Renny Harlin's Prison (1988) is an underrated gem. Released in 1988, the same year he also made A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Prison is a visually impressive little seen film that flew under the radar. This was Harlin's first foray into American horror before he delved straight into action a few years later with films like Die Hard 2, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane , Cliffhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight. To be honest, he hasn't made a decent film since 1996, with the late 80's through the 90's being his best output, but I still hold out hope that the guy can once again deliver a solid action film. Yet, I'm cautious because I'm not digging the new style of filmmaking he's adopted lately and fear the the king of slow-mo who gave us these solid films is long gone.
I love Prison. It's beautifully shot, atmospheric and with a healthy dose of decent effects. More than anything, you'll immediately notice that this thing looks beautiful. This was when Harlin had something to prove though so he went all out to make this thing look amazing and he certainly succeeds.
You can check out my review from back in Sept. '11 here:
Prison is set to release in the U.S. on February 19, 2013.
I've been waiting many, many years for this to get an official release since all we've had up until now was a VHS and Laserdisc release, none in a proper aspect ratio. So once again Shout! Factory delivers another amazing release to add to their already impressive recent and upcoming releases. Finally we get a beautiful high def transfer but also a new documentary and a few other special features. Plus! If you pre-order, you get a limited edition poster!
Here are the specs via Shout! Factory:
FROM THE PRODUCER OF HALLOWEEN COMES A NEW FORCE OF EVIL
Creedmore Prison becomes a supernatural battleground when the specter of Charlie Forsythe, a man executed for murder, returns seeking vengeance from the brutal guard, Ethan Sharpe, who was aware of his innocence. The lives of the inmates hang in the balance as Forsythe and Sharpe lock in demonic combat. Directed by Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Deep Blue Sea). Starring Viggo Mortensen (A History Of Violence, Eastern Promises), Chelsea Field (Dust Devil, The Dark Half) and Lane Smith (Red Dawn).
- Prison: Prison [Collector's Edition]
- Prison: Prison Poster
Audio Commentary with Director Renny Harlin
Hard Time: The Making of “Prison” – An all-new retrospective with Director Renny Harlin, Producer Irwin Yablans, Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, Actor Tom Everett, Stunt Coordinator Kane Hodder, Special Makeup Effects Creator John Carl Buechler, Executive Producer Charles Band, Composer Richard Band, Production Designer Philip Duffin, and Production Assistant Patrick Denver
U.S. Theatrical Trailer
Poster & Still Gallery
Original First-Draft Screenplay (PDF format)
|Discs: 2||Format: NTSC|
|Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1|
Yeah, I love Harlin's stuff too. I caught 12 Rounds the other day, man was that a waste of time. What's happened to him?ReplyDelete
The last one of his I truly enjoyed was Deep Blue Sea (and don't sue me but I sort of liked his Exorcist prequel too as a cheesy brainless horror flick!).
Prison is a pretty great little horror film. Love the atmosphere and special effects. Lane Smith owns the movie as the crazy warden.
The only issue I had was they kinda fudged the ending. What was up with Viggo looking exactly like Electric Chair guy? Felt like it was a reshot ending maybe?
Duuuuude, right?! I didn't understand that ending at all either. Like it was an afterthought for the filmmakers to kind of keep you guessing. Other than that, this is a great horror film. I'm still surprised we've never gotten a DVD release until now.Delete
And I hear you about Harlin. What the fuck happened to that guy?! I couldn't even finish 12 Rounds. I saw maybe 30 minutes and I was done. I had read somewhere in an interview where he stated he wanted to do something fresh and new by doing it documentary style. That was the biggest mistake and sorry, it was not fresh and new. Everybody does it that way now. If he had filmed it the way he did Die Hard 2 and Ford Fairlane, I could have liked it just for the ridiculous action. But his lazy technique drove me nuts!
Deep Blue Sea was really fun. But I never saw The Exorcist Prequel. I just kinda gave up on him. lol.
Yeah, I thought the whole Viggo looking like the killer was going to be some cool twist. Like he seemed to be the hero of the film but would turn out in the end to be the villain. Oh well, still a fun horror flick.Delete
I did finish 12 Rounds. I'll probably do a review of it soon, just to warn people off it.
Nice how some of the films we want so bad in decent form come out one by one, right? Now lets give Maniac Cop 2 this treatment next..please...ReplyDelete
Yes!! Maniac Cop 2!!!! Why hasn't this happened yet!?Delete