Cinematic debuts don’t arrive more fiercely than “Bone Tomahawk.” Writer/director S. Craig Zahler turned heads in a big way with his brutal and original western/horror hybrid that made everyone pay attention to what he might do next. Well, it hasn’t taken him long, as the filmmaker is gearing up to hit both Venice and TIFF with “Brawl In Cell Block 99,” and the good news is that it sounds like it’s going to be awesome as that title indicates
Starring Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson, and Jennifer Carpenter, “Brawl In Cell Block 99” follows an auto mechanic turned drug courier, who gets caught in a gunfight between the cops and his criminal buddies, and then tossed in jail, where a whole new battle unfolds. Here’s the official synopsis:
A former boxer named Bradley loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage is about to expire. At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work for an old buddy as a drug courier. This vocation improves his situation until the terrible day that he finds himself in a gunfight between a group of police officers and his own ruthless allies. When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.
And according to TIFF Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky, who takes over this year from Colin Geddes, not only is the movie outrageous, but he’s going to break custom and start the movie before midnight for a very cool reason.
“….expect a rare break in tradition: I’ll be starting one Midnight Madness selection before midnight: ‘Brawl in Cellblock 99,’ ” he told Bloody Disgusting. “I think the film escalates to an absolutely deranged climax that’s kind of reminiscent of ‘The Story of Riki-Oh‘ but for the first hour it is more of a sober crime drama. In fact, I don’t think it really becomes a true ‘midnight movie’ until the hour and 7 minute mark exactly, so, therefore, I have decided to start my intro at 10:45 PM and the film at 10:53 PM, so that that when the clock strikes Midnight, so does the movie!”
Holy moses, we’re so in for this film, and it looks like we’re going to have put ‘Riki-Oh’ on our catch-up list before TIFF. Check out the trailer for that 1991 cult film below.