Fortress is a grim, sometimes bloody, futuristic prison picture that has been well produced and directed within the limitations of a predictable, uninspired screenplay. Fans of director Stuart Gordon’s early schlock efforts (Re-Animator, From Beyond) will be disappointed to find the helmer working with more conventional material.
Pic was shot with an Australian crew in the Warner Roadshow Movie World Studios in Queensland, and David Copping’s production design of a privately run prison of the future built 30 stories underground is the star of the film.
Pic is set in the US after exploding population and depleted resources have resulted in a law against couples having more than one child. The Brennicks (Christopher Lambert and Loryn Locklin) lost their first baby, and now Locklin is pregnant a second time, a felony.
The couple are nabbed trying to cross into Mexico, and both wind up in the Fortress. Locklin manages to charm all-seeing prison director Kurtwood Smith, and uses every opportunity to plan her husband’s escape.
Too much of the dialogue sounds as if it were written for Dennis Hopper.