cast: Luis Perez, Tito Goya, Bruce Davison
The centerpiece of this, the ultimate ensemble prison drama, isn't the child molester aka "Short Eyes" (Bruce Davison) put into a cell-block of tough convicts who, after finding out his crime, turn the premises into their own courtroom, but a young handsome Puerto Rican nicknamed Cupcakes, played by the late Tito Goya, who has to deal with - or take advice from - these same toughies before, during and after the molester's story becomes center stage. While not the main character, Goya's youthful protagonist provides the core of the boiling pot involving a bevy of eclectic, dangerous cons from a tough Italian (Joseph Carberry), a stubborn black muslim (Don Blakey), a sexually-driven Puerto Rican (Shawn Elliott), two laidback but badass African Americans (Nathan George, Ken Steward), and the film's true star: a good-hearted Rican "idealist," played brilliantly by Luis Perez, who feels called-upon to protect Goya and the molester both. Based on the play by Miguel Pinero, who portrays an antagonistic prisoner, all one can say is: you have to see it to believe it. And a soulful "singalong" with Curtis Mayfield and Freddie Fenders adds soul to the brash proceedings.