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 Prisoners of the Ghostland
                                review by Bobby Blakey

Over the years Nicholas Cage has had his ups and downs, but there is no doubt he can offer up some memorable performances. I personally love him the most when he is allowed to just cut lose in films like Mandy Color out of Space, Wally’s Wonderland and more recently PIG. Now he is teaming up with Tokyo Tribe director Sion Sono for the film Prisoners of the Ghostland co-starring the great Bill Moseley, Sofia Boutella, Nick Cassavetes, Tak Sakaguchi and Yuzuka Nakaya. Could this be another winner or will it fail to escape its own prison?  


Prisoners of the Ghostland follows a ruthless bank robber who is sprung from jail by wealthy warlord The Governor, whose adopted granddaughter Bernice has gone missing in the treacherous frontier city of Samurai Town,. The Governor offers the prisoner his freedom in exchange for retrieving the runaway. Strapped into a leather suit that will self-destruct within five days, the bandit sets off on a journey to find the young woman—and his own path to redemption.


You know right out the gate that this film is going to be out there in almost every way. The entire film is an acquired taste that is like a mash up of The Road Warrior and a toned down version of the Japanese horror splatter flicks. This is nowhere near a horror flick mind you, just reminded me of that genre. Director Sion Sono is known as a "stakhanovist-filmmaker"[2][3] with an "idiosyncratic" career. There is a very specific look to the film that will either fully capture your senses or put you off almost instantly.


This is the perfect film for Cage with it being out there, over the top and just all around insane in its storytelling and execution which is part of the reason it delivers. He is vintage Cage here and looks to be enjoying this experience while bringing a simple character to life. The always awesome Tak Sakaguchi 


is awesome here bringing his silent nuance to the torment and danger to his character. Add to the mix Sofia Boutella that continues to take on interesting roles, the always fun to watch Moseley and you have the most interesting diverse cast in some time.

The story is a bit all over the place, but still makes sense while keeping things artsy and strange to the violent end of it all. Sprinkled throughout the violence and the oddities are some funny moments that add to this strange viewing experience. I loved this film on every level that gave a grindhouse like experience that you will either love or hate and likely nothing in between.  


This is a must have for Cage and Mosely fans or those that just love bizarre flicks. Grab your copy of Prisoners of the Ghostland when it hits 4K Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD on November 16th from RLJE Films.

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