11 user 6 critic

Penitentiary III (1987)

A man is framed for murder and sent to prison. He is beaten and tortured, then forced to fight the prison's worst killer, a martial-arts fighting midget called Thud.


Jamaa Fanaka


Jamaa Fanaka


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Isaac Kennedy ... Too Sweet
Anthony Geary ... Serenghetti
Steve Antin ... Roscoe
Ric Mancini Ric Mancini ... Warden
Marie Burrell Fanaka Marie Burrell Fanaka ... Chelsea Remington
Raymond Kessler Raymond Kessler ... Midnight Thud Jessup (as The Haiti Kid)
Rick Zumwalt ... Joshua
Magic Schwarz Magic Schwarz ... Hugo
Jim Bailey ... Cleopatra
Big Bull Bates Big Bull Bates ... Simp
Big Yank Big Yank ... Rock
Bert Williams Bert Williams ... Tim Shoah
Mark Kemble Mark Kemble ... Rufus
Jack Rader ... Fred
Madison Campudoni Madison Campudoni ... El Cid


A man is framed for murder and sent to prison. He is beaten and tortured, then forced to fight the prison's worst killer, a martial-arts fighting midget called Thud.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Sport


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atsalines grothies 3 See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Joshua: You can flush your manhood down the toilet.
See more »


Referenced in Riot on 42nd St. (1987) See more »


Doin' Time
Performed by Bruce Fisher
See more »

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User Reviews

A very silly 3rd instalment to a bizarre series
31 July 2011 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

This is the third part in what must be one of the strangest, most specific movie franchises ever. The 'Penitentiary' series is about a prison where boxing tournaments seem to be par for the course. Despite the clearly unlikely set-up, the first film was actually a reasonably good blaxploitation prison drama. This third instalment, despite covering much the same ground, adopts a much different approach. It isn't so much a drama as a comedy, with all manner of ridiculous scenes. There is even homage to the most famous scene from the first film where the hero Too Sweet engages in an extended fight with a scary fellow inmate within the close confines of his cell. In this flick, Too Sweet again fights another adversary in his cell but this time it's a deranged midget! Like the scene from the first movie, this is also the best sequence in the film. Except this one really seems like a parody of the first in its sheer silliness. The midget is a psychotic madman who lives in chains in a dungeon underneath the prison, and he is brought out to batter prisoners who go against the grain. It's monumentally daft of course but is in keeping with the general tone of the entire film which is consistently ridiculous. To be fair, the movie does have some genuine funny parts too, such as when Too Sweet is driven to jail at the beginning to the melancholic sound of a saxophone, only for the camera to pan down and see that some fellow inmate is actually playing this music in the van. Penitentiary III is a film for those who want to watch a film for a few laughs with a couple of beers. It has its moments but overstays its welcome.

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