PRISON OF THE DEAD (2000) Reviews and overview

 

‘There’s no parole… in Hell!’

Prison of the Dead is a 2000 American supernatural horror film directed by David DeCoteau [as Victoria Sloane] (Swamp Freak; 1313 movies; Creepozoids; et al) from a screenplay by Matthew Jason Walsh (Seven Dorms of Death; The Killer Eye; Bloodletting; et al). It stars Patrick Flood, Jeff Peterson and Sam Page.

Kristof, an eccentric rich young man, tricks his ex-college friends into getting back together for a reunion of sorts, under the pretense of a funeral.

The group of twenty-somethings is forced to spend the night in an old abandoned witches’ prison. During an Ouija board séance, the buddies accidentally unearth three dead executioners from their graves…

Reviews:

Prison of the Dead is barely 70 minutes, but a good portion of that is people talking. This is fine when they say outlandish, funny things, but there’s just as much meaningless chatter to pad out the runtime. Thankfully, it’s paced relatively well so there’s not really a long stretch of this…” Will Kouf, Silver Emulsion

” …the half-arsed attempt at creating atmosphere through the use of constant lightning strikes and thunder claps only served to show just how cheap this production really was. The Executioners themselves looked like cheap imitations of Ossorio’s Templar Knights (with the addition of glowing eyes), and the ghostly special effects were almost laughable.” Digital Retribution

“I think the film is too talky for its own good, but I imagine the budget limits forced the emphasis on dialogue over horror elements. Some humorous lines are here, however, as well as some melodrama from the more ham-fisted cast members. I wish this was a little wilder with the dialogue given how much talking there is…” Marc Fusion

“The only small redeeming factor in this movie is that it somehow escapes the unforgivable sin of being soul sucking and tedious at the same time. While stiff and lifeless, the dialog at least makes your brain work hard enough to not completely disengage with reality.” Kurt Astbury, 90 Lost Minutes

Prison of the Dead is a film that requires a very forgiving attitude from its audience, what with its typically dismal Full Moon acting, its untrained-guy-with-a-Casio score, and its ADD-in-action script. There’s no denying the obvious inexperience of the cast, but there are a couple of people here— Patrick Flood foremost among them— who could turn into actual actors if given the chance.” Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“It is bad enough to provide a few laughs but do not under any circumstances part with money to watch this film. It is every bit as bad as the cheap cover art would suggest.” Eat Horror

Main cast:

  • Patrick Flood … Kristof St. Pierce
  • Jeff Peterson … Bill – Ring of DarknessAncient Evil: Scream of the Mummy 
  • Sam Page … Calvin – The Brotherhood
  • Kim Ryan … Allie
  • Alicia Arden … Kat
  • Michael Guerin … Rory – Kraa! The Sea MonsterCurse of the Puppet Master; The Dentist
  • Debra Mayer … Michele
  • Claudiu Trandafir … Limo Driver – Dead in Tombstone; The Devil Inside; TranslymaniaFrankenstein & the Werewolf Reborn!Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis; GargoyleDark Asylum; et al

Filming locations:

Bucharest, Romania

Related:

The Ouija board – Its history and influence in modern culture – article