Monday, June 19, 2017

Prison of the Dead (VHS)

About a year or two ago, a thrift store by my house went under by the name of Unique. My wife and I had only went in there while it was still open a couple of times, and one of those times we dragged our feet in there, she randomly found Phantasm IV: Oblivion on VHS and walked up to me and asked "do you know what this is, babe?" She handed me the tape. I asked in shock "where the hell did you find this?!" and I followed her around the corner where the rest of the VHS tapes were hiding. Besides said Phantasm tape, I also purchased Prison of the Dead, Dean Koontz's Black River, It's Alive III: Island of the Alive and Campfire Tales all on VHS for a quarter a piece that day. I have since watched all of them but one. Until I popped Prison of the Dead in my VCR earlier today. I kept asking myself "why doesn't Full Moon just stick with their flagship properties like Puppet Master or Killjoy?" as the tape kept on rolling with trailers for other films from them including Side Show and Witchouse II: Blood Coven. Those two flicks actually look really cool. I need to check them out when I can. Once Prison of the Dead started, I would have rather went to prison than watch this probably ever again. It was just trying way to hard to be a paranormal film with these jackass teens messing with a Ouija board in a medieval prison after hosting a fake funeral as a fucking joke. The three executioners that were buried there come to life and start snuffing out these nimrods while they simultaneously get possessed by some really bad booger-CGI ghost entity thingy. Dumb and dumb.

Blah, blah, blah.... just get to the funeral already.

I'm going to guess that your cell phone is one of those 90's pocket bricks.

You don't have to tell me twice that jocks are fucking losers.

Sounds like someone's a little jelly.

"I can't remember. I blame the nutra-sweet."

Don't you think you would have figured out something was off about this guy's funeral because you were the only ones there and it was being held in a medieval prison instead of a fucking funeral home?!

A Ouija board. Nope.

Zombies have never been equipped with axes, maces and chainmail.

Scene recycling? Alright. It's Full Moon. All is forgiven.

 "All we need are some flashlights and cameras. I have a zippo."

 "You can sit here and yank on your Ouija while we split."

I really ended up being let down by my heroes on this one as Full Moon can do so much better than what's offered here in Prison of the Dead. The characters are way to predictable and stereotypical, all of the kills are off screen, there's barely any blood, no boobs and an ending that just made me kind of both smile and cringe in one weird facial expression that I think I invented once this was finally over. This is certainly one of their more uninspired and weaker works when sitting next to the likes of Trancers or Dollman, as they are extremely fun and engaging in spite of just how horrible they really are. Prison of the Dead falls flat on it's face, and once it started yelling "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" in that signature Steve Urkel tambre, I simply walked away as if I never heard such a thing. As a cult horror freak, take my advice zits and zombies. When the moon is full, watch Blade and Pinhead instead of some idiotic teens playing with a Ouija board only to get killed by un-dead executioners in a medieval prison. Ah yessss-saaaaa. 

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