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In 2017, John Henry Brennick and his wife Karen are captured at a US immigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of the movie. The prison is run by a private corporation bent on mind control.Written by
Mark Allyn <email@example.com>
In D-Day's backstory: D-Day was an electronics expert and bank robber. During a bank raid, which he had blown up a bank vault with explosives, which he had accidentally set the money on fire. D-Day's partners unhappy with him for blowing up their loot, betrayed D-Day and they turned him over to the authorities and D-Day was sent to The Fortress. D-Day's backstory is almost similar to that of Frank Warren, the main protagonist of another futuristic prison flick Wedlock (1991) played in that film by Rutger Hauer. In that film, Frank Warren, an electronics expert and diamond thief steals a fortune in diamonds. But, Warren is betrayed by his partners Sam and Noelle and they turn him over to the authorities and Warren is sent to the experimental prison Camp Holiday. See more »
When Loryn goes to warn John that he needs to cooperate (when he is the torture room strapped to the harness) she is escorted out of the room. When she does that she is clearly crossing the yellow line that would trigger pain in the prisoners. See more »
The 18-rated German Video Release by Columbia Tristar is also cut for violence and gore. For example the two "exploding-body-scenes" (the scene during the entry of the fortess and the end of prisoner 187) are shortened. See more »
"Fortress" is mostly routine, but enjoyable, futuristic sci-fi from director Stuart Gordon (of "Re-Animator" and "From Beyond" fame). It has an excellent cast of familiar faces that make the most out of what they've got, especially Kurtwood Smith ("RoboCop", 'That 70s Show'). There are acceptable levels of violence and gore, the production design and lighting are adequate, and Gordon does a very fine job with pacing and energy level. The producers originally wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger as the star, but he went on to do "True Lies" instead (it was Ah-nuld that suggested Gordon as the director of this feature).
Some interesting ideas are present in this tale of a husband and wife, John and Karen (Christopher Lambert and Loryn Locklin) who are expecting their second child, despite the fact that the law now forbids couples from having more than one kid. (They tried again because the first child was born dead.) They're caught and sentenced to do time at the "Fortress", a massive, multi leveled high tech prison. It's run by your standard issue sadistic warden, a man named Poe (Mr. Smith). John, forced into an overcrowded cell, makes plans with his cellmates to escape, although this place is supposed to be escape-proof.
Lambert is no better or worse than he usually is. Locklin is reasonably appealing. The supporting cast is pretty eclectic: Lincoln Kilpatrick ("Chosen Survivors", Renny Harlins' "Prison") as Abraham, Jeffrey Combs of the "Re-Animator" series (rocking a shoulder length wig here) as D-Day, Clifton Collins Jr. ("Tigerland", "Pacific Rim") as Gomez, Tom Towles ("House of 1000 Corpses", "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer") as Stiggs, and Vernon Wells ("The Road Warrior", "Commando") as Maddox. That's Gordons' actress wife Carolyn supplying the voice of the computer intelligence Zed-10. Smith, whose character will have some surprises in store, is an effective and not completely one-dimensional antagonist.
"Fortress" hits the ground running, and offers decent entertainment for a fairly trim 95 minute run time.
Seven out of 10.
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