Within the first few seconds of Prisoners of the Ghostland you get a good indication of what the next 100 minutes entails as Nicholas Cage and another armed man march through the streets of a small town ready to rob a bank.
While this plan may not go 100% to plan, this sets Cage’s Hero on a journey that will unravel long buried lies.
Initially this feels very much like Escape From New York, but director Sion Sono borrows elements from the Mad Max universe with the post-apocalyptic settings and when sprinkled with some supernatural stardust you have quite the melting pot of madness.
Cage is reliable enough and the action sequences are superbly choreographed, and while there is a slight lull to gather breath near the mid-point Prisoners of the Ghostland rouses for an excellent and blood soaked finale.
There is some offbeat comedy here too, potentially unintentional in some instances with Cage and others very much hamming it up. A special mention to for Bill Moseley who turns in an excellent performance as the slimey Governor, who feels like Immortan Joe with a white suit and a cowboy hat on.
Sono also creates some striking imagery coupled with some stunning cinematography that make Ghostland gorgeous to simply look and admire at times.
There is some social commentary too on the environmental impact of our actions plus how oppressive regimes can disguise fascism and fanaticism to outsiders.
Prisoners of the Ghostland is a visual feast which will also satisfy the cult of Cage too.
Prisoners of the Ghostland screened as part of Frightfest 2021.