This supernatural shocker from 1988 stars a young Vigggo Mortensen as a new inmate at an old decrepit prison, which has just been re-opened to ease over the crowding at the other facilities in the area.
But it seems that something is very wrong with the old place, as shortly after their arrival, prisoners start to die in mysterious circumstances. The governor, played by US TV actor Lane Smith, believes one of the other prisoners to be the culprit and proceeds to dish out a regime of brutal punishments on the other inmates to try and weed out the killer.
But as more and more bodies start to pile up under increasingly bizarre circumstances, it becomes apparent that sinister elements are at work. Some of the older inmates think it might have something to do with a long dead prisoner named Forsyth, who was the last person executed there and, by some strange co-incidence, the current governor had overseen the execution of, back in his days as a guard.
With more and more bizarre events happening in the jail, tensions between the guards and inmates rise, culminating in a full blown riot. But even if they don't kill each other in the process, it seems that the ghost of Forsythe doesn’t want to let anyone leave there alive....
Pre-dating Wes Craven’s similarly themed "Shocker" by over a year, this low budget horror, from director Renny Harlin, is quite an effective little chiller and is certainly a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s certainly interesting to see Viggo Mortensen, who’s probably better known these days from those "Lord of the Rings" films, in one of his earlier roles.
Lookout for stuntman Kane Hodder, who played Jason in the later "Friday the 13th" sequels, who has a couple of minor roles in the film as both a guard and the ghost of the executed Forsyth.