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Customer Review

on February 27, 2010
Prison is only available on region 2 dvd by optimum, while this film isn't widely known, I thought it was very underrated and should have reached cult status during it's release in the late 80's. From the height of the eighties horror boom, featuring a terrific cast and some intricate gory death scenes comes Prison. Predictably enough it is set in a prison but this particular prison has been re-opened after twenty years and is seriously run down. Not only is it run by a sadistic warden but it is also being haunted by the spirit of an executed man who was innocent. There are plenty of good, if clichéd, characters and even without the supernatural deaths this would be an especially nasty place to get locked up. The film is well directed and quite creepy at times with some spectacular death sequences. Prison was Renny Harlin's first American film, and also the movie that gave him the directing-job on A Nightmare on Elm Street part 4. I have no idea what the budget was on this flick, but it looked very slick and expensive. It's a great location and filled with some good actors to. Viggo Mortensen is an interesting hero, but doesn't have that same charisma like he has nowadays. Something to do with age I guess. Lane Smith plays the warden, and is electrifying in his role probably one of the best roles he's ever done. But in my opinion the star of the film is the prison itself, which makes the whole movie in a different league than many of the other horror movies of it's time. It's Grey and dark, and the production values are very convincing. Of course the special effects are important, and here we get some really cool stuff. It's never a bloodbath, but it's gory and graphic and has some very nice-looking murder-sequences. Optimum Releasing released this classic 80's horror on dvd without any special features however it's the only place you can find this film unless you have the region 2 Dragon Film Entertainment release from Germany which actually has special features but it's alot harder to find.
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