PRISON (1987) Reviews and overview

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prison 1988 movie poster

‘Horror has a new home.’

Prison is a 1987 American supernatural horror film starring Viggo Mortensen and directed by Renny Harlin (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4Deep Blue Sea; Exorcist: The Beginning; Devil’s Pass) from a screenplay by C. Courtney Joyner (Lurking Fear; From a Whisper to a Scream).

It was filmed at the Old State Prison in Rawlins, Wyoming with many of its residents on the cast and crew. It was produced by Irwin Yablans (Hell NightHalloween) and executive produced by Charles Band.





In 1956, inmate Charlie Forsythe swallowed 60,000 volts of electricity for a murder he did not commit.

When Creedmore Prison is reopened after thirty years, it has not been standing empty. Charlie Forsythe is back – still charged with electric heat. Waiting for Eaton Sharpe (Lane Smith) – the man who stood by as Forsythe rode the electric chair.

viggo mortensen

Forsythe quickly makes up for lost time as his vengeance rises to a fever pitch of violent fury. Burke (Viggo Mortensen) and the other inmates soon realize that they will all be slaughtered unless Forsythe is allowed to repay his long-standing debt. With the lives of Creedmore in the balance, Sharpe and Forsythe are finally brought face-to-rotting-face in a duel that will pit Forsythe’s supernatural rage against Sharpe’s bloodthirsty instinct for survival…

prison electric chair


Prison sees him [Renny Harlin] deftly framing wild visuals and fantastic subject matter within a realistic depiction of the all-too-human tragedy that is incarceration. Most of us don’t demand profundity from a horror film, and granted, we don’t find it here, but Prison deserves props for being much smarter (and more dignified) than most of us expect a B-movie to be.” John W Bowen,

“A couple of interesting gore set pieces and a truly amazing location make for an atmospheric and moody chiller that’s not a bad way to kill an evening … the director uses the authenticity of the set to maximum effect, as the prison becomes as much a character in the film as any of the inmates portrayed by the human actors that were cast.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock Pop!

“For once, it would appear that Band’s artists were firing on all creative cylinders to make Prison second only to Re-Animator as one of the few Empire movies you don’t have to apologise for whenever you pop it in the DVD player in full view of your peers.” Empire of the ‘B’s





Buy: Prison (Collector’s Edition) [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]


On October 10, 2016, Prison was released in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD by 88 Films.

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