Prison dance inspires movie

  • 14/06/2013

We've had movies based on just about everything else, comic books, video games, but now it's a prison YouTube video.

In 2007 1500 inmates at the Cebu maximum security prison in the Philippines got together to do the zombie dance from Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

The clip was a YouTube sensation and has been watched more than 50 million times.

That success had enterprising producers sensing cinematic gold dust.

"If you've got a good start of 40 million people who are aware of it - that's a good head start and there's narrative tension, the set of a prison is priceless and it's got memorable character," film producer Stu Higton says.

Dance of the Steel Bars is the result. The trailer screams "hello back up the Oscar truck".

The movie stars Patrick Bergin, who some may remember opposite Julia Roberts in sleeping with the enemy and local Filipino heart throb Dingdong Dantes.

It was shot in the detention centre and tells the story of an American imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit who bonds with fellow inmates through dance.

Actor Joey Paras says the film is quite engulfing to watch.

"If you're part of the audience and you see them, your hair will stand on end as they're so impressive. And all the more if you stand beside them, and you can smell them, and you can feel their energy, your sweat is the same as their sweat, you're immersed in their group. The feeling is truly unique."

The plot is based on the real life story of the security adviser at the jail who used dance to teach inmates discipline and increase male bonding. The actual convicts loved their time in the spotlight.

Dance of the Steel Bars was released this week, though many of its stars will have to wait quite a bit longer to be released themselves.

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source: newshub archive