10 Grim Movie Prisons To Put You Off A Life Of Crime

I been sent down for some stretches in the past, but this – let me you tell you guv’nor –…

Tim Colman


barbed wire

I been sent down for some stretches in the past, but this – let me you tell you guv’nor – this is one spell in old chokey that I ain’t looking forward to with all you other lags. Snout. Officer. Erm. Well, as you may be able to tell, I probably wouldn’t last long in prison.

In truth, the closest I’ve ever come to a life of crime was enduring a 3-hour game of Cluedo, that had no obvious solution, as the person who put the cards in the little folder in the middle had messed up. So the answer was Mrs White, in the Lounge…with the Billiard Room. After that ended, I very nearly attacked the chap in charge with the little spanner – it somehow seemed fitting.

I think I’ve been kept on the straight and narrow in my life because I’ve always had the movies to spur me on, portraying some of the most dismal, grotty and downright prisons imaginable. No matter how improbable they are, they always lurk at the back of my mind when I’m considering anything remotely naughty.


10. Fortress (1992)


In the dystopian future-world of 2017 (yep, only four years to go until dystopia) Christopher Lambert – he of the many accents, all of them a bit French – has been imprisoned for the crime of ‘having too many children’. Lord knows what they’d have done to Kerry Katona.

I think you can usually judge a company by it’s name, and with the Men-Tel corporation in charge, you’re unlikely to be surprised that one of the first things they do in their prison is force your mouth open and whack a big steel ball inside. This is the brilliantly named Intestinator which, if you’re behaving badly, latches onto your insides and scrambles your stomach until you are either sick or, in some cases, dead by explody-tumtum. It’s sort of like a kebab made of Meccano.

Add to that a retractable drawbridge, laser walls, electric anvils (made that up, sorry) and the old ‘mind wipe’ device if you’re particular naughty, and you’ve got a splendid hellhole. Oh, and it looks like they are doing experiments on babies to make soldier clone cyborgs too – well, you have to have a hobby I guess.

Of course, like nearly all of these places, it turns out to be escapable. If only they’d had the foresight to build it in somewhere like space…