Several years ago, a bloody riot of epic proportion ravaged the corridors of the Isla del Roca penitentiary, resulting in the gruesome death of both inmates and guards alike.Now condemned, the prison serves as nothing more... more » than a shattered relic of archaic brutality; a chilling reminder of man?s morbid and murderous nature. Seeking to explore the violent history of the uprising, a na´ve crew of filmmakers invades the decaying penitentiary, only to discover that a band of fugitives has taken refuge inside the empty jailhouse. Fearful for their lives, the filmmakers soon discover that the convicts may be the least of their problems ? and that the victims of that fatal riot may still haunt the prison walls. Jake Busey (THE FRIGHTENERS), Stacy Keach (AMERICAN HISTORY X), and Danny Trejo (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN) star in this terrifying splatterfest from critically acclaimed horror maestro Kevin Van Hook. Features:Widescreen Presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs,Still Gallery,Original Production Art,"An Axe to Grind": The Making of DEATH ROW,"License to Thrill",Also on DVD,Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Kevin Van Hook,Deleted Scene,DVD-Rom script,Motion Menus« less
Alyssa G. (Lyssak) from WOLVERTON, MN Reviewed on 2/9/2008...
It was better than I had expected for never hearing of it. I recommend watching it atleaste once!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Very good for a B horror film
Mark | Madison, Wisconsin | 03/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked this film from start to finish. It was well written for a B horror film and the acting was very good too. I did like the story and the concept of the haunted prison including a few laughs thrown in. The special effects of the ghosts could have been done a little better, but hey this is a B horror flick and it is still a fun movie. I do recommend this movie to anyone that likes B horror flicks with a little twist to it as well."
Four Words You Never Want to Hear; "A Sci-Fi Channel Origina
E K Maxmias | Close enough to Detroit! | 10/27/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's my own fault for not doing the proper research. I should have known better than to trust a handful of amazon.com reviews that I skimmed over. If I had ever seen those 4 words, I would have never plopped down my $5 for this really mediocre film. In all fairness, had I caught this while channel surfing I might have hung around out of morbid curiosity. But I didn't. I actually bought this turd. So, in an effort to convince myself that it has a twinge of merit and I didn't waste my money, I'm going to attempt to write an unbiased and fair review of "Death Row" (and my name is Napoleon Bonaparte).
-13 GHOSTS JUNIOR. This feels a lot like "13 Ghosts" without the fair acting and cool house or the ok visual FX. Well, that pretty much describes anything of value from "13 Ghosts" doesn't it? As ridiculous as the story of "13 Ghosts" is, the one thing it had going for it was originality. I don't mean to imply that it's a great story, but the idea is at least unique. "Death Row" is lacking anything that could be describes as "Original". If you've ever seen a film with annoying people, brutal deaths and cruddy ghosts then you've seen this. Oh, and as an added surprise, only the virtuous survive (whatever that truly means); clever huh?
-CAN WE PLEASE HAVE CHARACTORS WE CARE ABOUT!?!? Is it so difficult to have some likeable characters in a horror movie? Why must all the characters be so flawed or annoying that death can't come too soon? Whatever happened to actually trying to get us to worry about the characters? Well guess what; you want all these people to die, and you get a lot of them. In fact not only do we get a group of jewel thieves using the derelict old prison as a hideout, but we conveniently get a college crew, trying to make a documentary about the prison, show up without permission. High jinx and hilarity ensue, not. Not to be forgotten is Stacy Keach's performance as the former prison guard and inmate (explain to me how that ever happens). He presides over the best part of the film as he tells the story of how the prison became abandoned. We hear him tell the story while seeing what actually happened; they are rarely the same thing.
-BOO!! What, that didn't scare you? Well neither will these ghosts. Looking as though they came straight from the "Haunted Mansion", the inmate ghosts were the worst kind of visual trickery. Basically, they looked like bad zombie actors painted over with off-the-shelf digital filters. The overall effect is a sort of Photoshop meets Casper; obviously digital and not at all scary.
-CHOICE CUTS OF MEAT AND A SHOWER SCENE. Sorry, that shower scene is a big letdown. The hot dish is washing sewage off of herself while still mostly dressed; yea, a big turn-on. However, if there is any redemption for this film, it is in the creative kills. Some very new and messy methods of deceased-ifying people have been concocted here. Some of these scenes are just silly and implausible but I had to give credit for them even being attempted. That said; we're talking about a cumulative 15 minutes of footage that might entertain you. The rest is just awful.
-A VIRTUOUS ACT OF SELFLESSNESS. If you're like me and hate nearly every horror film the Sci-fi channel has a hand in then this review is indeed a selfless act. For enduring this film and warning you I should be spared from the wrath of the digital ghosts and be granted reprieve from damnation that is "a Sci-fi Channel original". If you happen to bump into this on TV and have nothing more enjoyable to do, like clean your gutters, then watch it for the creative and brutal kills (though they will probably be edited out). Otherwise, steer clear of "Death Row"; it is a bad place to be.
I should know better by now than to watch Kevin van Hook movies, but van Hook is the Uwe Boll of Sci-Fi Original Movies: I just can't not watch. That said, Haunted Prison (aka Death Row), van Hook's most recent (as of this writing) release, is by far the best of his movies; could it be that he's learning from his painful earlier mistakes? (Step one: do not, under any circumstances, cast Casper van Dien in the lead role of your movie.)
This one gives us two groups descending upon an abandoned prison: first are a crew of criminals, headed by the insane Marco (Jake Busey), on the lam after a jewelry store heist gone bad. Second are a group of college kids making a documentary about the prison. The opening scene, which is the best work van Hook has ever done, is told in flashback as the college kids interview Elias (Stacy Keach), a guard who was at the prison when the riot that closed it down happened. There's an amusing dichotomy between the story he narrates and the story we actually see. Cut to the criminals getting to the prison, and the ghosts of the restless dead getting all uppity now that they have fresh blood to prey upon. Cut to the college kids getting there. The meat buffet is open, folks.
After that first scene, the movie becomes your basic supernatural slasher movie, but van Hook actually has some real actors to work with here (aside from Keach and Busey, we have General Hospital's Claire Coffey, A History of Violence's Kyle Schmid, Danny Trejo, and some others you might recognize), and they breathe life into van Hook's script, which, while still mediocre, is quite strong given the pen it came from. The wit is actually witty now and again! The ghost effects borrow a great deal from the Ther13en Ghosts remake from a few years back, but the ghost effects were one of the best things about that movie, and van Hook uses them to good effect here. This is the movie that actually makes me look forward to what Kevin van Hook is going to do next-- and that's a sentiment I thought I could never express. ** ½ "
Bud Bundy | MN USA | 08/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is about a group of jewel thieves who hide out at a prison, while at the same time a group of young film makers show up to film a documentary there. Little do they know the place is haunted, and the ghosts are rather bloodthirsty. Overall, I thought this was a really fun movie. The characters are excellent, with lots of personality and they're all quite likable. The action moves along at a fast pace and kept me interested. Lots of hot babes as well!
For a low budget horror movie, this one is very entertaining and a lot of fun."
Big-House On Haunted Hill...
Bindy Sue Fr°nkŘnschtein | under the rubble | 05/29/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A group of documentary film-makers venture into an abandoned prison, only to find themselves besieged by a group of desperate criminals. If that weren't bad enough, the place is haunted to boot! Yep, the ghosts of murdered inmates-past roam the halls, waiting for unsuspecting college kids and jewel thieves to mutilate. DEATH ROW is a goofy, rather dull spooker, with the typical victims and the ghouls who love them. Actually, there are some well-done gore fx, which are worth an extra star. However, I just didn't find this one to be all that chilling, original, or fun. The usually reliable Jake Busey (The Frighteners, Starship Troopers) was pretty lame as the main badguy, the ghostly inmates look ridiculous for the most part, and the other characters are pure wood-products. The basic story is an ancient one that's been done a zillion times before in (better) films like HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, DEAD BIRDS, SCARECROWS, BELOW, etc., and didn't need another re-tread..."