Sunday, October 17, 2021

Ohio Filmmaker Taps Into SHAWSHANK Prison Location

When Gary Jones moved back to Ohio from Los Angeles in 2005, he returned to his native Crestline, a few miles from the Ohio State Reformatory, a location famously used for The Shawshank Redemption as well as other movies such as Air Force One and Tango & Cash.

All these years later, he was able to film a movie there, in and around the Covid pandemic, Escape From Death Block 13. The action drama screened this weekend in Columbus and Mansfield, Ohio ahead of streaming release November 12.

The only wrinkle was that the Ohio State Reformatory was under renovation. "I just made a story point out of it," Jones told Columbus Underground. "The state hires a contractor, they make the inmates do the work of renovating the prison."

The film stars Hungarian actor Robert Bronzi, who looks like a heyday Charles Bronson, as Miklos "Mick" Kovacs. After coming to America to seek a payment related to the death of his brother, he is falsely convicted and winds up in Pleasant Hill Penitentiary. Alongside Bronzi as Bunyan is former professional wrestler Chris Hahn, who after almost 30 years in the WWE trenches and so on is now busy as an actor and stuntman. Hahn was an associate producer on the film.

Jones made his debut as an independent writer-director with 1994's Mosquito. He sold that movie for a million dollars, but was never able to collect the money. From there, he moved into TV, directing several episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess. He also has worked previously with Bronzi on the 2018 thriller Death Kiss.

[Watch a video interview with Jones and Hahn here.]

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