6.9/10
1,644
28 user 21 critic

Ghosts... of the Civil Dead (1988)

Prison gangs clash in a high-tech security jail where there are no rules.

Director:

John Hillcoat
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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Field ... Wenzil
Mike Bishop Mike Bishop ... David Yale
Chris DeRose Chris DeRose ... Grezner
Kevin Mackey Kevin Mackey ... Glover
Dave Mason Dave Mason ... Lilly
Nick Cave ... Maynard
Bogdan Koca Bogdan Koca ... Waychek
Freddo Dierck Freddo Dierck ... Robbins
Vincent Gil ... Ruben
M.E. Duncan M.E. Duncan ... Junkie 1
Nick Seferi Nick Seferi ... Junkie 2
Tony Clark Tony Clark ... Simone
Yilmaz Tuhan Yilmaz Tuhan ... Food King
Ian Mortimer Ian Mortimer ... Jack
Mick King Mick King ... Edwin Neal
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Storyline

The inmates and guards of a modern, clean and efficient maximum security wing are slowly and increasingly brutalised until they erupt in violence. Dark and macabre, and based in truth, the story is told in a traditional dramatic style combined with telephone interviews and narration. Written by alpha sixty <alpha60@alphaville.apana.org.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They come Back to haunt you.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1989 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

De levande dödas vålnader See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nick Cave used his experience in local lock up to help write the film, he overheard another inmate say to the police guard "Come here so I can spit in your eye!!" See more »

Quotes

Maynard: Officer, come here. I wanna spit in your fucking eye!
See more »

Connections

Features Forced Entry (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Hippy
(uncredited)
Performed by Alan Parker
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User Reviews

 
riveting...
30 January 2004 | by melwynSee all my reviews

As others have said, this is a disturbing and frightening film. For me, it raised questions about exactly who are the barbarians in our "civil" society and at what point can it be said that we are no better than "them".

Some with no knowledge of conditions in modern prisons dismiss this as a brutal movie out for shock value and nothing else, but it is based on a true story. One previous comment says it was filmed in NT (Australia) and based on events that happened in an outback prison. However it was based on the testimony of David Hale, a warder at USP Marion, Illinois, USA, who spoke out about the management tactics and treatment meted out to both prisoners and staff at the prison - tactics which culminated in a lockdown after two people were murdered in one day. When Hale spoke out he was branded a drunk, a drug user and mentally unstable in order to discredit him. (If the soundtrack is still available, it is worth a listen. It features an extensive interview with Hale.)

The cast features four professional actors and two musicians (Cave and The Reels' Dave Mason). The rest are predominantly ex-cons with about a dozen ex-cops, ex-warders and tough types found hanging around in local Melbourne gyms thrown in. It was workshopped for several months before filming began. You will not see a more realistic picture of life in prison - unless you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in one.


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