Red Heat has an (undeserved) reputation as an exploitative Women in Prison film. Not surprising, perhaps, given that’s how it’s marketed these days. But its standout feature is not sleaze, but the same sort of xenophobia that characterises prison films like Midnight Express (1978) and In Hell (2003). Who would have thought? (more…)
Posted on September 6th, 2016 at 9:02 pm. Updated on September 6th, 2016 at 9:02 pm.
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. (more…)
Posted on June 18th, 2016 at 8:57 pm. Updated on June 26th, 2016 at 1:57 pm.
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. (more…)
Posted on April 11th, 2016 at 9:43 pm. Updated on April 11th, 2016 at 9:53 pm.
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. (more…)
Posted on March 14th, 2016 at 4:23 pm. Updated on March 14th, 2016 at 4:32 pm.
Four unremarkable boys from Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood. It’s the late ’60s. All four are sent to juvenile detention in upstate New York after a prank gone wrong (a hot dog trolley allowed to career down subway steps) nearly kills a man. At the juvenile centre, the Wilkinson Home for Boys, they are repeatedly beaten, raped and tortured by several guards. (more…)
Posted on August 22nd, 2015 at 5:27 pm. Updated on August 22nd, 2015 at 5:27 pm.
OK, OK… like the odd filmed play or opera about prison on DVD, this might not strictly fit the definition of a prison movie. But it’s not so different to many movies that are filmed in studios with disjointed plots, shoddy sets and stagy dialogue. (more…)
Posted on August 2nd, 2015 at 8:18 pm. Updated on September 19th, 2015 at 10:45 pm.
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.
Shadow: Dead Riot appears to be based on a premise that the same sort of people who watch salacious Women-in-Prison films with shower scenes and predatory lesbian guards will also like zombies and gore and exploding body parts. It’s probably solid thinking from a marketing perspective, but the two elements here have rather clumsily been patched together. (more…)
Posted on June 28th, 2015 at 1:34 pm. Updated on June 28th, 2015 at 1:34 pm.
To say that this is the best prison zombie movie I’ve seen is not saying much. But it is, even if it doesn’t contain any zombies. (more…)
Posted on March 16th, 2015 at 7:35 pm. Updated on March 16th, 2015 at 7:35 pm.
Sadly, this is a crime thriller, not a prison movie. It’s also a movie about strategy, but not as much as its laboured chess metaphor would want you to believe. It’s more of an old fashioned shoot ’em up heist movie, with liberal doses of intrigue and black humour, and a master-apprentice theme. (more…)
Posted on October 21st, 2014 at 9:22 pm. Updated on January 1st, 2017 at 9:03 am.