The 10 Most Hellish Movie Prisons


Prison sounds like hell. You’re locked in one room, barely going outside while you are forced to sit around all day and like… read and watch TV and shit. I hear there are movie nights and exercise equipment as well. You’d probably get really fit, and hell – you’d be socializing for once in your life.

Okay, when I describe it like that, prison sounds all right. In movies it varies, especially when the film doesn’t exactly take place in our own reality. They cane be comedic, nightmarish and, in some cases, musical. They can also be like hell.

Here are the ones that look like the biggest pains to reside in – places where, in a world where you have to either get busy living or get busy dying, the latter would probably be best.

10. Manhattan Island in Escape From New York


Manhattan only barely makes the list here. Why? Because even though it’s now a penal colony, it’s still freaking Manhattan. Sure, it’s filled with dangerous criminals, insufficient living area and low  quality of life, but that’s city life for ya. Why not make the best of a bad situation? Australia did it.

There has to be some order to this world – after all, we only see it when Air Force Freaking One crashes into it – of course it’s going to be an off day. But if there’s people like Ernest Borgnine and his cab making an honest living, than they must have figured out that it’s better to just play town than play war.


9. Fiorina 161 in Alien 3


Fiorina’s real problem is that it looks shittier than it is. When you take into account that pretty much everything in the Aliens universe looks like a high school basement, the prison doesn’t seem half bad. It’s actually more spacious than a lot of what we’ve seen in the franchise. Heck, as we see in a deleted scene, it even has a beach. Sure – it’s a pretty dismal shoreline, but so is New England and people still live there.

Anyway, death – that’s kind of the big problem that makes this place not so great. When you have no guns, armor, or even hair and you’re facing off against a xenomorph playing grabby with anyone hanging around an open duct, things go sour pretty quick.


8. The Rura Penthe Mines in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country


Is it just me or does everything the Klingons build look like a goth night club? Rura Penthe was the Hoth of the Star Trek universe. The planet is warm and volatile on the inside, frozen solid on the outside – kind of like a reverse Hot Pocket. As a prison it’s pretty standard, only with bigger things that could kick your ass or, lord forgive, have their way with you.

That said, there was a lady there… sort of. Actually, it was almost better than a lady, it was a shapeshifter. Just imagine how popular one of those would be is prison.


7. Erewhon Prison in Face/Off

Funny, for a prison with magnetic boots, no-bullshit punishment, miles of water surrounding it, and a freaking torture chair, you’d think it wouldn’t suck so much. Seriously now, they dump John Travolta wearing Nicolas Cage’s face in this mother – Cage being public enemy number one – and he’s able to get out in about a day. Isn’t this supposed to be the best prison in the nation or something like that?

This speaks more to why this place sucks than the harshness of the environment; it’s one thing being trapped in a hellhole of constant physical violence, but it’s a whole other thing when your captors are a bunch of clowns. How often do you bet they just straight up forget to feed people in this place? If they can’t even hold onto a prisoner (which is like, their one job), how do they manage to fix simple problems like plumbing or basic medical care?

David is a video editor, writer, and movie fanatic. After graduating from Full Sail University he now spends his days in Western Massachusetts working as a freelance article and sketch writer, as well as a comedy workshop moderator for Cracked.com. (Click Here to View David's work on Cracked.com) He enjoys over-analyzing movies, punk rock, and referring to himself in the third person.

Read More from David Christopher Bell
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!