Sordid Cinema Podcast #571: Brawl in Cell Block 99 Pulls No Punches Within Its Violent Mission

by Sordid Cinema
Published: Last Updated on

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Review

After his gritty/dreamy horror western Bone Tomahawk, writer-director S. Craig Zahler established himself as a genre talent to watch. His sophomore effort, a prison flick about a bruiser of a man slugging his way into the bowels of a maximum security facility in order to kill an inmate and save his wife, only bolstered that assessment. Brawl in Cell Block 99 is an immersive, raw, visceral experience with a knockout performance from Vince Vaughn that (depending on who you ask) might just be the quickest 132 minutes you’ve spent watching a movie. Or it might be bone-crunching hell.

This week sees Patrick Murphy and Simon Howell tackling Zahler’s off-beat world, guessing at his socio-political leanings, marveling at the hands-on destruction of a car that surely did nothing to deserve it, and making as many references to Dragged Across Concrete as we possibly can. Along the way we cover Vaughn’s terrifically physical performance, go into some of the themes common to Zahler’s work, and chuckle over some great practical effects that may not look ‘real,’ but certainly get the job done. What are our favorite scenes? What would we change if we could? And just what sort of movie watcher will Brawl in Cell Block 99 appeal to? For all this and more, have a listen!

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