7.0/10
1,600
28 user 20 critic

Ghosts... of the Civil Dead (1988)

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

Director:

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An Australian widower living in New Guinea starts a relationship with a woman very similar to his much-beloved wife, but their life together turns out to be far from the imagined romantic ideal.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tchéky Karyo, Rachel Griffiths, Steve Jacobs
Short | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The video follows the fortunes of a worringly young white girl as she sits in a bath, confronted by the panoply of fiends that occupy her subconscious.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunos
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Documentary of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' 1989 tour of America.

Director: Uli M. Schüppel
Stars: Blixa Bargeld, Nick Cave, Mick Harvey
Johnny Suede (1991)
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A struggling young musician and devoted fan of Ricky Nelson wants to be just like his idol and become a rock star.

Director: Tom DiCillo
Stars: Brad Pitt, Richard Boes, Cheryl Costa
The Outfit (1973)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Earl Macklin robs a bank owned by the mob, serves his prison time and is released, only to start a private war against the crime outfit that owned the bank.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker
Lawless (2012)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After 15 years of marriage, David and Marianne have grown apart. David has had an affair with a patient of his and Marianne has got herself involved with her former lover Carl-Adam, who's ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Eva Dahlbeck, Gunnar Björnstrand, Yvonne Lombard
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Music video for a song The Spoils depicting transformations and alterations in a digital world.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Cate Blanchett
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Warren Jeffs rose to Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, he took control of a religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage. In a short time, ... See full summary »

Director: Amy Berg
Stars: Nick Cave, Elaine Anderson, Sam Brower
The Misguided (2018)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After planning to leave the city with his girlfriend, a young man must first betray her in order to save his brother from a deadly situation.

Director: Shannon Alexander
Stars: Katherine Langford, Anna Philp, Steven J. Mihaljevich
The Road I (2009)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Edit

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
Edit

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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1989 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghosts... of the Civil Dead - avoimien ovien päivä helvetissä 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

His 1981 song "Quasimodo's Dream" performed by his band The Reels, is ranked #10 on the top 30 Australian songs of all time list, as voted by panelists for the ARIA. 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Extraordinary...
18 December 2003 | by james_oblivionSee all my reviews

This is one of those films that come along very infrequently. It's incredibly powerful and profoundly disturbing. It has a clear message, but never preaches. It is very involved, yet oddly distant. And it is the most extreme, unpolished depiction of prison life that you will ever see, should you be lucky enough to find it.

Co-written by acclaimed singer/songwriter/musician/novelist Nick Cave, this film carries his mark. It is every bit as dark, gritty, chaotic, and brutal as his music (or his novel, the cult favorite "And the Ass Saw the Angel"). The story itself is quite loosely plotted, but extremely layered. It's hard to take it all in with one viewing...and each repeat viewing is an experience unto itself.

Cave also plays a pivotal role in "Ghosts" as Maynard, an unconscionable psychotic whose violent raving pushes the already worsening conditions of the prison to full-scale chaos. Cave's performance is searing, bringing every bit of rage and hatred and bile to the surface...and his entrance into the film is truly unforgettable.

The film-making here is top-notch, from a cinematic point of view. It certainly wouldn't meet Hollywood's "standards," but I mean that as an extreme compliment. The cold, distant cinematography sometimes brings to mind Kubrick's film version of "A Clockwork Orange," and the way the brutality is handled visually makes "ACO" look like "Bambi" by comparison.

Certainly, this is one film that you should not miss. It is, unfortunately, quite rare...but it can be found if one looks hard enough. I will stress quite strongly, however, that this film is NOT for everyone...but for those with strong stomachs and an appreciation of challenging cinema, this is a definite must-see.


23 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed