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Prisoners Of The Ghostland Blu-ray Review

“Prisoners Of The Ghostland” is too odd for its own good.

Written by Aaron Henry and Reza Sixo Safai, “Prisoners Of The Ghostland” is set in an area of Japan where a nuclear accident took place. There’s the populated Samurai Town run by the Governor and the Ghostland wasteland which resides outside of it. The central story revolves around an imprisoned man named Hero who is tasked by the Governor to find his “granddaughter” Bernice (who is a sex slave) in the Ghostland in 5 days time while wearing a suit made of explosives. Elsewhere in the story there are flashbacks to Hero’s past which may or may not come back to haunt him.

Directed by Japanese cult filmmaker Sion Sono (who is best known for films like “Tokyo Tribe” and “Love Exposure”), “Prisoners Of The Ghostland” is a wild mix of genres (western, samurai and post-apocalyptic films) and a weird fusion of Japanese and American cultures combined with homage to films like “Escape From New York” and the Mad Max series. If you’ve ever seen the work of Sono before, you know you’re in for a trip and this film is no exception. Among the things you can expect to see here are vibrant colors, gumballs, elaborate sets, songs and chants, some of the strangest dialogue, bloody action, bike riding, a character named Ratman, mannequin people, an exploding testicle, a missing voice, tricked out trucks, nuclear burned people, and a sword arm. While that all sounds compelling in words, the movie is too much of a cluttered mess. Sure, some viewers may get swept up in the sheer weirdness of it all, but I was left wanting more meaning and depth from the story itself which is overshadowed far too much from the visual aesthetic.

One of the main draws for ‘Ghostland’ will undoubtedly be Nicolas Cage. To the film’s credit, the movie utilizes him well. Sono’s unique sensibilities work well with Cage who definitely turns his performance to 11 at times. I won’t spoil the Cageisms for those wanting to witness the magic themselves. Outside of Cage, there are a trio of memorble performances from genre veteran Bill Moseley, Sofia Boutella (who always picks bold roles) and Tak Sakaguchi as the samurai Yasujiro.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? The very visual film shines in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a satisfactory 5.1 track.

Extras include movie still and behind the scenes photo galleries, RLJE Films trailers and an 8 minute making of featurette.

November 16, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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