Director(s): Stuart Gordon
Country: USA, Australia
IMDB Rating: 5.6
A futuristic prison movie. Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of the movie. The prison is a futuristic one run by a private corporation bent on mind control in various ways.
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Loquacious (11 May 2013)
The premise is that 2018 is a world in which people who have babies without permission can be imprisoned. Inevitably, one couple (Christopher Lambert & Loren Lockman) decides to buck the order. The husband is imprisoned and tortured. His wife, in order to save him, agrees to shack up with the android prison warden (Kurtwood Smith). The husband and his cellmates manage to escape the supposedly impenetrable facility. Predictable, sometimes violent, but definitely action-packed. Typical bang 'em up-shoot 'em up Sci-Fi.
jmatrixrenegade (11 May 2013)
This is not a great work of art but it is a great work of popcorneating genre watching. Everyman against evil corporation in a scaryfuture.Shades of Margaret Atwood for those who might not know who she is.["The Handmaid's Tale is worth reading or watching -- it is quitereadable Atwood, the film pretty good too.] The film should not beconfused with a lesser known foreign genre flick by the same name abouta schoolteacher trying to escape a different kind of danger with herschool children. Again, both the film and book is worthwhile.Anyway, so, a man (Christopher Lambert, perfect genre everyman) has toescape from a prison to save his wife with the help of the likes ofJeffrey Combs (taking a break from trying to bring things to life)against the evil Kurtwood Smith (of course!). Great for late nightviewing. Don't take too seriously!
jlbat (03 May 2013)
The only player who can act even marginally in this turkey is KurtwoodSmith but, of course, he had practice in the Robocop series. LorynLocklin had no such experience, She wanders in a daze through theconventional plot, resembling a lost cocker spaniel. ChristopherLambert, on the other hand, never seems dazed, alternatively sullen orglowering. It seems clear that the producers spent all that money onspecial effects to divert attention from a cast that might be moreusefully employed in a fast-food restaurant. If the producers reallywanted to improve movies, they would send Locklin and Lambert to actingschool. "Crimes does not pay"--neither do bad movies.
(02 May 2013)
This review is from: Fortress (DVD) "B" type SciFi movie. More could have been added... Great to watch on a cold Rainey day when you cannot do anything else.
(02 May 2013)
This review is from: Fortress (DVD) Christopher Lambert is not my favorite actor, but for a trip back in time, to when special effects weren't all done with computers, this film is a goofy, cheap thrill which has some decent acting from a supporting case and leaves you with a chuckling sense of sensibilities of what Generation X was thinking about, at least some of the time with regard to the future. I suspect you'll either love or hate this film, especially since Mr. Lambert is a rather polarizing actor. If you loved Highlander, give this one a shot. If you hate Chris already, then pass it up.
(01 May 2013)
This is an awesome edition to any Christopher Lambert Collection. One of his finest, and you almost get to see his whole, body front and back nude! How awesome for C.L. fans like me. I recommend you don't watch this around little ones, but it's great for watching with your special someone, it's got romance and action so you'll both be happy.BB-T
clouseau-4 (30 April 2013)
I saw this in the theater, and came close to walking out. Almost everytired science-fiction cliche you can think of is utilized in this poorfilm.Although the film has a few interesting ideas, overall it leaves you notcaring for the characters and cringing at some of the hackneyed scenes.
(30 April 2013)
Typical B-movie sci-fi junk. Fans of Christopher Lambert (pronounced: LamBARE) take note: during a love scene, the viewer is treated to a clear shot of Lambert's balls.
Bogey Man (27 April 2013)
Stuart Gordon began his career as a director with Re-Animator, a classichorror comedy that has a huge cult status and deservedly so. Fortress washis first entry to non-horror oriented field, even though Fortress still hasmany horror elements, too. Christopher Lambert plays a military officer inthe near future, where it is allowed to have only one child per couple. Heand his wife broke that order and they are sentenced to high security modernprison Fortress, set in the middle of desert. There are many inmates thereand everyone wants to get out, but if someone breaks the rules, thepunishment will be death or torture by the sadistic boss andwardens..This was surprisingly great film, and Gordon did fine job with the film. Itwas filmed entirely in Australia and the film was first big budget movie forGordon. He said that he wanted to do a sci-fi action film with brains, too,and that he wanted to discuss some topical issues with his film. Theseissues are over population and alarming/scary development of technology, andeven though the film is not too deep or philosophical, it has these aspectsof commentary about society and our everyday world, and what it should notbe. This is not as satiric or intelligent as Paul Verhoeven's Robocop, forinstance, but still it is little more than just average blast 'em actionfilm set in the future. The settings are very great and technically this film is fantastic as thereare no flaws in camera use and editing. This reminded me little bit ofRobocop's future cities, and both films are marvelously staged. The actionis plenty and it is exciting and professionally done and shot. Occasionallythe film reminded me also of Paul Anderson's Soldier, the non-stop actionmayhem film starring Kurt Russell. Christopher Lambert is not as multileveled actor as possible, but still he has certain kind of charisma and heis easy to watch in his films. Kurtwood Smith played the bad guy in Robocop,and he plays bad guy in Fortress, too, but not as NEAR as bad as inRobocop's manic performance.Due to the film's violence and fierce moments, this is pretty close to PaulVerhoeven's style of making action films, as couple of scenes are veryviolent and almost too violent for this kind of mainstream production, andas far as I know, this had to be trimmed by two violent scenes to get the Rrating in US, and this slightly cut version has been released also on DVD inUS and Europe. I saw the uncut version on VHS and there are couple ofover-the-top bloody shootings and two gory stomach explosions, of which thesecond is VERY gory. It is easy to see the film is directed by the manbehind the hilariously ultra gory Re-Animator. The violence in Fortressisn't funny in the tradition of Re-Animator; It is serious because the filmitself is serious, not the kind of half comedy like Re-Animator.The film is perhaps little too slow moving in the middle part but for mostof the time, this works fine and pleased me very much, and proves the talentof Gordon in other genres than horror, too. I give this 7/10 rating andrecommend this to anyone interested in sci-fi and action cinema. It's not amasterpiece but still very noteworthy piece of 90's science fiction andaction cinema.
Lucien Lessard (27 April 2013)
In the Grim Future on 2017... When the planet is been overpopulated andcrimes has been rising. One of the new laws states that a couple areallowed to have one child now, even if the new born baby dies at birth.When John Brenneck (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen (LorynLocklin) broken the law, when his wife finds himself pregnant afterlosing their first child at birth. When John's wife escapes from theU.S. Border, John finds himself sent in Prison for over 30 years. Butthis "Fortress" is controlled by a cold hearted if odd Prison WardenPoe (Kurtwood Smith). This prison is very strict, inmate's arecontrolled by a small explosive devices that are blasted into thedigestive system via the throat and robotic controlled security devicesthat could look into the inmates dreams. Now John and other prisoners(Clifton Collins Jr., Jeffery Combs, Lincoln Kilpartick & Tom Towles)tires to find other ways to escape the Fortress but John finds out thathis pregnant wife is captured and is kept in Poe's working area.Directed by Stuart Gordon (Edmond, Re-Animator, Stuck) made anentertaining high concept low-budget Science Fiction adventure. This isprobably the biggest budget that the independent filmmaker Gordon hadto work with at $12 Million. Which it was originally going to be abigger budgeted movie if Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast in the lead butSchwarzenegger went on to do "True Lies" instead. The actors gives goodperformances (especially Smith) and the feature has some fascinatingideas. This is update from March 25, 2013 for the Blu-ray. Blu-ray from EchoBridge has an pretty good anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer andan fine DTS 2.0 HD Sound. There is no special features from thisBlu-ray."Fortress" was an box office disappointment, when it was first releasedin the fall of 1993. But the feature was an international success andthe sequel was produced (It was watchable but poorly produced sequel).This is One of Gordon's best movies and it's certainly worth seeing.(****/*****).
Marcus Maxon (25 April 2013)
Sure, at first glimpse this looks like a pretty lame movie, a couple is inafuturistic prison. The plot is kind of photocopied from other futuristicdistopian movies. But it's got HIGHLANDER in it...that alone is worthsomething. On top of which you've got some pretty great special effectsincluding people becoming obliterated, that makes this movie even better.Some brief nudity, voyeurism, and a hot leading lady; all the elements to agreat Friday night-got-nothing-beter-to-do rental!
(25 April 2013)
This review is from: Fortress (DVD) I thought the Video was entertaining though one scene does stretch credibility somewhat, and the "Good Guys" win in the end. It's not up to the standard of the first Fortress but still worth the "Watch."
Woodyanders (21 April 2013)
In a grim totalitarian near future married couples are allowed to haveonly one kid. John Brennick (a solid and engaging performance byChristopher Lambert) and his pregnant wife Karen (well played by thefetching Loryn Locklin) get arrested for trying to have a second child.They are both sent to a brutal subterranean maximum securitypenitentiary run by the cruel Prison Doctor Poe (a splendidly wickedKurtwood Smith). Of course, John plans to escape and take Karen withhim. Director Stuart Gordon relates the absorbing story at a briskpace, does an expert job of maintaining a tough, gritty tonethroughout, and stages the thrilling action scenes with rip-roaringverve (the climactic jailbreak sequence in particular is quite tenseand stirring). The uniformly ace acting from a tip-top cast qualifiesas another significant asset: Lambert and Locklin make for sympatheticleads, Smith excels in one of his customary bad guy roles, plus thereare stellar supporting performances by Jeffrey Combs as flaky,bespectacled computer whiz D-Day, Lincoln Kilpatrick as wise trusteeinmate Abraham, Tom Towles as mean roughhouse bully Stiggs, VernonWells as vicious top con Maddox, and Clifton Collins, Jr. as scrappyyoung punk Nino Gomez. David Eggby's fluid, polished cinematography,the nifty special effects, Frederic Talgorn's moody, rousing score, anda few dollops of grisly gore are all on the money effective andimpressive. A very cool and satisfying science fiction film.
paladin-11 (21 April 2013)
A good sci-fi prison escape story with great set design and effects.Kurtwood Smith is great as Warden Poe and Lambert plays his typical combathardened ex-military agent he has portrayed in the likes of Mean Guns.Good supporting characters and few plot holes round the movie out. I'm abitbiased, I admit, as I'm a huge Lambert fan.Worth seeing.
callanvass (18 April 2013)
This is a fun low budget Sci-Fi prison flick, that's rather exciting,with a solid story, and fun performances!. All the characters are cool,and sure it may be a bit cheesy and have some bad dialog at times, butit's all good fun, plus Christopher Lambert is simply amazing in this!.It's also surprisingly violent, and I remember watching this movie onTV as a kid, and enjoying it so it was great to re visit it, and it'spretty well made and written for it's low budget, plus it's also quiteimaginative, and creative too. All the characters are very likable,andthe ending is also quite cool as well,plus there are some reallyimpressive action scenes as well. Kurtwood Smith is really good as thevillain, and Lambert and Loryn Locklin had pretty good chemistrytogether in my opinion, plus the special effects are pretty gooddespite the low budget it had. It had a couple of decent fight scenes,and I think this should be quite higher then 5.3 in my opinion, plusthe opening is quite intense. This is a fun low budget Sci-Fi prisonflick, that's rather exciting, with a solid story, and fun performancesin my opinion, I highly recommend this one!. The Direction is great!.Stuart Gordon does a great! job here with very good camera work,excellent angles, adding some good atmosphere and just keeping the filmat a very fast pace.There is lots of violence&blood. We get extremely bloody wounds,gorydog bites,bloody nose bleeds,hole blown through one's stomach,nastybroken jaw, with blood spurting,stomach explosion,a few bodyexplosions,guy tearing out his own eyes,stabbings,hands cut badly withglass,extremely gory gunshot wounds and tons of blood!.The Acting is fun!. Christopher Lambert is amazing as always and isamazing here, he is extremely likable, very charismatic, as always hada wicked laugh, gives one of his finest performances, was fun to watch,and kicked that ass! (Lambert Rules!!!!!!!). Kurtwood Smith is reallygood as the villain, he was intimidating, and hammed it up perfectly, Iloved him!. Loryn Locklin is a solid little B movie actress and didfine in her role, she had pretty good chemistry with Lambert and waslikable, I dug her. Clifton Collins Jr. is good in his role I likedhim. Lincoln Kilpatrick had a strong presence about him and was greatas Abraham, it sucked he didn't survive. Jeffrey Combs is good as thecomputer geek I love this guy!. Rest of the cast are fine.Overall I highly recommend this one!. ***1/2 out of 5
(18 April 2013)
I can not believe that this move can be considered even OK. With such memorable lines. "If you won't do it for me do it for my baby." Or my favorites that points out one of my life truths "You are clinging to your parole because you are a man." The plot plays out in your head minutes before the action takes place on the screen. This move brings nothing new or even plausable to the screen. The ending of the movie will make you wonder why you didn't stop watching long before.
Grann-Bach (18 April 2013)
First of all, lets get one thing straight: Christopher Lambert makesB-movies. I've never seen him in anything that wasn't a B-movie, and as faras I know, he hasn't done one single non-B-movie for his entire career. Thisparticular B-movie, however, is more interesting and entertaining than thatof the typical B-movie; the story revolves around a few people in thenot-too-distant future(the year 2017, if I remember correctly) who are in afuturistic gigantic prison, which is said to be impossible to break out of.So, naturally they try to break out. The plot is OK, it moves along at apretty good pace, never really loses your interest or bores you. The actingis all bad, but what do you expect from a B-movie? It has plenty of actionto keep you distracted from the horrid acting, so it probably won't botherthat many people. The characters are all cliches, but, again, what do youexpect? The action and sci-fi parts of the film are reasonably entertaining,and pretty good for a B-movie. The film depicts a gloomy futuristic fascistworld, but that's nothing that hasn't been seen many times before. All inall, a pretty typical B-movie, just a notch higher in quality than mostothers. I recommend it to fans of action/sci-fi B-movies and/or ChristopherLambert. 6/10
Rautus (18 April 2013)
I remember seeing Fortress and Fortress 2: Re-Entry for a bargain ofÂ£1,00 each so I though okay. I'm a fan of Lambert in the Highlanderfilms and the plot seemed interesting so I bought them both. I watchedit and loved it, it may be a low-budget film but it was great.Lambert does a great performance as John Brennick a man sent to theFortress because he wanted another kid with his wife Karen. The law inthe future says you can have only one child and that's it.Kurtwood Smith does an equally great performance as the warden Poe, whogets pleasure out of watching the inmates sexual dreams but dreams arenot allowed in the Fortress. Each prisoner is implanted with a devicethat shocks them if they break the rules and also kill them if theymisbehave too much.Jeffery Combs is good as D-Day a computer genius, his performance inRe-Animator was great too.Fortress is a great sci-fi film that wont disappoint. 10/10
Paul Andrews (15 April 2013)
Fortress is set in the near future where America has become aGovernment controlled country, it is illegal for a couple to have morethan one baby & because of this former Black Beret Captain John HenryBrennick (Christopher Lambert) & his wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) aretrying to escape over the border to Mexico. They are caught & throwninto the Fortress, a tough state of the art underground prison in themiddle of the desert. The prisoners are controlled by the sadisticwarden Poe (Kurtwood Smith) & the super computer Zed who have the powerof life & death over all the inmates. Feeling somewhat hard done byBrennick plans a daring escape...This Australian American co-production was directed by Stuart Gordon &while it's not a total waste of time Fortress could have been a muchbetter film. The script by Troy Neighbors, Steven Feinberg, DavidVenable & Terry Curtis Fox (it took four people to write this?) isnothing more than a pretty brainless prison escape film with afuturistic setting. There are holes in the plot that are difficult notto notice, for instance the mind machine that allows the warden to spyon the inmates dreams & if they are dreaming inappropriate thoughtsthey get punished. Well lets just look at that basic concept, for astart dreaming is a largely involuntary action & once your asleep youhave little control over what you dream. Now whether you remember yourdreams or not everyone does have dreams, so in that case every prisonerin the entire prison would be getting punished every night which justdoesn't sound very likely & clearly doesn't happen. Then there's theidea that together with his super computer the Warden knows whateverything thinks & feels yet he can't find out who started a fight &that a group of prisoners are planning a break out. Then there's thereason why the Warden wanted Karen to live with him or rather the lackof a reason since none is given. Despite a relatively poor &underdeveloped script at least it moves along at a decent pace, thereare a few entertaining action set-pieces & it doesn't last for too longeither but I had hoped for something a little better & slightly moresubstantial.When he made Fortress director Gordon had some good genre effortsbehind him like the excellent Re-Animator (1985), From Beyond (1986),Dolls (1987) & The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) so it's maybe a littledisappointing to see him turn his hand to such a generic & surprisinglythoughtless sci-fi film. There's no social commentary here, there's nogreat message or warning for the future & I actually thought some ofthe practises used in the Fortress are good ideas to control scumbagvillains which we should probably implement right now. There are one ortwo good gore scenes including an exploding stomach (cut on someversions), gory bullet hole wounds, someone with a huge hole in theirstomach, half human half robotic cyborgs & exploding prison Wardens.With a very reasonable sounding budget of about $12,000,000 I don'treally see where the money went, the sets look alright, the action iscompetent but it doesn't do anything to distinguish itself from thehundreds of other futuristic action films out there that had budgets atenth of Fortress. Set in America but shot in Queensland in Australia.The cast are strangely off colour too, Lambert doesn't make muchimpression as the hero, the always watchable Jeffrey Combs is wastedwhile Kurtwood Smith was probably cast because of his superbperformance in Robocop (1987) but doesn't really seem that interestedor intense as the villain.Fortress was the most widely distributed film Gordon ever had & it's ashame it's a bit of a let down, it's not a complete disaster as it's analright watch but it's fairly moronic stuff most of the time & doesn'tfeature any of the biting satire or commentary most great sci-fi havelike Robocop or Starship Troopers (1997) to name but two.
b-a-h TNT-6 (15 April 2013)
*** MINOR SPOILERS ***Another predictable and uninspired sci-fi throwaway flick from thenineties. The characters are more of the same obvious clichÃ©s from badaction movies. The same goes for a lot of the silliness aboutcomputers, with the typical break-in into a "maximum security" systemthat ends up being actually as secure as a Gameboy. When the maincharacter goes prison the interesting premise is thrown in the crapper,which is appropriate since most of this part deals with a torturedevice called "intestinator". From this point everything goes down thetube, reaching the worst with the awful, ridiculous ending.If you want a good prison movie, just rent Escape From Alcatraz or TheShawshank Redemption. If you want an interesting sci-fi, just rent...well, there's lots. But you'd better avoid this.3/10
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