Before Renny Harlin did Die Hard 2 (or The Adventures of Ford Fairlane). Before Viggo Mortensen was in the Tolkien films. Before Tiny “Zeus” Lister was Deebo in Friday. Before Kane Hodder played Jason for the first time in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.
Before all these things, there was Prison.
In 1964, inmate Charlie Forsythe (Mortensen) is electrocuted for a crime he did not commit. And thirty years later, when the Creedmore Prison is re-opened, his spirit is there and ready to get revenge on Eaton Sharpe (Lane Smith, district attorney Jim Trotter III in My Cousin Vinny), who knew he was innocent. Now, he’s the warden!
Unless Forsythe repays the debt he owes, every inmate will die, including Burke (also played by Mortensen). And what a cast of felons, including Lincoln Kilpatrick (Chosen Survivors), Tom Everett (Death Wish 4: The Crackdown), André De Shields (The Wiz himself!), the previously noted Lister, Larry Jenkins (Fletch), Hodder and more. And according to IMDB, “Most of the inmate extras in the film were portrayed by real-life inmates from a nearby prison to add realism to their performances. The armed guards on the towers were, of course, armed with live ammo at the time. Stephen E. Little (Rhino) was a former Hollywood stuntman, who was still a member of SAG, who happened to be serving time for manslaughter that he committed during a bar-room brawl.”
Helping the convicts is a doctor who advises the prison be closed, played by Chelsea Field (Teela from Masters of the Universe and wife of Scott Bakula).
Sure, it’s the same idea as Destroyer, Shocker and House 3/The Horror Show. But it’s entertaining enough and has a surprising amount of gore. It won’t bore you, that’s for sure. There’s a great scene of a convict’s guts exploding onto the mess hall as everyone tries to eat that I loved!
Scream Factory put this out awhile back. You should grab it and see what you think.