The spirit of a long-dead prisoner returns for revenge, haunting the prison's new governor.



(story), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Burke / Forsythe Electrocution
Ivan Kane ...
Tiny (as Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr.)
Stephen E. Little ...
Mickey Yablans ...
Brian Young
Matt Kanen ...
Rod Lockman ...


After Charles Forsyth was sent to the electric chair for a crime he didn't commit, he forever haunts the prison where he was executed. Flash forward several years when the prison is reopened, under the control of its new warden Eaton Sharpe, a former security guard who framed Charlie. When prisoners are ordered to break down the wall to the execution room, they unknowingly release the angry spirit of Charles Forsyth, a powerful being distributing his murderous rage to all, leading up to the Warden himself. Written by Wallace Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror Has A New Home. See more »


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 December 1987 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Börtönhalál  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)


$354,704 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Warden's office set was built with windows from the real wardens office which could not be used, ironically, because of a hole in the floor. See more »


When Lasagna is shot in the back by the ghost-manned machine guns, empty squib blood packs fly out of the bullet holes in the front of his shirt. See more »


Lasagna: I thought bustin' cars was your thing.
Burke: Well a car ain't nothing but a series of locks. Older the lock, easier it is. And this place... is old.
See more »


Referenced in Ghost Town (1988) See more »


Love Will Be Hurrying to You
Written by Margaret Connell and Melissa Connell
See more »

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User Reviews

Harlin does the hokey pokey.
17 September 2015 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

A cash-strapped prison board decides to reopen an old, run-down slammer that has been closed since 1968, putting no-nonsense warden Eaton Sharpe (Lane Smith), an ex-guard at the establishment, in charge of running the show. When Sharpe orders two of the new inmates (one of whom is played by a young Viggo Mortensen) to break down the sealed-up entrance to the execution chamber, he unwittingly unleashes the vengeful spirit of dead convict Charlie Forsythe, who was wrongfully sent to the electric chair.

With the two men responsible for this dreadful miscarriage of justice currently residing in the very same prison as Forsythe's ghost, one might expect retribution to be swift, but director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Deep Blue Sea) drags out matters for over 100 minutes, chucking in as many hoary prison drama clichés as possible in the process, whilst having his malevolent spook kill off several other characters for no discernible reason other than to pad out the action and meet the gore quota—except that the splatter here is remarkably tame despite the inventive nature of the deaths.

5.5/10, rounded down to 5 for the cinematography, which utilises a blue tint and smoke throughout in a bid to add style and atmosphere, but which, in reality, only succeeds in making everything blue and smoky.

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