RELEASE DATE: Available Now on DVD
WRITTEN BY: Eric Machiela, Joel Vallie
DIRECTED BY: Joel Vallie
STARRING: Mónica Almanza, Valentina Arnold, Kristen Barrett
Down Mexico way, a dude named Ben can’t catch a break. Due to a severe brain injury (exasperated by an abusive upbringing) he is unable to focus on his factory job, which puts a strain on his family life, and his obsession with a regional TV actress will, of course, remain forever unrequited. Then one night things get even worse after a fist fight with his brother-in-law results in Ben getting smashed into paste by a passing car. Thus begins BEAUTIFUL PRISON, a new psychic shocker from Midnight Releasing.
After convalescing, Ben awakens with a few side effects; namely, an increased intellect, psychic powers, including the ability to seemingly shape his reality, horrific visions of folks turning into bitey demons, and an arm that gushes geysers of gore. On top of all that static, his family still treats him like he’s mentally deficient. Is all as it seems in Ben’s reality, or is the truth even more disturbing?
BEAUTIFUL PRISON really took me by surprise. I was expecting some sort of half-assed JACOB’S LADDER when I sat down to watch this flick, but, man, was ol’ XIII ever wrong! Filled with sympathetic characters and strong acting, BEAUTIFUL PRISON reels you in with its fascinating story and captivates with plenty of twists and turns (and even some comedy as well).
But all can’t be pathos and drama, especially around these parts — we crave beasts and blood, and with this flick we are treated to both. The creatures that Ben sees post trauma are all big teeth and bad times, and they are multitudinous. Also of note is the glorious grue present; while definitely not a splatter flick, ol’ BP does manage to spray a couple o’ crimson gallons here and there.
In addition, the score is incredibly strong, which goes a long way toward making everything seem bigger and more epic than it may have seemed with a chintzier sound track (though by no means does this film ever seem cheap despite it being a lower-budget feature).
I will just state this as simply as possible: BEAUTIFUL PRISON is one hell of an awesome flick! It’s the type of film that proves you don’t need 100 million dollars to make a great genre film; just a strong story, great acting, and interesting visuals done within your means. See this one now, creeps!!