Prison of the Dead (2000 Video)
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The acting and effects, while far from Oscar-worthy are, like all Full Moon films, competent. The executioners have an interesting dark figure and profile, but their faces looked more like budget Halloween masks, particularly with those eyes; they don't have the character of, say, Puppet Master's puppet villains or even Killjoy. There might as well have been only one executioner, since their faces aren't clear enough that the differences are obvious, and, up until the ending, most of the killing scenes had but one executioner at a time (and when multiple executioners are featured, only one is really active at a time). Also, the aspect of the victims being randomly possessed and paralyzed by a mysterious force (which I recently found out is supposed to be the spirit of one of the tortured witches) before their slaughter takes away any menacing element of the executioners, as it appears that they are too slow or otherwise unable to pursue and kill any victim on their own, and can only "finish off" these "frozen" victims.
Though the executioners are pretty disappointing, the film's major problem is its poor plot. It's a great idea - an abandoned prison that is haunted by the ghosts of tortured witches and ghoulish executioners, but then all the disjointed mini-plots (for lack of a better term) are brought in. Funerals? Million-dollar rewards? Sex with a zombie? It doesn't help that the gaping holes between these sub-plots are made much more evident when the entire story seems to shift on the fly. The ending manages to tie a few together by luck, but it's also shifted to on the fly, underwhelming, anti-climactic, and abrupt (calling it rushed would be an understatement).
"Prison of the Dead" is a bad film, even by b-movie standards. Although no b-movie is perfect, and the only notable difference between this and any other Full Moon film may be just that it's easier to spot the plot holes, trying to fit the assorted mini-plots together isn't fun, and the executioners aren't as enjoyable as killer puppets/toys/dolls, ghetto clowns, or even demonic gladiator-possessed teens. As usual, the effort is there, but this time, it's just not entertaining!
I CANNOT comprehend how some person that was involved in this film didn't catch half the crap they let through to the final edit. I seem to remember having fun watching really bad movies... but when they're this bad, well.. it just hurts. I knew when I saw it in Blockbuster as a double-feature with "Hell Asylum" it would be a bad B movie... but not this bad.
The thing that got me, however, was the "Making of" segment at the end of the flick. It was filmed in Romania? The entire thing is interior shots that could have easily been reproduced in a storage rental facility...(which would have been much more in line with the apparent budget of this tape) Why go to Romania? It makes no sense. The costumes could have been bought out of the clearance bin of any area K-Mart the day after Halloween...yet they fly the whole crew to Romania??? Now I know why that region is so troubled...
(cough) but seriously folks...mocking a movie such as this is way too easy...like stealing candy from a baby doped up on morphine. It's bad, granted, but when you spend six bucks and Romanian airfare...what can one expect? So...if you're checking IMDB to see if it's worth renting...no, of course it isn't. What's wrong with you? I've seen episodes of Teletubbies scarier than this. Peace.
This film didnt scare me or frighten me and I am someone who has been scared by Child's Play and Phantasm.<p>
Not a movie to see in my opinion if you want a good scare and not a movie anyone who did this film should be bragging about on their resumes.
For being a low budget, this one tries too hard. The acting was bad but not as terrible as in other straight to video slashers. Featuring zombies, an ouija board, devil creatures, and an annoying storm "Prison Of The Dead" is only for die hard fans of the genre. If you wanna spend a fun night watching horror movies, rent this one and other -but good- horror film. If you try to get into the horror films, avoid this one! it'd be a lame way to get started.
The acting is fantastically bad these people should have got Oscars for it.
There wasn't any real plot, even for a horror film; to be honest, I can't even remember how it ended.
The 'special effects' if they can be called such were shocking, as the same scene was reused and reused, with glowing red eyes drawn in on what looks like some dodgy Amiga program.
All in all, one to watch if you're drunk and need to laugh very, very heartily.
Bonus: boobs, although they were in a hilarious sex scene.
I would definitely rent it again.
What would make someone think this Movie is such a bad movie? I think it has all the low budget Goods: Zombies (even though they weren't that scary looking), Girls, Storms, OK Acting (Better than "Arcade"), and scares only someone appreciating the movie could find scary.
Although the plot is almost none-existent and the Setting is a bit rough, if you liked such Low Budget Classics as "The Dead next door" and "Puppet Master" then I highly suggest you at least rent this or at least view the trailer. Come on people, you know what to expect from a movie titled "Prison of the Dead".
For the record, even though this movie was good, The Sequel, "Hell Asylum", is way better, and way more scary.
I give Prison of the Dead a 8.5 out of 10
Someone who liked this movie should check out: Puppet Master, Hell Asylum, Dead next door, The dead hate the living, Dead & Rotting, Stitches, Kingdom of the Vampire, Blood Dolls, Talisman, Horror Vision, The Vault, and other classics from Full Moon Picture and Tempe Entertainment.
Though, I can't help but like this movie. It is dark, and moody, and has a presence that is somewhat different than some of Decoteau's other movie for Full Moon. The thought of a place where witches were executed, and a struggle between their executions is a good one. But, of course not enough time is spent on the story, but instead on dumb dialog. Of course, in true Full Moon fashion, the ending is completely rushed and sucks!
I can't stand Debra Mayer! Okay that is out of my system.
Still, nothing great, but not horrible...Looking forward to the 2nd one, directed by Danny Draven (Horrorvision).
6 out of 10
POTD has that 80's feeling for some moments but it isn't enough in these days to succeed in the genre. A group of "teens" (play the Ouija board just to awaken 2 dead prisoners buried down in the surroundings of Kristoff's (the rich owner) house. Soon after the prisoners enter the house to begin the slaughter, these teens start their own private party having sex and smoking weed. One by one these teens are killed by the prisoners, expect for Kristoff who drives to the town (I can't remember why). Kristoff knows the diabolic past of his house so he faces the prisoners knowing the only way to put an end to the nightmare...
The characters weren't exactly teens as the actors/actresses were on their late 20's/early 30's. The best thing about this movie is Debra Mayer who is hot as hell! Whenever she appears she looks very sensual and seems that she was in the search for sex. The main character, Kristoff, did a decent job as the hero of the film. There's almost no gore, sex, or scary scenes. PRISON OF THE DEAD is a lame addition to this new turn the slasher genre has taken in the 21th century. But at least it tries to emulate the feeling of the 80's slasher films. FOOL MOON PICTURES deserves a mention as a direct to video company that tries to keep alive the genre. Watch it only if you are a DIE HARD fan of the genre, because if not, you'll be bored and mad for spending 5 bucks on this. Watch it at your own risk.
First, the positive aspects of this film: The acting is actually passable, especially when compared to some classic B-Movies. The setting and atmosphere are pretty good. The plot actually has some promise. Finally, it's short.
Now the bad things about this film: There is no sexuality or gore in this movie. Really. I don't understand how it even got an "R" rating instead of a "PG-13" as there's not even partial nudity and no overt gore. I guess it was the language. For example, there's a sex scene where both characters get intimate...while both are still in their underwear. (To be honest, the female character has apparently brought a negligee to the funeral home for a viewing, which I think demonstrates some forethought.) And every time a sharp object is brought down, the camera cuts away to a discreet spray of fake blood. The action itself is completely confined to three or four rooms in the strangest funeral home I've ever seen. It's a combination working funeral home, ruined prison, and fully furnished (with clean towels and hot water) caretaker's house. Go figure.
Anyway, don't waste your time unless you're a fan of the director's or one or more of the actor's.
But no. I wasn't even graced with that.
Instead, I was thrown into a plot-hole paradise, full of high-school play-like acting, terribly written dialogue, recycled footage (watch how many times one crucial shot is repeated 3 or more times within one 5 minute time frame), and a giant, badly-lit, boring set where every room looks exactly the same.
Now, let me explain the plot to you. Try to follow: snobby, pretty-boy, rich kid Kristoff tricks some old richer, prettier, and snobbier friends into reuniting by bringing them all to an old funeral home (that looks more like Castle GreySkull) for a viewing of their dead compadre, Calvin(?). Everyone cries, mourn, and talk about all the "f*ckin' wise-cracking jokes" he was so well know for.
Punk'd! It turns out Calvin isn't dead at all, and that this was just all a set-up made by the two of them in order to bring the "old gang" together again (seeing as how their such GREAT friends that one has to go to such lengths just to have them all hang out!). No one laughs, but no one really freaks out either. After the joke is over, Kristoff leads our friends downstairs, where an old witches prison is, and explains to the crew that his rich father, who owns a popular tabloid magazine, is holding a contest where people visit the prison (for a small admission fee, of course), are given proper tools, and allowed to dig up the floor of the prison in search of the "Talon Key", an artifact rumored to be hiding underneath the prison floors. The first contestant to find said key wins one million dollars.
There. That's pretty much the last you hear about the key until the very end of the film (about an hour and a half later) where it becomes extremely crucial to the story. Kristoff is hell-bent on winning this easy million, and asks his friends to help. And, for extra guidance, Kristoff summons the almighty power of the Ouija board, which somehow awakens 3 dead executioners from the grave who are hungry for blood, and a countless number of witch-ghost-spirit things that start to take over the bodies of our team.
Without giving too much away, that's pretty much it, and all of this is explained, word for word, very casually, within the first 10 minutes of the film. I truly cannot comprehend how this movie even got onto DVD, or how little the cast and crew were paid for it. There are so many plot-holes and just all-around f*ck-ups, that it's almost impossible to count. This is definitely a movie only worth watching when you're seriously hungover, and don't feel like using your brain too much.