Who would think that getting a bunch of murderers involved in a prison production of Sondheim’s musical adaptation of Sweeney Todd - the vengeful, serial murdering barber - would be a good idea? Why not get the local chapter of Sexaholics Anonymous to make up the chorus in Don Giovanni as well? But not only is this the basis of this BBC production, it appears - extraordinarily - that it was inspired by just such a production in which its director, Francesca Joseph, was involved. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on June 22nd, 2017 at 10:01 pm. Updated on June 22nd, 2017 at 10:07 pm.
It’s a colossal problem for one-joke comedies when the one joke is not not particularly funny. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on June 11th, 2017 at 8:53 pm. Updated on June 11th, 2017 at 9:13 pm.
Low budget horror: three words that should strike trepidation into each and every audient. But The Evil Gene manages to come up with a twist or two that sets it apart from many others, which is to say that it is not an unmitigated disaster. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on June 3rd, 2017 at 9:56 pm. Updated on June 3rd, 2017 at 9:56 pm.
Wrath of the Crows is an Italian, English-language religious-fantasy-horror production, featuring one of those boutique prisons that looks like a real prison from the wide outdoor shots, but like the entire prison consists of just five movie set cells and only two staff once the action moves inside. And, to my surprise, a lot of people don’t seem to mind such things. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on May 27th, 2017 at 8:51 pm. Updated on May 27th, 2017 at 8:51 pm.
This is also known as Escape from Death Row, but why, I’m not sure. For starters, there is no Death Row, and secondly, why would you even bother to seek an alternative title to Mean Frank and Crazy Tony, for goodness’ sake? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on May 17th, 2017 at 9:33 pm. Updated on May 17th, 2017 at 9:41 pm.
‘Distractedly’ is the English translation of this film’s French title. How does a prison director fall for a prisoner not much more than half his age? Distractedly, derangedly, stupidly. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on May 10th, 2017 at 9:11 pm. Updated on May 10th, 2017 at 9:11 pm.
How do five millionaires behave when they land in prison at the same time? “I see no reason why the Warden should object to uniforms by our own tailor,” moans Harold Kellogg (Thurston Hall), pulling at his ready-made prison uniform. “.. No style, poor material and probably even secondhand,” whines his partner-in-crime, Bruce Vander (Raymond Walburn), in total agreement. And there are plenty more jolly japes as the rich newcomers turn up their noses at the prison food and bunk beds, have to do manual labour… and mix with poor people. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on May 4th, 2017 at 10:30 pm. Updated on May 4th, 2017 at 10:30 pm.
Chattahoochee. Is it a prison for mentally ill prisoners, or psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane? It’s a fine line, but if you’re looking for a prison movie, it’s the latter, I’m afraid. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 25th, 2017 at 5:32 pm. Updated on April 25th, 2017 at 5:32 pm.
Throughout this quintessentially English television play my mind kept oddly wandering back to that string of South Korean anti-capital punishment movies - like The Executioner (2009) and Harmony (2010) - often featuring kind, reformed, elderly prisoners who present no risk to the community, but who are still destined to be executed. Danny Lee (Tony Selby) is none of those things, but more like Lee Yong-gu in Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013); an honest, loving and devoted family man, and also a gullible simpleton, around whom this appeal to the emotions in support of the abolition of capital punishment is wrapped after he too is sentenced to death. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 16th, 2017 at 11:14 pm. Updated on April 18th, 2017 at 8:36 pm.
The daughter of a professor, Gabrielle Carey rose to fame as a 20-year-old when her autobiographical teenage surfie-girl novel, Puberty Blues, co-written with her best friend, Kathy Lette, was published in 1979. Within a few short years Carey and Lette had fallen out and had nothing to do with each other. Lette’s life trajectory was somewhat different to Carey’s; she was later to become rich and even more famous after marrying high-flying barrister and TV personality Geoffrey Robertson QC (whom she met in 1988), while Carey’s identification with the underdog was cemented when she visited Parramatta Gaol as a reporter in June 1979 and promptly fell in love with prisoner Terry Haley. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 9th, 2017 at 6:13 pm. Updated on April 9th, 2017 at 6:13 pm.