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Prison (1987)

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


A convict is executed via electric chair for a murder he did not commit n later the prison is closed. The dead convict's soul returns from the afterlife to take revenge but goes on a killing spree when the prison is reopened after thirty years. Written by Fella_shibby@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror Has A New Home. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Renny Harlin drew all the storyboards for this film. 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.
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Referenced in Ghost Town (1988) See more »


Written by Ron Jankowski and Sunny Hilder
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User Reviews

The mood is everything.
11 April 2005 | by pullomeri-1See all my reviews

In this Renny Harlin-directed film, the story is nebulous and vague in the best possible way. An ancient prison in Wyoming must be reopened to relieve inmate congestion elsewhere. The state penal board installs Ethan Sharpe (Lane Smith) as the new warden. His first task is to renovate the place, using an advance guard of inmates as slave laborers. Smith brilliantly portrays Sharpe as a Gestapo version of Jimmy Steward. And soon it becomes apparent that Sharpe has something to hide, something to do with the history of this hoosegow and a prisoner who died in the electric chair down in the basement. Worse yet, it seems like said prisoner's spirit has been lying in wait for Sharpe's return.

The mood is everything in Prison. An air of confinement overtakes the film as soon the buses roll into the yard to drop the work crew off at their new home. The look, sound and smell of penitentiary life hangs all over the place. For the ghost vs. warden conclusion, the vagaries of C. Courtney Joyner's script translate into the imprecision of a nightmare. What the hell does this wrongly executed ghost want? Who knows? Despite the silly subplot with a crusading lady reformer. Prison remains one of Empire Picture's most accomplished productions.

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Release Date:

8 December 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Prison See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,792, 8 May 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Empire Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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