» 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.

» 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.