“Cell Block 99” Is “Absolutely Deranged”

Writer/director S. Craig Zahler exploded onto the scene with 2015’s cannibal western “Bone Tomahawk” which blended skilled filmmaking on a very limited budget, great performances, and a real mean streak that yielded some of the most gruesome onscreen deaths in years.

Zahler returns shortly with “Brawl In Cell Block 99,” the Vince Vaughn and Don Johnson-led prison drama about an auto mechanic turned drug courier who gets caught and thrown in jail where the real battle begins.

Toronto Film Festival Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky says Zahler hasn’t toned down anything for his second effort, and the festival is breaking custom to start the movie before midnight for a specific reason. He tells Bloody Disgusting:

“Expect a rare break in tradition: I’ll be starting one Midnight Madness selection before midnight: ‘Brawl in Cellblock 99’. 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 when the clock strikes Midnight, so does the movie!”

Also premiering at Venice, the 132-minute film will be released by RLJE Films on Friday October 6th.