Willy's Wonderland

Just got back from Prisoners of the Ghostland and wanted to say, if you like your Cage crazy, this may be the film for you. From Sion Sono, the director of Love Exposure and Why Don’t You Go Play In Hell?!


OH! MST3K connection in Prisoners of Ghostland: A character named Enoch, who reads things like Wuthering Heights to the little Japanese urchins that populate—look, it’s complicated, but anyway, Enoch is played by Charles Glover who was in…Mitchell!


Prisoners was a truly weird experience, but I don’t know if it lands right.

It is visually arresting, but I feel like I’d get more out of it with the sound and subtitles turned off.

The storytelling sequence in the ghostland with the sliding cards is really great.

1 Like

I saw it about a week ago – very enjoyable in a “what the hell” kind of way. What I appreciate about it is that the filmmakers explained basically NONE of the weird stuff. The horror-movie stuff they explained, but the random idiosyncrasies they just let be there and left the audience to make up its own theories. It’s fun to leave some things mysterious!

I also saw Pig recently and that was very good, but not really what I was expecting at all.


Very reminiscent of “Beyond Thunderdome”. (Apparently we CAN’T get beyond thunderdome!) And a little bit of “We can’t possibly film this on our budget.”

It’s an experience. It’s got a lot going for it. It reminds me of giallo in that things–well, they say the (Persian?) screenwriter tried for over a decade to get the movie made, so it’s not like there wasn’t time to make a cohesive film. I can only assume that wasn’t the point.


I think I also liked it, but not as a cohesive story.

It would be more accurate to say that I think I might like it better with no dialogue track. The sound is intense and adds a lot to the sort of disjointed quality. Watching it reminds me a lot of how it feels trying to remember a dream that you know made sense at the time, but now that you’re awake and trying to remember and parse it the whole experience collapses into a jumble.

It’s interesting in that it doesn’t really play off your emotions like normal storytelling does. I wasn’t excited or sad or scared or whatever, but there’s a kind of…vibe? Disquiet? I don’t know the word to describe a sense of watching something alien and being sort of elsewhere for a while and then coming back.

It’s a weird flick.

1 Like

It just hit me that there’s another (very different) movie that felt similar the first time I watched it. Through the whole movie they keep introducing disparate elements and weird tangents and there’s a certain linearity to the events, but not what you’d call a proper narrative. I remember after it was over I just kind of sat there trying to figure out what the heck I’d just watched and rolling over and over it to see if I’d just missed some kind of thread that pulled it all together into a conventional story. It only became really, really funny after I’d stewed on it and the whole thing kinda clicked over.

You ready?

It’s weird, but I think it’s a fair comparison:

Napoleon Dynamite.

The perfect summary of Prisoners of the Ghostland:

Mad Max: Napoleon Dynamite Road

1 Like

I’m not sure I agree but I’m sure I’m intriqued.


My take is I didn’t like the movie as a whole, most of it feeling like a cheap Syfy slasher. EXCEPT everything Nick Cage. And it’s not just Cage is good, I feel everything from a creative perspective surrounding that character is great so the writing, directing, etc are all top notch only in regards to this character. He’s a conventional film badass but also he seems completely tuned out from EVERYTHING that isn’t his job and it makes for a compelling character and I love that we get very little insight into this guy. I don’t recommend the movie but that character is perfect.