty men in this, it's actually quite good and much better than some reviews, which are a little below the belt (sorry!), would have you believe..
I got the Arrow version with the purple cover, which also seems to include Penitentiary 2 as bonus!! Thats right, the full movie! Cheers Arrow! However i haven't watched this yet, so a confirmation update will soon follow! Recommended to fans of american exploitation movies (or people that like watching sweaty men hit one another!).
Update: Yep this version contains both the first and second Penitentiary films. But the print on the sequel could've been better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 19 March 2012
A classic low budget Boxing Prison movie that get's a good release from Arrow.

Penitentiary is low budget and also a great advert for people not to end up in Prison (especially American ones) unless you can seriously look after yourself. Shot on a miniscule budget mainly on the campus of UCLA and a derelict unused prison it looks better than it should even with some not so great acting.

The release contains an interesting Directors commentary and a feature on Penitentiary 2 (not sure why it doesn't include one for this movie) and that is pretty much it.

Since it is a budget release by Arrow and is priced as such it's still a good release.

4 stars from me.
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on 21 February 2015
This was a purchase to replace a VHS copy so I knew what I was getting when I purchased. Some good comedy moments in the fight scenes.
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