A soldier convicted for murdering his commanding officer is dumped and left to die on a prison island inhabited by two camps of convicts.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Henderson ...
The Warden
Russell Kiefel ...
Brian M. Logan ...
Cheuk-Fai Chan ...
Machs Colombani ...
David Argue ...


Robbins is sentenced to prison for the assassination of his general officer, a prison you leave only when you die. Since nobody ever leaves the prison, nobody knows what the prison is like. The prison manager realizes this and buys himself an island playground called "Absolom," where the worst prisoners are free to create an isolated barbaric society, and where the strongest men rule...a living hell. Robbins is sent to Absolom after he almost kills the prison manager. Written by dmcgar2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The year is 2022. In the prison of the future escape is impossible. Survival isn't much easier. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a considerable amount of strong violence, and for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Penal Colony  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$15,340,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of Don Henderson's final acting roles before his death on June 22nd 1997. See more »


When Dysart hands Robbins a pair of Molotov Cocktails, he says they were invented by a man named "Sergei Molotov". This is, in fact, incorrect. The Molotov Cocktail was first used in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) before actually gaining this name in the Winter War (1939) between Finland and the Soviet Union. The Finns used this incendiary weapon to great affect against the Soviets and gave it the name the "Molotov Cocktail" as an insult directed towards the Soviet foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov. No one named Sergei was involved in the making of the weapon. See more »


The Father: You've got a terrible case of "nobody tells me what to do".
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Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »


Written by Harry Wayne Casey & Richard Finch
Performed by KC & The Sunshine Band
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This was actually a fairly decent movie
18 December 2000 | by (az) – See all my reviews

Very similiar plot structure as "The Shawshank Redemption". Only difference here is that it's far into the future, the protagonist did commit the crime, and he's an ex-soldier, not a banker.

The new society, on an island thousands of miles away, is inhabited by two groups of people, one a barbaric cult run by a sadist(Stuart Wilson, good as always, hilarious as the villain) and a peaceful society of people (run by Lance Henrikson, also good) who just want to live their lives in harmony. As the two groups butt heads, the main character (played by Ray Liotta, with better acting here than his usual films) just wants to get the heck out of there and battle the fascist society that got him in.

I don't dig the bad reviews. Personally I thought this was very well done. Some bad lines here and there, but not enough to distract attention from the plot. (Which was far superior compared to "Escape from New York")

14 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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