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Escape from Death Block 13

USA 2021
produced by
Philip R. Garrett, Gary Jones, Kathleen Jones (executive), Ronnie D. Lee (executive), Jeff Miller (executive) for Mosquito Entertainment, Arbor Avenue Films, Millman Productions, Ron Lee Productions
directed by Gary Jones
starring Robert Bronzi, Chris Hahn, Nicholas Turturro, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Debbie Scaletta, Lyindaa Russell, Tim Lovelace, Justin Hawkins, Beau Roberts, Richard Napoli, David Greathouse, Leo McNamee, Bud Moffett, Kenny Hendrix, George j. Merino, Michael Merino, Mickey Scodova, Ray Szuch, Jimmie Lee, Bryan Jones, Jacob Southwick, Nicholas D'Amico, Jeff Miller, Gino Bebellis, Justin Beck, Taariq Ali Bynum, Joshua Stephen Campbell, Mark Carper, John Catheline, Toby Cline, Masen Colucci, Shawn Rae Daniels, Jack Delong, Steven Douglas, Anthony Eriksen, Todd Friend, Hayden Garrett, Philip R. Garrett, Shane Grove, Matthew Harrington, Titus Higginbotham, Damon Hoffman, Jademen James, Bryan Jones, Mason Lash, Steve Lee, Brandon Lindsay, Jason Massey, Mike Moffett, Ted Opalinski, Bobby Petroski, Tim Porras, Matthew Price, Tim Salsgiver, David Chance Wade, Albert Williams
written by Gary Jones, music by Jósep Gíslason

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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All Mick (Robert Bronzi) wanted was a small sum in compensation money from his brother's employer (Nicholas Turturro) after his brother has died on the job - and instead he gets framed for a murder he didn't commit and thrown into a particularly brutal prison, seen over by Warden Jack (Debbie Scaletta). He is approached by the feds (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Lyindaa Russell) to do some snooping as they suspect that particular prison to be part of a drug-running operation, but initially turns them down not wanting to be a snitch. However, he soon finds evidence that it's most likely that Warden Jack runs the operation herself - but the warden soon grows wise on Mick growing wise on her, and she sees to it that Mick has to go one-on-one with her favourite, prison bully Bunyan (Chris Hahn), as a convenient way to get rid of Mick with not creating too much fuzz. However, Mick manages to defeat Bunyan, but then refuses to kill him, which throws them both into solitary - which is when a riot starts among the convicts, which is exactly what Mick would have needed to make good an escape ...

 

This is really a film out of time, and not just because lead Robert Bronzi is a dead ringer for Charles Bronson, in a role that seems tailor-made for Bronson, it's also that everything about Escape from Death Block 13 is very much reminiscent of action cinema from the 1970s and 80s, from its blunt approach to things to its unapologetic use of violence to its lack of irony or indeed hindsight to its macho attitude - and all of this really works in Escape from Death Block 13's favour, it's a welcome throwback movie that might lack a bit in terms of depth, but is just so much fun to watch while it's on.

 

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