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There's only one way out, and 100 fools stand in the way!
Too Sweet likes three things... Candy bars, makin love and fighting. Arrested while defending a beautiful hooker in a roadside diner brawl, he finds himself unjustly incarcerated in a violent prison hellhole where life is cheap and punks get owned by predatory lifers. There s only one way out... Victory in the ring!
Now Too Sweet has to fight for his freedom in series of boxing battles, all the while watching his back in the prison corridors, waiting for the cold sting of the shiv that might end his life.
Experience Jamaa Fanaka s extraordinary grindhouse classic Which is arguably the last great Blaxploitation flick and pray to God you never end up somebody s bitch in the PENITENARY!
Penitentiary is the first of many in a series depicting the harrowing prison existence of a convict who uses his wits and fists to survive. Leon Isaac Kennedy's character is thrown deep into the bowels of the prison system, where the only consistent truth is kill or be killed. To show his strength and gain respect from the other inmates, Kennedy must distinguish himself as a boxer, taking on all comers to save his own skin and regain his pride as a human being. Surprisingly effective in its harsh detailing of violent prison life, the film addresses the dehumanization of prisoners without excusing their crimes. Thought of as an exploitation picture, Penitentiary rises above its roots to provide a blunt and passionate look at one man's struggle on the inside. --Robert Lane --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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.
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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