A man must survive a prison where hardened criminals battle to the death for the wardens' entertainment.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lloyd Battista ...
General Hruschov
Manol Manolov ...
Ivan (as Emanuil Manolov)
Billy Rieck ...
Dima (as Kaloyan Vodenicharov)
Alan Davidson ...
Malakai (as Malakai Davidson)
Veselin Kalanovski ...
Ivo Tonchev ...
Milos Milicevic ...


Kyle LeBlanc is an American working overseas in Russia. When he hears his wife being attacked over the phone, Kyle rushes home to find that he's too late. The man who killed his wife is found not guilty on lack of evidence. So Kyle takes the law into his own hands, and kills the man to avenge his wife's death. He is sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Russian prison he is sent to is tough, and the warden amuses himself by putting on fights where he fills his pockets with money by betting on the fights. Kyle begins to break and go crazy, so he is forced into these fights because the warden knows he is a sure thing. Kyle's cellmate 451 begins to make him think what he fights for. With that, Kyle knows now he must fight another battle: the fight for inner peace. It is the only way he can become the man he once was. Written by Pat McCurry <laraspal00@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rage unleashed.


Action | Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong brutal violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 August 2003 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Hell  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Van Damme & Paulo Tocha have both appeared together before in a prison film titled "Death Warrant" in 1990 See more »


451: People say one thing and do the other. It's just all bullshit. Don't waste words. Just best not to say anything.
Kyle: Yeah, OK shut up.
See more »


References Mortal Kombat (1995) See more »


Mid East Mix
Written by Peter Calandra (as Pete Calandra) and Scott Schreer (as Scott P. Schreer)
See more »

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User Reviews

The ugliest nightmares of every grown man's worst fears

I am a fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme, and its more because I can see where he's come from than the repressiable 'Louisiana' accent he has the audiences endure. In every film, including this one, he's a hero, but in this piece, 'In Hell' he's more of a Snake-Plisken from 'Escape from New York', that being an anti-hero.

The film shows a different side of Eastern Europe, one of corruption and Anti-American sentiment which is all too true to be called dramatized in the film. Must of the tempo of this film is well planned, and the story progresses without a hitch. The choice to use this director was excellent, because he is a moody perfectionist. After viewing the featurette, I could see more clearly why I liked this piece so much. A lot of Hollywood fat has been trimmed off of this film in many scenes. The harsh realities of brutal homosexuality are put forth not to show gayness as the true villain, but power and the total abuse of it. Drag queens, jail cell rape scenes, and one scene stripping Van Damme of his wedding ring really strip the viewer of the safe non-incarcerated life.

The soundtrack is excellent, giving that 'Run Lola Run' techno-house feel, making the occasional use of an orchestra well placed. The sound effects in this piece are good to notice as well, because in some scenes sound plays more of a part of the film than the shots themselves. The shots are very tight, and are obscured at times because of the small studio space used but are perfect for the feeling of claustrophobia on so many levels. One scene even has a solitary confinement that Van Damme endures in where the floor has a release sewer flowing brown through his cell. This is contrasted by an excellent CGI element that makes the film probably work better than if it weren't included. A simple moth.

Aside from the moth, the film has a good cast of actors with well worked characters, which was my primary concern in renting this piece. I didn't want to be let down yet again by some poor action flick that had bad audio, video, and high school C movie acting. Some of the worst possible things that could happen do to everyone in this film, which is a constant reminder of why pain is entertainment, and why this film actually worked well.

45 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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