37 user 76 critic
1:28 | Trailer
The spirit of a long-dead prisoner returns for revenge, haunting the prison's new governor.


Renny Harlin


Irwin Yablans (story), C. Courtney Joyner (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Burke / Forsythe Electrocution
Chelsea Field ... Katherine
Lane Smith ... Sharpe
Lincoln Kilpatrick ... Cresus
Tom Everett ... Rabbitt
Ivan Kane ... Lasagna
André De Shields ... Sandor
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister ... Tiny (as Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr.)
Stephen E. Little Stephen E. Little ... Rhino
Mickey Yablans Mickey Yablans ... Brian Young
Larry Flash Jenkins ... Hershey
Arlen Dean Snyder ... Horton
Hal Landon Jr. ... Wallace
Matt Kanen Matt Kanen ... Johnson
Rod Lockman Rod Lockman ... Kramer


After Charles Forsythe was sent to the electric chair for a crime he didn't commit, he forever haunts the prison where he was executed. Flash forward several years when the prison is reopened, under the control of its new warden Ethan Sharpe, a former security guard who was present at Forsythe's execution. When prisoners are ordered to break down the wall to the execution room, they unknowingly release the angry spirit of Charles Forsythe, a powerful being distributing his murderous rage to all, leading up to the Warden himself. Written by Wallace Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror Has A New Home. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

8 December 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Börtönhalál See more »

Filming Locations:

Rawlins, Wyoming, USA


Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Empire Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chelsea Field was supposed to do a scene in a bathtub, but refused to do it. See more »


When Lasagna is shot in the back by the ghost-manned machine guns, empty squib blood packs fly out of the bullet holes in the front of his shirt. See more »


Burke: Let me tell you something. I was making it a real point to mind my own business. Maybe you oughta try that for a while. Start right now. You give me back my ball, I'll give you yours.
See more »


References Platoon (1986) See more »


Written by Ron Jankowski and Sunny Hilder
See more »

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User Reviews

Harlin does the hokey pokey.
17 September 2015 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

A cash-strapped prison board decides to reopen an old, run-down slammer that has been closed since 1968, putting no-nonsense warden Eaton Sharpe (Lane Smith), an ex-guard at the establishment, in charge of running the show. When Sharpe orders two of the new inmates (one of whom is played by a young Viggo Mortensen) to break down the sealed-up entrance to the execution chamber, he unwittingly unleashes the vengeful spirit of dead convict Charlie Forsythe, who was wrongfully sent to the electric chair.

With the two men responsible for this dreadful miscarriage of justice currently residing in the very same prison as Forsythe's ghost, one might expect retribution to be swift, but director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Deep Blue Sea) drags out matters for over 100 minutes, chucking in as many hoary prison drama clichés as possible in the process, whilst having his malevolent spook kill off several other characters for no discernible reason other than to pad out the action and meet the gore quota—except that the splatter here is remarkably tame despite the inventive nature of the deaths.

5.5/10, rounded down to 5 for the cinematography, which utilises a blue tint and smoke throughout in a bid to add style and atmosphere, but which, in reality, only succeeds in making everything blue and smoky.

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