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The Hobby Shack => Creative Writing => Topic started by: Chiprocks1 on February 09, 2013, 08:19:21 am


Title: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 09, 2013, 08:19:21 am
It's high time that this thread get made given that I love the Prison genre. Anyway, post what you think are common elements of the genre here. As always, color code your scenes for easier reading. Thanks. Getting it started with....

Eat and Greet - It seems more often than not that the Fresh Fish or Newbie meets the crew that he will ally himself with stars in the cafeteria. Usually the hero is lost and scared and is eating alone when he is approached by the guys that will benefit himself in the long run. From Robert Redford in The Last Castle to Tim Robbins in The Shawshawnk Redemption, the bond starts over breaking bread with the fellow inmates. A lot of Eat and Greets in the cafeteria can also be found in Oz as well.

Kill The Nice Guy - This prisoner is usually the one guy that EVERYONE in the yard likes, but is looked on as a serious threat by the Warden. Killing off this character is actually the Big, Pivotal moment in the story that spurs the Main Character to finally take matters into his own hands and stick it to the warden. In The Last Castle, what prompts Eugene Irwin to finally take the Warden down was whenAguilar was shot and killed. In The Shawshank Redemption, what propels Andy Dufresne to finally escape prison and taking down the Warden is when Warden Samuel Norton kills Tommy Williams, Andy's one shot at getting a retrial.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Mac on February 17, 2013, 05:12:28 pm
Scum warden nough said

I'm watching the much needed Death Race 3  :-\

Anyway the exaggerated or amplified sound is all over this movie. It exists more in a Action Type movie. A simple passing of a beam of light across the camera will have sound, a low rumble or pitch. The other classis is a knife or sword. Usually pulling it out of sheath will produce the metallic schwing sound. Sometimes it's the simple turning the sword (with a glint of light) or whipping it through the air to get that metallic sound
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Neumatic on February 17, 2013, 07:02:14 pm
While I'm not really into these movies, don't the prisons tend to be old-school and grimy?  I've seen Lockdown or whatever that series was called and the prisons now actually kind of look like schools, lots of light, bright walls, everything's meant to assault the senses in a sort of way so that anything out of the ordinary can be easily noticed.  But that looks kinda crummy on film so they take a page from the past.

Oh, and this is a problem I've been mulling on for WAY too long, if you have a movie in prison everyone's wearing the same thing and that's pretty bloody boring, so your main cast needs variations on the outfits, and there's only so many of those you can do.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 17, 2013, 07:10:45 pm

Oh, and this is a problem I've been mulling on for WAY too long, if you have a movie in prison everyone's wearing the same thing and that's pretty bloody boring, so your main cast needs variations on the outfits, and there's only so many of those you can do.

Aesthetically, you are correct in that the same garb gets boring, but in practicality, no prison in their right mind would have multi-colored or variations of uniforms. I'm sure you already know this, but for the sake of those that don't know, they keep all prisoners in bright colors like Orange and Yellow so that they are easier to spot in crowds should they make it that far in an escape attempt.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 17, 2013, 07:13:29 pm
The Assh*le Guard - Pick any movie or TV show that takes place in Prison and you will find that one Guard that is borderline criminal. Actually, he is a criminal, as he takes pleasure in assaulting and sometimes killing prisoners for his own amusement. Clancy Brown is a prime example of playing the AHG in The Shawshank Redemption.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on February 17, 2013, 07:17:09 pm
The Old Timer - I can't believe I forgot about this one. Usually there is that Old Guy that has served 40-50 years of a life sentence that is looked on as the 'Wise Old Man' of the yard. Soft-spoken and deemed to be a non threat to everyone. James Whitmore and Muse Watson played similar types of characters in Shawshank and Prison Break respectively.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Neumatic on March 26, 2014, 12:05:03 pm
I'm a little disappointed that Mac hasn't updated this thread since he started watching those Women In Prison flicks on Netflix... seems like they have rules all their own.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Mac on March 26, 2014, 12:31:32 pm
Gah, I forgot about this thread  :-\
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Neumatic on March 26, 2014, 12:44:05 pm
To be fair, so did I... I was going to start one if this didn't exist.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on March 26, 2014, 09:16:00 pm
I've actually been itching to revisit Chained Heat again. It's been on my mind for the past few weeks. Why? I have no idea. Just popped into my head out of nowhere. Once I do, I will post any and all cliches that exist within the movie.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Neumatic on March 26, 2014, 09:35:27 pm
Here's hoping!

Really, the only thing I remember from any of the women in prison flicks is the general cheapness, the insistence on catfights, the nudity-heavy shower sequences, and how all these movies seemed to be taking place in abandoned, century old estates in other countries.  They really all felt like dirty locations the production just found (which, let's be honest, is what most movie locations ARE).  It never really felt like a real jail to me, you know?

There's never a women prison flick taking place in a high tech facility or anything like that... I remember that boot-centric oil rig prison from Face-Off, the high tech one from that recent Swarzenegger/Stallone movie (which I didn't see) and Lockout... and those are cool, the production designer in me likes those, but those are all kind of guy centric.  It seems to me like beautiful women + glass and steel would be an obvious go-to.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Mac on March 27, 2014, 03:57:49 am
You mean, the prisons made out of bamboo?

That struck me as... You kidding me?
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Neumatic on March 27, 2014, 11:16:21 am
It was about the era of Vietnam, wasn't it?
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Mac on March 27, 2014, 11:52:14 am
About that time.

These movies I believe reflected some current international affairs, yet they kept the political angle generic as not to raise suspicion with those whose country they were filming this in... Philippines.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Mac on March 27, 2014, 01:03:55 pm
sub-genre: Women In Prison

Sadistic Female Prison Guard

Slave labor - female prisoners being sentenced to hard labor (such as scrubbing floors or digging dirt holes while naked)

Lesbian sex scenes between prisoners and the guards, or the female prisoners being raped (or forced into prostitution) by male guards

Fights between the prisoners (sometimes in the shower)

Fetish with whipping and bondage as punishment - beatings and punishment by guards

Female prisoners being sprayed by a firehose

Typical plot involves prisoners uprising, escaping and killing the villains

Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Neumatic on March 27, 2014, 06:01:36 pm
The escape thing is a constant because it's not really an exciting finale for the person to wait out their time and get returned to society.  Although it is a real revolving door corrupt system, so there's plenty of sequel potential.

Back even before the grindhouse flicks, in the black and white days, there was a constant thread of the "undercover reporter" angle, seeking out the abuses in the prison, or the girl who was wrongfully arrested and the system screwed over, so there really is no other choice but to escape.

I definitely liked the sensational elements of those, like this is real stuff that no one had the guts to tell you about, the truth that general audiences can't handle, we say you can.  It's almost like clickbait in a funny way (Reefer Madness did this as well, didn't it?)
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Chiprocks1 on March 28, 2014, 10:17:15 am
I'm still trying to clear some space so that I can revisit Oz again. It has been years since I last watched it.
Title: Re: The Prison Genre Cliche Thread
Post by: Neumatic on August 23, 2014, 03:23:39 pm
Okay, so I saw a flick last night where half of it took place in a maximum security prison, here are some things I noticed...

* The more dangerous the place is, the fewer lights there are.  Even though this is the opposite of what a prison should be, you know the place is a squallid heck-hole when it's dark even in the middle of the day, a window creates an effect like a stage light, and one of the lights overhead flickers on and off.  I'd think if you had the craziest people all locked up in one place, yo'd make sure you can see them at all times.

* Grime.  Probably closer to reality than I'd think.  I always wonder if this is a case of location dictating style, they tend to make these movies in abandoned prisons and warehouses which typically aren't clean.

* You've got to fight to survive.  Never mind that "keep your head down and power through" rule, never mind prison is usually the most mind-numbingly boring place in the world, in this dark, squallid places, it's kill or be killed (and btw, it's fine if you kill people in these prisons).  Sometimes it's a tournament, half-dressed convicts grappling against each other until one's a bruised, bloody mess.  In the case of "Famel Convict Scorpion," it was in ankle-deep mud (no idea where the mud CAME from) with the prize being a swig of Jack Daniels hanging off an old rope.

* The Southern Warden.  This was a CHINESE movie and there was still a warden who looked like Col Sanders, what the heck?  Maybe it's like a "too good for this place" sort of thing, I dunno.