» 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.

» Riot (2015, USA)

riot-0

It surely can’t be coincidental that in 2015 we had the release of two prison movies in which a cop whose wife has been killed by a big-time criminal commits a major offence to get into prison to avenge his wife’s murder; the other being Vendetta. Perhaps the same story was pitched to several film-makers, and these two just happened to pick it up… unaware that the other had, too. Anyway, I’m not sure which I like better.. but this certainly wins in the novelty stakes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on April 19th, 2016 at 9:49 pm. Updated on April 19th, 2016 at 9:52 pm.

» Boys Behind Bars 3 (2015, UK)

Boys Behind Bars 3 - Debra Chant as Carol and Wade Radford as Darrell

The third episode of this trashy ‘cult exploitation franchise’ sees us return to Young Offenders Institution Barker’s Ludge and the unholy alliance between prisoner Darrell (Wade Radford) and pneumatic Wing Governor, Alison Muncher (Honey Bane). Its publicity claims a cult following, but this is as close to unwatchable as you can get; a following of any kind is remarkable. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on April 11th, 2016 at 9:43 pm. Updated on April 11th, 2016 at 9:53 pm.

» The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015, USA)

The Stanford Prison Experiment - Michael Angarano as 'guard' Christopher 'John Wayne' Archer and 'prisoners'

I’m not aware of any other psychology experiment that has spawned three films; I don’t think that poor Ivan Pavlov can boast even one movie, notwithstanding Pavlov’s Dog (2005). And I’m not sure why, after two perfectly sound movies in Das Experiment (2001) and The Experiment (2010), it was seen to be worthwhile to make yet another film based on Dr Philip Zimbardo’s famous 1971 experiment examining the psychology of prison - its impact on prisoners and guards. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 28th, 2016 at 11:59 am. Updated on March 28th, 2016 at 11:59 am.

» Vendetta (1986, USA)

Vendetta - Karen Chase as Laurie Collins, with a wrist lock on Kay Butler (Sandy Martin)

Vendetta has all the standard ’80s trademarks you’d expect - prisoners with big hair and wearing workout gear like they’d just stepped out of a Flashdance or Let’s Get Physical video - but no-one (at least in prison) seems to be held accountable for much. Wasn’t glasnost an ’80s thing? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 21st, 2016 at 8:00 pm. Updated on March 21st, 2016 at 8:00 pm.

» Boys Behind Bars 2 (2014, UK)

Boys Behind Bars 2 - Wade Radford as Darrell and Honey Bane as Mizz Alison Muncher

The first Boys Behind Bars (2013) was a cheap and nasty film saved from being solely an exercise in debasement by an engrossing performance by Wade Radford as the most diabolical of three prisoners who prey on a younger, vulnerable fourth. While Radford reprises his role as Darrell from the original film, this sequel has absolutely nothing to commend or redeem it. It is a very strong contender for the worst prison film I’ve seen. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 4:23 pm. Updated on March 14th, 2016 at 4:32 pm.

» Toy Story 3 (2010, USA)

Toy Story 3

I’d seen several ‘top prison movie’ lists that include Toy Story 3, but was a little dubious. I’d imagined toys escaping from a toy box and had guessed it was a very long bow to liken it to a prison breakout… a bit like trying to draw an analogy between the whale in Free Willy and a prisoner’s quest for freedom. But I was wrong; a prison escape (of sorts) it is. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 9th, 2016 at 11:23 am. Updated on March 9th, 2016 at 11:29 am.

» SPL2: A Time for Consequences (2015, China / Hong Kong)

SPL2: A Time for Consequences - Jing Wu as Chan Chi-Kit

Why is it that I have less difficulty with an absurd action flick out of Hong Kong - replete with series of extraordinary coincidences, implausible plot twists, and heroes and villains alike being shot, stabbed and pounded to little or no effect - than a similarly ludicrous movie out of Hollywood? I have no idea. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 5th, 2016 at 7:36 pm. Updated on April 27th, 2016 at 8:31 pm.

» No Escape (1994, USA)

No Escape - Ray Liotta as Captain John T Robbins

It’s the underpinning socio-ethical positions here that I find even harder to fathom than the whole action-movie-implausibility thing. Which is saying something. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on February 22nd, 2016 at 2:02 pm. Updated on February 22nd, 2016 at 2:02 pm.

» Boys Behind Bars (2013, UK)

Boys Behind Bars - Gavin Jackson as Lanks and Wade Radford as Darrell

Seen Stoic (2009)? Don’t bother seeing this one. Seen neither? Good for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on February 18th, 2016 at 10:14 am. Updated on March 3rd, 2016 at 6:26 pm.