Escape from Death Block 13 (USA, 2021)

Robert Bronzi is back and this time, he’s in prison in this action-packed thriller from writer-director Gary Jones.

Upon learning of his brother’s death, Miklos “Mick” Kovacs heads to America to get the death benefit insurance from his employer, Mr. Renta. However, upon his arrival he is met with disdain and disrespect as his brother’s death doesn’t mean squat to Renta. When Mick is confronted by Renta’s men, he fights them off with his skills. However, he soon finds himself ready to go to prison but is asked by DEA agent Langley and local detective Borelli for some help.

Mick discovers that his brother was murdered because he has stumbled upon an underground drug running operation within the prison walls. While he makes some friends with some of the prisoners, he does find a threat in John Bunyan, the self-proclaimed “King of Cell Block 13”. However, after their brawl, the two find themselves respecting each other and upon learning of the operation, run by Warden Jack, the prisoners have decided enough is enough.

Since his debut film Death Kiss in 2019, Robert Kovacs, also known as Robert Bronzi has become the icon for “Brons-ploitation” where Kovacs emulates his childhood idol, legendary action star Charles Bronson. Since then, Bronzi has done a horror film (Cry Havoc) and a Western (Once Upon a Time in Deadwood). With his latest film, he is now facing off against a corrupt prison system and in a surprising move, he’s not the only one who goes up against the system.

For most the film, it’s Bronzi against the world. From his opening scene where he confronts his brother’s old boss to finding himself both making enemies and friends within the prison system, Bronzi is a virtual one-man army. As Mick, he does his best to bring his inner Bronson to the fray with the assistance of TV legend Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Lyndiaa Russell, the latter who Bronzi tries to flirt with while incarcerated. Debbie Scaletta churns out a pretty good performance as Warden Jack, the headstrong leader of the prison who is also the ringleader of a drug-dealing operation within the prison with her guards as her henchmen.

Not so much a twist from the trailer is the appearance of Chris Hahn, a former pro wrestler who is known for his role of the Hatchet Clown in Clowntown, as prisoner John Bunyan. He makes an impact from his introduction, where he sings “Rock a Bye Baby” from his cell and then his challenges where he is the self-proclaimed “King of Cell Block 13”. It is clear that his character will first start as a rival to Bronzi but soon becomes his “brother in arms” when the third act begins. The two soon become a buddy action team and they work well together in the third act.

Escape from Death Block 13 is just another notch in Robert Bronzi’s action-packed filmography. It is clear that he is enjoying the ride and you will too when you see him against the world before finding a partner in Chris Hahn.

WFG RATING: B+

Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Mosquito Entertainment production in association with Arbor Avenue Films and Millman Entertainment. Director: Gary Jones. Producers: Gary Jones and Philip R. Garrett. Writer: Gary Jones. Cinematography: Ken Stachnik. Editing: Gary Jones, Philip R. Garrett, Kirk T. Miller, and Christopher Roth.

Cast: Robert Bronzi, Chris Hahn, Debbie Scaletta, Nicholas Turturro, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Lyndiaa Russell, Tim Lovelace, Justin Hawkins, Beau Roberts, Richard Napoli.

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