Prisoners of the Ghostland

4 Reels

Testicles.  Who needs ‘em?  

While watching Prisoners of the Ghostland, it's best to - like the logic it usually requires to follow a normal film from beginning to its everlovin’ end - throw them both out the window.  Got your attention?  Good.  Love it or leave it, Prisoners of the Ghostland is one hell of a wild ride through a post-apocalyptic wild west setting as the NATIONAL TREASURE that is Nic Cage finds himself with a bomb fastened to his balls.

If the premise sounds a bit like a callback to John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, you aren’t far off the mark here.  Hell, we even get some Mad Max visual references in the B-grade genre mash-up as Cage traverses a post-nuclear setting on a mission from God.  Sort of.

Prisoners of the Ghostland is full of all sorts of winks and nods to B-grade cult classics of a by-gone era as our "hero" (Cage), in Japanese auteur Sion Sono’s first English-language outing, finds himself on a NUTTY mission to rescue a Governor’s "daughter" from the savage territory of Ghostland, a mysterious place where outcasts and zombies keep a giant clock from operating out of fear of the whole SHITHOUSE going up in a cruel, world-ending big bang, baby if ever it should resume!

For the curious, the oh so very RIGHT ON cinematic pairing of Nic Cage with Japanese director Sono (Love Exposure, Tokyo Tribe) is full of all sorts of OUT OF THIS WORLD sequences as East meets West.  It’s to be expected and, most certainly, does not disappoint.  From its unusual local to its poetic use of children’s bouncing balls, the whole film spills out like colorful kool-aid does if tipped across a bright red picnic table.

If you haven’t had your taste buds challenged by either of the duo’s latest cinematic offerings, well, you best skip this tweaked out madness because, quite simply, you aren’t ready for what is about to go down when Governor (a very suspicious Bill Moseley, dressed in ALL WHITE) brings the nameless “Hero”, who is in prison for a bank robbery that wound up killing a kid, into a brothel called Samurai Town, has him wear a leather outfit, and orders him - with a little bomb-on-yer-balls encouragement - to get his “daughter”, Bernice (Sofia Boutella), free from Ghostland.

Hero’s preferred mode of transportation in the journey?  A woman’s bicycle, complete with a fancy basket.

For those of you genre hounds already in the know, Prisoners of the Ghostland, brought to you by the studio who gave us the awe-inspiring Mandy, is all sorts of GONZO GREATNESS and, yes, this includes a fully unrestrained Cage who, surprising no one, manages to lead an uprising of trash-wearing psychos while cranking his wild-ass performance up to a solid 11 on the dial.  There might be little point in the uprising of trash, but - hey - that’s part of this journey as he comes face to face with the true BADDIES in this flick..

Co-starring Tak Sakaguchi and featuring his stunning fight skills with the blade, Prisoners of the Ghostland goes all-in as a spectacle of cinematic cheese and grease.  It’s fun, kooky as hell, and remains - even in its basic B-grade moments - a special breed of lunacy that only the combination of Cage and Sono in a samurai-themed western could ever give birth to.  

Prisoners of the Ghostland is now playing in theaters and streaming on select platforms.

Small Engine Repair

“What goes on the internet stays there forever, pal!” Never have those words rung as true as they do in the new film from writer/director John Pollono called Small Engine Repair. And never before have we seen the consequences of the internet’s ornery persistence play out in such a fiendishly entertaining ...

Royal JellyThis is what grooming looks like when taken to the next level.  Forget petty crimes, Horror Hounds, Aster - who hangs out with the bees (not the birds) - is about to find herself in the thick of it thanks to a diseased hive and her mysterious mentor’s conniving plan to make her the next queen! ...

MalignantThe intense stage lighting. The stylized production design. The black gloved-hand killer. The dramatic and often weirdly over-stylized music with electronic throbbing Goblin-like rhythm and pulses.  And, yes, the buckets of blood splashed everywhere.  If this were the 1970s, the best decade for  ...

It Came From Below

Miles Below The Earth. It Was Awakened.   There is a lot more to people than just what shows on the surface.  It is going to take Jessie and her friends a trip underground to realize this.  It Came From Below, with a solid creature design at its center, is a psychological thriller from award-winning ...

Escape To The CoveWriter and director Robert Enriquez’s Escape To The Cove is both prophetic and disturbing in its vision of mankind’s future.  Consider the opening in which a family photograph is splattered with mucus or something spit up from an infected human being.  That’s right, Escape To The Cove is a timely ...

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Alright, Marvel Fans, you can exhale now.  Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an absolute thrill from start to finish.  The Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the addition of this movie, absolutely blooms with a kick-ass showstopper thanks to the high kicks, the heart, and the ...

Yakuza Princess

Every sword has a story. Opening with an ultra violent prologue, Yakuza Princess begins with an absolute BANG as a tragic event - unfolding 20 years ago - unfolds on the screen and lays out the path that brings two lost souls into an uneasy alliance where bloodlust becomes a blessing ...

Tokoloshe: The Calling

Because this type of evil never dies. That’s what happens when you build upon stolen and cursed land or so the legend goes.  With the spooks, the scares, and the intensity cranked to absolute 11, Tokoloshe: The Calling takes the challenge of presenting South African cultural ...


Candyman. Do you dare say it? We’re coming up on 30 years since the hook-handed killer – known affectionately as the Candyman – haunted the honeycombed halls of the Cabrini-Green housing project in 1992’s Candyman. And now he’s back to paint those same corridors red in a ...

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets


You are here: Home In Theaters / VOD
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes