Review: Haunted Prison

January 18, 2012

Let me preface this by saying that I caught the last few minutes of a movie called Phantom Racer that ended with the stock car racing equivalent of Christine being loaded by a fork lift into a car crusher. And now, the world’s most obvious joke in this circumstance.

♫He tried to kill me with a fork lift! Olé!♫

The movie starts with a group of kids making a documentary about the prison at Isla de la Roca. The former guard that they’re interviewing tells them that a riot started after one of the guards went off the deep end and shot an inmate in his cell. And then one of the guards opened the cells, probably due to being a fucking moron.  As he’s running from the prisoners, he dumps containers of flamible liquid, lights it, and tries to hide in the gas chamber. He is forced to cut off his own legs with a fire axe to get the door closed.

The credits roll, and we get to see that Danny Trejo is in this shit-fest. I assume he was late with his mortgage the month he signed up for this. A group of thieves led by Jake Busey have just escaped from a botched robbery and are hiding out in the prison, one of them gets shot in the leg while holding the most plastic AK-47 I’ve ever seen.

And now Jake Busey is seeing things written in blood because his grandfather was an inmate. And now, the documentary kids from before are at the prison to shoot their…you know, it’s never mentioned why they’re making this documentary. Jake Busey and one of the other thieves go looking for the breakers, somehow not seeing them ten yards in front of them. And then the ghost of Danny Trejo shows up under a bunk to kill one of the thieves by pushing him into a fence with a wall until he starts to go through. Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, one of the documentary kids goes missing, only to show up a few scenes later crawling through an air duct. Oh good, I was worried I was going to start to care for a second. Jake Busey and one of the other thieves head to the laundry, where Jake Busey sort of tries to kill the getaway driver in a door to the outside. And then ghosts kill him by putting him in a license plate cutter after pulling the door shut and sending the fake CG iron bar he put in there flying. Well, at least he didn’t die first.

So now, the documentary team who was hiding in the air vents see their friend with the camera get captured by Jake Busey decide fuck him, we’re out. Y’know, ’cause that’s what friends do, right? But they can’t leave yet because their boat is missing. Jake Busey is convinced that Cameraman Brian is behind the disturbances. So he decides to take a look in the camera…and we get another scene with Danny Trejo, this time as a priest who was at the prison during the riot. The rest of the documentary team decide that attacking the crazy man with the gun is a good idea, and jump Jake Busey as the latino member of the gang is dragged to the electric chair by ghosts and killed.

And now one of the documentary kids is comparing the latino thief getting fried to pigs being cooked at a luau. Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen! And then there’s a bunch of pointless talky scenes intended to give character background on characters that we really don’t care about. Jake Busey escapes from one of the documentary kids, and now the thief that was shot needs to have both legs amputated. And then the documentary kid snaps and starts wanting to kill everyone. The female thief goes off to use the bathroom and takes one of the documentary kids as a lookout and…apparently she sings on the toilet. And then he sees a bunch of inmates killing a nun.

She tries to wash her hands after…going, and gets covered in sewage. Meanhile the kid gets stuck to a post on the wall upside down. She finds a working shower and…hello, pointless bra-and-panties shot. And then ghosts hang her from a ceiling fan, and when she starts climbing the wire, they cut her in half with the fan. And then Jake Busey stumbles across the scene. He begins searching around in her pants for the diamonds, finds them, and then…no…no, no, no no no! I know that writers for Sci-Fi Originals don’t care, but please, tell me you have a little more respect for the medium of film than this, please!



(We’re sorry about that, folks. That particular cliche seems to have sent him momentarily over the deep end. We’ll get some crazy pills into him, and we’ll be back in just a few minutes. – Ed.)

Okay. Back to the review then. Two of the documentary kids find the gas chamber that the guard from scene one was talking about. They go to the administration office to look for a way out, and find out that the warden, who incidentally looks a little like Dr. Strangelove, was a big pusher for capital punishment. And then we cut back to Jake Busey, who is talking to the getaway driver who was cut up in the license plate machine. One of the two girls who were watching the wounded guy goes a little nuts after getting her hands on the diamonds, and the two in the admin office find out that Jake Busey’s grandfather was convinced that the prison itself is evil.

The one who was dating the one who got impaled on the wall freaks out after seeing him, runs out to the gate, and gets tangled up and killed by the sentient razor wire. So now we’re down to three documentary kids and Jake Busey, who is looking increasingly like his father every minute he’s on screen. While looking for a way out, they come across an old man in a hospital bed, who goes flatline and dies. This has been another pointless moment. Jake Busey’s grandfather possesses the guy who got shot, and talks about something that I didn’t hear because I stopped caring about half an hour ago, and Jake Busey falls into the surprisingly open furnace while the three escape past the ghosts of everyone who died in the prison. And then the prison explodes then implodes down into nothing, the kids get rescued by the coast guard, end of movie.

This movie is god-awful…but it does have some redeeming qualities. The CG is better than Boa vs. Python, and for everything but about the first quarter of the movie, Jake Busey is hilarious. Oh my God. I laughed my ass off during the scene where he talks to the getaway driver who got cut up. If there is one thing that makes this movie even marginally bearable, it is Jake Busey. Even so, stay away from this movie. It is hazardous to your mental health, and a lot of it seems to be gore for gore’s sake.


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