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In Hell (2003)

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A man must survive a prison where hardened criminals battle to the death for the wardens' entertainment.

Director:

Ringo Lam
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Claude Van Damme ... Kyle LeBlanc
Lawrence Taylor ... 451
Lloyd Battista ... General Hruschov
Carlos Gómez ... Tolik
Manol Manolov Manol Manolov ... Ivan (as Emanuil Manolov)
Chris Moir ... Billy
Billy Rieck Billy Rieck ... Coolhand
Kaloian Vodenicharov ... Dima (as Kaloyan Vodenicharov)
Alan Davidson Alan Davidson ... Malakai (as Malakai Davidson)
Veselin Kalanovski Veselin Kalanovski ... Sasha
Ivo Tonchev Ivo Tonchev ... Marko
Juan Fernández ... Shubka
Raicho Vasilev Raicho Vasilev ... Andrei
Milos Milicevic Milos Milicevic ... Boo
Michael Bailey Smith ... Valya
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Storyline

Kyle LeBlanc is an American working overseas in Russia. When he hears his wife being attacked over the phone, Kyle rushes home to find that he's too late. The man who killed his wife is found not guilty on lack of evidence. So Kyle takes the law into his own hands, and kills the man to avenge his wife's death. He is sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Russian prison he is sent to is tough, and the warden amuses himself by putting on fights where he fills his pockets with money by betting on the fights. Kyle begins to break and go crazy, so he is forced into these fights because the warden knows he is a sure thing. Kyle's cellmate 451 begins to make him think what he fights for. With that, Kyle knows now he must fight another battle: the fight for inner peace. It is the only way he can become the man he once was. Written by Pat McCurry <laraspal00@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Rage unleashed.

Genres:

Action | Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong brutal violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 2003 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Security Housing Unit See more »

Filming Locations:

Bulgaria

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Van Damme does not use his martial arts in this movie. See more »

Quotes

451: People say one thing and do the other. It's just all bullshit. Don't waste words. Just best not to say anything.
Kyle: Yeah, OK shut up.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Présentation de 'In Hell' (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Moon High Up In The Deep Sky
from Rusalka ("The Water Sprite, Jezibaba")
Written by Antonín Dvorák (as Antonin Dvorak)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Van Damme hits form again!
29 October 2003 | by supertom-3See all my reviews

Van Damme's latest effort on paper reads much like many other films he has done, in which he finds himself in a situation when he must participate in illegally set up fights. This film being set in prison is also particularly similar to Death Warrant. These are really where the similarities end because this is more dramatic and less flashy than those. There are no sweeping Van Damme kicks played in glorious slow motion, he doesn't seem invincible and is not able to summon great amounts of strength to down 7ft behemoths in one punch, in this film he is an ordinary guy. If he fights someone who looks like they could take him, then he will have a tough time, and get beat up.

This film allows JC to play a character with some depth and some emotion, a character who we sympathise with in the way his wife's death effects him. He kills his wife's murderer when he is let free and so goes to jail and we see the way in which his character goes on a downward spiral without his wife. While this film attempts to have a sympathetic character it has such a hackneyed script, full of clichés that it ends having ultimately wasted one of Van Damme's best performances and some classy direction from Ringo Lam. He is a grade above other b-movie directors and this film looks great, he worked with a good cinematographer and editor to make this look well beyond its 15 million or so budget.

There isn't a single surprise in the film and many of the supporting cast are bad but the better actors all produce some good moments. You feel for certain characters, it is a shame that the majority of the crew and cast aren't matches for the more talented members, however it does allow JC to stand out.

The fights are not about being flash they are rough and ready and pack a punch, and are superbly edited. It makes a change for Van Damme but far more watchable than other films like Nowhere to Run which showed no flashy martial arts. The fighting in this is more like proper wrestling.

As with many low budget movies there are problems with the special effects, such as dodgy CGI airplanes and a poor synth score. In the end though the film was an enjoyable watch while not great it featured quality in the direction and with a decent performance by Van Dammes standards, were not talking Academy awards by any means but possibly a Video Premiere award nomination. ***


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