How to watch nutty samurai western Prisoners of the Ghostland in the UK

When a Nicolas Cage joint is sold as his ‘wildest movie yet’, fans might have reason to feel some doubt: there’s a career’s worth of self-consciously wacky, OTT roles to bring up in comparison.

That makes Prisoners of the Ghostland all the more tantalizingly bonkers. Streaming exclusively on Shudder for UK subscribers from November 19, this samurai western has been highlighted by Cage himself as “the wildest movie I’ve ever made”. There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. Some session times are available in select UK cinemas, and you can also rent or buy the film via Apple TV and Amazon.

Prisoners of the Ghostland is the English-language debut of eccentric Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono, who first shocked the festival circuit with Love Exposure and Suicide Club. With Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella amongst its cast, this is a suitably messy mongrel of genre and culture, mashing together a Mad Max-style mission and feudal samurai aesthetics.

Cage is caged up in a leather suit with explosives on the neck, arms, and scrote, forced to voyage into the desolate Ghostland to retrieve a favourite sex slave (Boutella) of the tyrannical Governor (Bill Moseley). If that sounds nasty in text alone, check out the explosive trailer below. Like, literally explosive: things don’t bode well for Cage’s various body parts, as we witness blooming mushroom clouds and hear him hiss “I…am…radioactive!”

If you’re getting strong Escape From New York vibes, that’s probably intentional: although Cage looks less stoic than Snake, more furious and unhinged. Another influence could be the 1971 spaghetti Western (ramen Western?) Red Sun, in which Toshirō Mifune has to track down a stolen samurai sword or face harakiri.

Use our handy session time finder to see if there are still any Prisoners of the Ghostland screenings near you, before visiting this singular wasteland saga on demand or via Shudder.