COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Scream Factory’s Prison BLU-RAY/DVD Combo Pack

Created: 02/25/2013 8:27 AM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

I just finished watching a review copy of Shout Factory’s BLU-RAY/ DVD Combo Pack Collector’s Edition of “Prison.” 

This is their latest film in their Scream Factory series and it is the first time that “Prison” has been released on DVD or BLU-RAY, so this is very exciting for horror fans like me.

“Prison” was released in 1988 and was directed by Renny Harlin who also directed “Cliffhanger,” “Deep Blue Sea,” and “A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.” Irwin Yablans produced “Prison” and he was also the producer of “Halloween.” It stars Viggo Mortensen who was also in “A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises,” and “Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III” (Which is one of my favorite movies Viggo has been in).  “Prison” also stars Lane Smith (“Red Dawn”) and Chelsea Field (“Dust Devil” and “The Dark Half”).

John Carl Buechler did the make-up and special effects for “Prison” and he also did the special effects for “Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood.” Kane Hodder was the stunt coordinator on the film and he went on to play Jason in three “Friday the 13thmovies. I really enjoy the “Friday the 13th” series and I never knew that’s how Kane Hodder got the role of Jason. You learn this in one of the special features on the DVD that I will talk about later.

“Prison” is about a convict named Charlie Forsyth that is wrongfully executed for a murder in Creedmore Prison. After thirty years the prison is reopened and Charlie has been waiting to get revenge on Ethan Sharp, the guard who knew of his innocence and who could have saved his life.   Ethan is now the new warden of Creedmore Prison and is still as mean as ever.

The execution room had been sealed behind a stone wall and Ethan wants to back and look at it.  So, Ethan, some guards and a few of the prisoners go down and break open the sealed wall, where the electric chair was.  However by doing this they awaken Charlie and he start seeking his revenge.  Now all of the prisoner’s lives are in jeopardy and Charlie must be stopped before he kills all of the inmates and Ethan.

I really enjoyed “Prison” a lot. I really liked the story and thought that it was very creative and well written.  There have not been many horror films that take place in prison and I think this was one of the first ones. 

The movie is 102 minutes long and the time just flew by. It kept my attention the entire time. I felt that the characters were very interesting and that you also wanted to learn more about Charlie and what kind of havoc he was going to create.

The special effects looked great. Charlie is supernatural and has electrical powers because of the electrocution, so there are a lot of electrical effects used in the movie. I think that at times the electrical effects looked a little silly, but it made the movie fun. Also the special effects that were created for the deaths of the inmates looked spectacular. There were some things done in “Prison” that I was very surprised by and didn’t know how they did it until I watched the special features.  You will know what I mean when you watch it.

Once again and I do say this every time, Shout Factory has impressed me with the special features.  I thought that they were very interesting and also very entertaining. I could not wait to watch them.  The special features include:

Like I said earlier I really enjoyed the special features a lot, especially the “Hard Time: Making of Prison” interviews. This was so interesting and exciting to watch, because you got to hear stories about making “Prison” from the people that made it. 

The reason that this is so exciting to me is, that this is the first time anybody has really been interview about the movie. I didn’t know anything about how the film was made and the story behind it, before this. This was great.

The BLU-RAY/DVD print of “Prison” looks amazing. Shout Factory does it right, they get the cleanest and sharpest prints for their collector’s collections. In my opinion they look as good as if they were just released in the theater. I am very impressed with the print of “Prison” and it makes it very enjoyable to watch.

Another cool thing about the “Prison” combo pack is that you get two copies of “Prison” one on BLU-RAY and one on DVD. The case also has a reversible cover that you can switch. On one side it features the theatrical poster and on the other is a newly illustrated picture that looks amazing.  I really like these features a lot and I think that it really adds something a little extra to the collection.

I really can’t express enough how much I enjoyed Shout Factory’s “Prison”BLU-RAY/DVD Combo Pack Collector’s Edition. The movie looked amazing and was very entertaining. The special features were great and I know horror fans will also really enjoy them as much as I did. I cannot wait to sit down and watch “Prison” again and I strongly urge for you to check it out.

For more information on Shout Factory go to www.shoutfactory.com

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about the latest entertainment news.