When I hear the term “prison movie”, my thoughts go straight to either African-American gangsters or Blood In Blood Out, but in 1989, the movie Lock Up (starring Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, Tom Sizemore and Sonny Landham) came out and layed the groundwork for future films in the genre.
With a mixture of corny but loveable characters, a mindgripping plot and fantastic acting, this action-absent drama about a warden with a grudge (Sutherland) against a short-term convict (Stallone) shows us a darker side if the so called system and how much pressure one man can withstand before he breaks.
Sonny Landham (best known for his portrayal of Billy in Predator) plays a pawn in the wardens games to break Leoni (Stallone) and we can really see in Landhams eyes that his character really enjoys what he does. With a truely sick and twisted mind and the brute size of Landham, Chink is one of the baddest villains I have ever seen and the way Landham brings him to life is amazing to say the least.
As for Stallone’s portrayal of Frank Leoni, all I can say is, that he really is a great actor and we really get to see another side of the musclebound Italian, not unlike the way we see him in Copland. As he is aging, I really hope that he brings more of this talents to future projects!
So, until next time… Peace out hombrés!