The Stabbing

» Dance of the Steel Bars (2013, Philippines)

Dance of the Steel Bars - Joey Paras as Allona and Dingdong Dantes as Mando

I think nearly everyone has seen the YouTube clips of the dancers from the Philippines’ Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center. Because of those clips I expected this film - which I knew had been based around the prison’s stunning dance-based reforms - to be essentially a dance film… with a few dramatic threads attempting to hold it together. I couldn’t have been more wrong; to its credit (and no doubt its commercial disadvantage), it’s a prison drama with just a few dance routines woven into it. (more…)

Posted on November 15th, 2015 at 5:11 pm. Updated on November 15th, 2015 at 5:11 pm.

» Vendetta (2015, USA)

Vendetta - Dean Cain as Mason Danvers and Paul 'The Big Show' Wight as Victor Abbott

I feel for Dean Cain. I’m sure he wants to play serious prison roles, but in Dogboys (1998) he got to play an ex-Marine fighting killer prison dogs, and in New Alcatraz (2001) he had to play a palaeontologist fighting a giant prehistoric prison snake. Here he gets to play an ex-cop fighting a killer prison giant. (more…)

Posted on September 28th, 2015 at 9:47 pm. Updated on September 28th, 2015 at 9:49 pm.

» On the Job (2013, Philippines)

On the Job - Gerald Anderson as Daniel Benitez and Joel Torre as Mario 'Tatang' Maghari

Two contract killers and two honest cops in pursuit of them. Sounds simple, but this is anything but. The two killers are prisoners, briefly let out of prison and then sequestered away again after each hit. And the two cops find that they are looking for bigger fish to fry. (more…)

Posted on August 30th, 2015 at 9:22 am. Updated on August 30th, 2015 at 9:23 am.

» We are Monster (2014, UK)

We are Monster - Leeshon Alexander as Robert Stewart (with Shazat Latif as Officer Shah in the background)

The murder of 19-year-old Zahid Mubarek at London’s Feltham Young Offender Institution on 21 March 2000 posed some large, uncomfortable questions. The first-time offender from a Pakistani family was bludgeoned with a table leg wielded by 20-year-old Robert Stewart, a violent racist who had been placed in his cell some six weeks earlier. Whether it was deliberate, malicious act to place the two young men together, and why the prison failed to separate them despite many warning signs and as many as 15 opportunities to do so, became the focus of a belated official inquiry. Mubarek had been serving a 90-day sentence for the theft of £6 worth of razor blades, and had been due to be released just hours after he was attacked. He died in hospital a week later. We are Monster retells that story, largely from the perspective of the disturbed Stewart.

(more…)

Posted on August 9th, 2015 at 8:32 pm. Updated on August 9th, 2015 at 8:32 pm.

» The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015, USA)

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) - Laurence R Harvey as Dwight Butler and Dieter Laser as Warden Bill Boss

In the third part of this crass trilogy, writer and director Tom Six sets out again to provoke outrage and disgust. And in that, and pretty much that alone, he succeeds. (more…)

Posted on July 25th, 2015 at 1:15 pm. Updated on July 25th, 2015 at 1:19 pm.

» Rise (2014, Australia)

Rise - Nathan Wilson as Will McIntyre and Martin Sacks as Jimmy Cove

You know how sometimes one scene or one line in a movie just loses you, and you can’t find a way back in? Early in Rise nurse Will McIntyre (Nathan Wilson) is falsely accused of spiking the drink of and then raping a girl with whom he has had a one night stand. At his trial, the prosecutor asks the victim to tell the court what happened next. Falteringly, she begins with, “He had my arms pressed under…” and McIntyre’s barrister jumps up and interjects, “Your Honour, this is all hearsay evidence!” Eh? Really? (more…)

Posted on July 19th, 2015 at 1:38 pm. Updated on July 19th, 2015 at 1:42 pm.

» Chain Gang Girls - Nami: Shared Cell 42 (2007, Japan)

Chain Gang Girls - Yuka Kosaka as Nami Mizushima and Junichi Kawamoto as Warden Aihara

Nami Mizushima (Yuka Kosaka) is a determined young woman, intent on revenge. Innocent and framed by her prosecutor boyfriend over his killing of his lover, she is so controlled she remains continent after three days in a completely blackened room with her hands cuffed behind her back. (more…)

Posted on July 6th, 2015 at 9:02 pm. Updated on July 6th, 2015 at 9:02 pm.

» Dante 01 (2008, France)

Dante 01 - Lambert Wilson as Saint Georges

Wow. A prisoner of uncertain heritage is introduced into a crucifix-shaped spaceship and heals all with supernatural powers before fulfilling his special destiny. A little heavy on the religious symbolism, perhaps. (more…)

Posted on April 28th, 2015 at 8:25 pm. Updated on April 28th, 2015 at 8:25 pm.

» Righteous Ties (2006, South Korea)

Righteous Ties - Jeong Jae-yeong as Dong Chi-sung

Just at the moment I can’t think of a more oddball prison movie; two parts serious gangster flick, one part comedy and one part farce. Does it work? Not entirely, but it’s three parts entertaining. (more…)

Posted on April 11th, 2015 at 6:33 pm. Updated on April 11th, 2015 at 6:33 pm.

» Furnace (2007, USA)

Furnace - Clay Steakley as Scags, his hands melting on the supernaturally heated bars of his cell

Why does a supernatural being, capable of passing through walls and furiously intent on avenging past horrors, wait until someone opens up its resting place before wreaking havoc on the world?  You won’t find the answer here. (more…)

Posted on March 28th, 2015 at 8:57 pm. Updated on March 28th, 2015 at 9:19 pm.