» Hellcage: Inmate 611 Part 2 (2007, Japan)

Hellcage: Inmate 611 Part 2 - Harumi Nemoto as Reika Wada and

Fans of Akira Kiuchi have every right to feel cheated. Kiuchi plays Sayaka Mizschima - the Inmate 611 of the title - but gets to say, by my reckoning, just six words (maybe fewer in Japanese) in the entire film (’Five’ when counting off, ‘M’am’, ‘No, m’am’, and ‘I’m terrible’ when asked about her ping pong prowess). There is way more ping pong than Sayaka. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on June 26th, 2016 at 1:49 pm. Updated on June 26th, 2016 at 1:49 pm.

» Hellhole: Inmate 611 (2007, Japan)

Hellhole: Inmate 611 - Akira Kiuchi as Sayaka Mizushima and Jaguar Yokota as Guard Keiko Mikawa

An odd, boring film. Oddly boring. On the basis of a number of reviewers bemoaning the lack of lesbian sex and shower scenes, I thought that this might be a women’s prison movie with something to say. It isn’t and doesn’t. It does, however, aim to educate, giving a helpful rundown on the prisoners’ day and explaining various aspects of prison life - such as that the reception process is known as ‘red fall’ because inmates used to wear red clothing, and that prison food is known as ‘Mossou chow’, a mossou being the bowl from which the food is eaten. These are useful pieces of information. But all this illumination is interrupted by several less edifying and rather tedious sex scenes where the gratuitous wearing of underwear and draped bedclothes adds substantially to the degree of difficulty. And very little else happens in the rest of the film. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on June 18th, 2016 at 8:57 pm. Updated on June 26th, 2016 at 1:57 pm.

» Back Door to Heaven (1939, USA)

Back Door to Heaven - Wallace Ford as Frankie Rogers

pa·thos \ˈpā-ˌthäs, -ˌthȯs, -ˌthōs n. 1. quality in speech, writing, events &c., that excites pity, sympathy, sadness 2. this film. It’s full of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on June 14th, 2016 at 9:55 pm. Updated on June 14th, 2016 at 9:55 pm.

» Train to Alcatraz (1948, USA)

Train to Alcatraz - Iron Eyes Cody as Geronimo, Don 'Red' Barry as Doug Forbes and Kenneth MacDonald as Guard Reeves

Thirteen shackled, desperate prisoners in a special compartment in train #307, headed for Alcatraz and under the control of Marshal Mark Stevens (Ralph Dunn) and just three armed prison guards. The next carriage along contains some anxious passengers, two sporting shooters, a gangster’s moll and a girl who saw one of the prisoners under escort on a platform before he joined the rest (and was immediately convinced of his innocence). What could possibly go wrong?   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on June 5th, 2016 at 11:17 am. Updated on June 5th, 2016 at 11:17 am.

» Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2015, USA)

Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre - a most likely collection of prisoners: Skye McDonald as Sarah Mason, Cindy Lucas as Anita Collins, Tabitha Marie as Samantha Pines, Christine Nguyen as Michelle Akila, and Amy Holt as Shannon Hastings

My wife walked in during one of the opening scenes as five female prisoners are being loaded into a van. She rolled her eyes. “These are prisoners? All blondes, all models? Really?” She couldn’t have been more wrong, of course - two are dark-haired and one is more porn star than model. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on May 30th, 2016 at 10:08 pm. Updated on May 30th, 2016 at 10:08 pm.

» Ισοβίτες / Isovites / Boobheads (2008, Greece)

Boobheads - Vangelis Mourikis as Panos Doe and Takis Spiridakis as Lohagos ('Captain')

Prison comedy is tough. And it’s even tougher when it takes 1 hour 5 minutes before the first of the two main protagonists lands in jail. That’s a lot of scene setting. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on May 21st, 2016 at 5:32 pm. Updated on May 21st, 2016 at 5:32 pm.

» Cellblock Sisters: Banished Behind Bars (1995, USA)

Cellblock Sisters: Banished Behind Bars - Gail Harris as May and Annie Wood as April Conner

May Conner (Gail Harris) is 19* and in prison. She’s a Miss Goody Two-Shoes… a little naive when it comes to crime and punishment, and is unused to prison lingo. “They found a second set of finger things.” “Prints,” says her street-wise older sister, April (Annie Wood). “Prints, right.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on May 16th, 2016 at 9:59 pm. Updated on May 16th, 2016 at 9:59 pm.

» Rosewater (2014, USA)

Rosewater - Gael Garcia Bernal as Maziar Bahari

I find that the problem with many movies that aren’t about prison, but are set in prison, is that they just aren’t enough about prison. That’s not a problem here. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on May 13th, 2016 at 8:50 pm. Updated on May 13th, 2016 at 8:50 pm.

» Bычислитeль / Vychislitel / Calculator (2014, Russia)

Calculator - Evgeniy Mironov as Ervin Kann and Anna Chipovskaya as Anna Kristina Schulz

The year? Not sure, but it’s 1,000-odd years since humans left Earth and started populating other planets. Anna Kristina Schulz (Anna Chipovskaya) lives on a barely inhabitable one, XT-59, which is prosperous against the odds, but its people are under the yoke of a totalitarian regime. For the ‘benefit of society’ its leaders have cut the planet off from the outside world and have placed its populace under constant surveillance. Anna Kristina has dreamt of getting out - away from her hated job The System arranged for her, and even further away from the even more hated marriage that was similarly arranged. She does sort of get away; she kills the municipal inspector from whom she sought her divorce certificate but who molests her… and ends up a prisoner, a long way away from her previous life. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on May 7th, 2016 at 8:44 pm. Updated on May 7th, 2016 at 9:40 pm.

» Hari ng selda: Anak ni baby ama 2 (2002, Philippines)

Hari ng selda: Anak ni baby ama - Robin Padilla as Anghel

I haven’t had access to this with subtitles, sadly. And I’m not even sure of what the title means; Tagalog is notoriously tricky. I think it means something like: ‘King of the cell: Son of the baby father’, but it could just as easily be ‘King of the cell: his fling with a little rich kid.’ Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on April 25th, 2016 at 7:57 pm. Updated on April 25th, 2016 at 7:57 pm.