klʺ (1988)
Woman Prison

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/02/2011

Where Women's Prison doesn't stray from the norms of the genre is having the problems inside the prison walls climax in the seemingly inevitable climax of a riot, which results in some brutal scenes of violence. The somewhat overly-happy and cleaned-up coda, accompanied by Maria Cordero (who plays the lone sympathetic guard) belting out a Cantonese version of "House of the Rising Sun", undercuts a bit the dramatic tension that was built up for the previous ninety minutes. For the most part, though, Women's Prison ends up being one of those under-rated little gems from the 1980's that were overshadowed at the time by their bigger brothers, but are still well worth watching now.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/15/2007
Summary: quite compelling

One thing screenwriter Nam Yin learned early in his career was that if you find a good story you can turn it into a winning formula for continued box office success. You can look to the Troublesome Night phenomena to see a truly long lasting blueprint. He was lucky to have a major success with his very first screenplay, the torrid Prison on Fire, directed by Ringo Lam. 1988's Woman Prison is basically a scene for scene replication of his first film, recast with women playing similar characters found populating prison life.

Presenters Eric Tsang Chi-Wai and Alan Tam Wing-Lun were no slouches when it came to recognizing easy money at the box office. The pre-production meeting between these two movie nuts, Nam, and director David Lam Tak-Luk must have been quite a high energy scene. They managed to put together an energetic cast to bring a gritty realism to the awful conditions of the former colony's female prison. Look for Maria Cordero and Liu Fan as guard and inmate, respectively. Woman Prison is quite compelling, with excellent production values and top-notch, emotionally engaging performances.

Reviewer Score: 7