Alex Windam is a charismatic convict arriving on Mars, upon arrival a speech from the warden cleverly explains to the audience Alex's numerous crimes and propensity to break free from prison. Within minutes he's even managed to overrun the prison and takes a handpicked selection of prisoners off Mars to Dome 4 where he plans his new world ...only one man can stop him. The story is shown as a retrospective account of events at the science facility with hero Chase Moran defending his actions, at a military court hearing.
A sole soldier taking on a group of terrorists my sound a lot like Under Siege, and there are some similarities. This is an action film with over-the-top sound effects during fight scenes, lots of machismo, and a sense of righteousness against the tyranny of evil. If Bruce Campbell weren't in this, then it would simply be a corny, straight-to-video action flick, but his inclusion subverts it and makes it a wry sci-fi action film which doesn't take itself too seriously. Campbell is the master of delivering lines with a naturally dry wit and the script provides him with some belters here, Joseph Culp is convincing as the hero - but Campbell's Alex Windam is the villain you can't help but love, you even find yourself willing him on.
This DVD is presented in 4:3 aspect ratio rather than widescreen, as this was a low budget straight to video release which doesn't look as though it was filmed on high quality film - presumably the full screen ratio matches the original source material. There are no extras on the DVD, unless you count scene selection as a bonus - which I don't. I would have liked to have seen some additional features here, there are clearly other Sci-Fi influences at work (the computer Al is surely a reference to HAL-9000, and some of the audio effects sound very Star Trek!) and it would have been interesting to hear about those.
In a nutshell: Rubbish low budget action films flooded the video market in the '80s and '90s, but this has a pretty convincing Science Fiction setting and Bruce Campbell. The special effects sometimes look a bit poor but they certainly aren't dire, this is an okay film as long as you don't take it too seriously, it's watchable on the strength of Bruce Campbell alone. It may not amaze, but it will amuse - and intentionally so.