One of the cheekiest DVD cover’s to ever be released was from the 2011 film Escapee, that seduced fans of action films with its obvious sell, but then surprised everyone by offering something different!
On the cover we had the imagery of Dominic Purcell, all dressed in a yellow prisoner suit and with cell bars behind him. Even the title Escapee cries out that this is going to be an actioner prison flick, which was jumping on the bandwagon of a popular TV show!
Purcell had played one of the brothers in the highly acclaimed TV show Prison Break, a show that was launched on the back of the success of 24 and to its credit the very first season more than kicked the backside of Jack Bauer.
But when the “Prison Break” actually happened there was nowhere else for the show to go and the writers stretched out some idiotic plotlines that quickly made the show be cancelled after only four brief seasons, before coming back for a limited series in 2017.
The idea back then to scrap the show had many fans in America and Britain scream in despair and since then Purcell and his co-star Wentworth Miller have re-united as the criminal duo, Captain Cold and Heatwave in the superhero show The Flash and then later on it Legends Of Tomorrow.
The decision to put Purcell in that gear on the cover was a ploy back then to drag every Prison Break fan into watching this film. Those who had rented/bought the film and was expecting a new high jinks caper in which we saw Purcell once more try to break out of a prison, would have been in a for quite a shock!
To the surprise of many, including myself, Escapee blueprint was more of the horror kind and its blood was more or less dripped in the slasher genre. Realising this, for the first 15 minutes my love for the genre rushed through my veins and I was hoping for an unexpected horror find, sadly though this was the first and last time I reached those heights again.
Escapee is like many other straight to DVD Offerings that you watch when there is nothing else there, a horror that fails to offer anything new or fresh to a tale, instead offering up the same old scenes that neither excite or bore!
We start off with some flashes of a girl being murdered and hung before we fixed to the usual group of pretty teens where our lead is psychology major Abby Jones (Christine Evangelista). Abby is with her class on an observation trip to a local mental hospital where just like in all horror films a vicious bogyman is being transferred.
This time its not Michael Myers but Harmon Jaxon (Purcell) a man who takes great delight in killing pretty girls. When the group and this evil bastard crosses paths ,the guards instruct the young visitors to face the wall and whatever they do, DO NOT make eye contact with those passing.
It wouldn’t be a horror flick if someone ignores and Abby stupidly looks up and when her eyes meet with Jaxon’s, he immediately gets obsessed and tells her in uncertain terms that he is going to “have her!”.
Showing an ease that would have made Lincoln Burrows proud, Jaxon (a riff of the name Jason) escapes from the hospital and along with the usual horror cliché weather storm, heads off to hunt down his new prize Abby and kill those who will stand in his way!
Purcell to his credit does a real good job playing the nut job even though he dons what seems a ridiculous wig and while I would like to say that this is a dire film, there is something quite watchable about the whole thing. There is enough gore to keep the horror fans happy and the serial killer angle may do enough to please those who like that sort of stuff in their films especially as the film contains a neat and unexpected twist towards the end.
Yes I have seen better, damn guys you probably have also, but if you love cheap and lazy horror films then this is a perfect weekend rental and if you are a fan of Prison Break and most importantly Purcell then you will no doubt enjoy every stupid minute of it.
Horror films of this kind are perfect to sit back and just laugh at, more so in the times we live in and while it won’t win the hearts of many, it does get an extra axe on its rating below, just for the brazen DVD cover that no doubt had many non horror lovers, renting the film at the time and turning off in aghast when they realised that they’ve been fooled!