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Fortress [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Christopher Lambert , Loryn Locklin , Stuart Gordon    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Lambert, Loryn Locklin, Kurtwood Smith, Clifton Collins Jr., Lincoln Kilpatrick
  • Directors: Stuart Gordon
  • Writers: David Venable, Steven Feinberg, Terry Curtis Fox, Troy Neighbors
  • Producers: Graham Burke, Greg Coote, Irene Dobson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Oct 2001
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O5B6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,250 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The story of Fortress takes place in drastically overpopulated America of the year 2017, where each woman is allowed only one pregnancy. John Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) flee to Mexico when she becomes pregnant after the death of their first child. They are captured by border police and sent to the Fortress, a subterranean high-security prison owned by the Men-Tel corporation and operated by "Zed-10", an omnipotent computer system, and a sadistic, genetically "enhanced" warden (Kurtwood Smith) who has nefarious plans involving Brennick's wife and unborn child. Along with his cellmates (including Jeffrey Combs, a favourite of director Stuart Gordon), Brennick plots a breakout and Fortress shifts into auto-pilot action mode.

After making his reputation with such audacious horror films as From Beyond and Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon graduated to a bigger budget with Fortress but his penchant for exploitation remains deliriously intact. While borrowing elements from a variety of better sci-fi movies, Fortress indulges every prison-flick cliché, but does it with such enjoyable B-movie vigour that it qualifies as a bona-fide guilty pleasure (indeed, it deserves to be ranked with James Cameron's original Terminator in terms of its budgetary ingenuity). Featuring such giddy (and gory) devices as "intestinators" (deadly obedience devices implanted in prisoners' bodies) and a torturous "Mind Wipe Chamber", this is really just a drive-in action movie with lofty ambitions and the schlocky script hasn't a prayer of rising above the level of juvenile popcorn fodder. But there's no denying the energy and enthusiasm that Gordon brings to the film, which understandably became a global box-office hit and spawned a 1999 sequel starring Lambert and Pam Grier. --Jeff Shannon,

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Lamberts better efforts 14 Jun 2012
By Mr. S. Storey TOP 500 REVIEWER
When the release of this film was announced I read somewhere that the script once had Arnies name attached to it. I wonder if the studio allocated less cash after he pulled out and Lambert stepped in. In any case it turned out ok and by all accounts became a money making hit across the globe. Future America is an overpopulated, dystopian state and the Brennicks (Lambert and Loryn Locklin) fall foul of the "one pregnancy rule" for each woman. They get caught trying to escape to Canada and both end up in futuristic underground prison ruled by a cyborg governor! Cue, fights, motorised gun turrets, a mind warp chamber (which kinda resembles an exercise machine) faceless robot soldiers with machine gun and flame thrower attachments on their arms, oh and the dreaded intestinator, yes! the intestinator. The desperate escape attempt amidst, riot, explosions and gunfire provides great escapist entertainment that I enjoy on DVD when the wet British weather prevents me from going outside and scaring the pigeons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't take it seriously! 1 Aug 2013
By Mr. George Johnson VINE VOICE
This has to rank up there with other great/naff over-the-top 80's sci-fi movies like Total Recall. Fortress has to be one of the best movies to play "spot-the-red-jersey" game. ( The guy with the red jersey was always the first to be killed in Star Trek episodes, the expendable extra. ) All your basic cliches are here, the tough nut, the tough nut's sidekick, the brainy one, the young kid and the wise old man and you just know every one has a red jersey waiting for them at some point! Of course you can't have an 80's movie without Kurtwood Smith playing the bad guy, it just wouldn't be right. Lambert was never a stunning actor at the best of times and this is no exception, slightly wooden acting and the obligatory utter nonsense over the top sex-scene that the Actor's Guild must have insisted be in every 80's movie!

If you're over 35 you'll have seen this film being advertised when you were a kid but you couldn't watch it. Well now you can for a budget price, get your mates round, couple of pizzas and a few beers and have damn good laugh!

I have to admit though that the first 5 minutes of the film are a little too prophetic considering the hoops we now have to jump through to gain access the US, post 9/11! Creepy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1984 meets The Great Escape 26 Oct 2007
AAAAAAAAARGH! I'm in a quandary, I feel I should really be giving this film three stars, but I can feel my hand dragging the mouse over to the four star `click-point'!

So why does this deserve the extra star?

This isn't just an action film with a bit of gore chucked in for good measure, it deals with issues such as male rape, zero tolerance, and abuse of power. I'm a big fan of Dystopian fiction, from Day of the Triffids, to 1984 - I just love it, and this is a great example. We live in an age where over here in the UK we have private prisons (okay - nowhere near as many as over in the US) and it seems that an increasing number of public service institutions are being taken over by corporations in order to turnover a profit. And this film shows a great (albeit exaggerated) future if such constant corporate domination into politics continues.

Plus the story itself is a very emotive one....

...John Brennick and his wife have commited a crime. His wife is pregnant for a second time when legally, only one child per couple is allowed. Their firstborn sadly died and they try to bypass the system. Brennick is caught and is wife manages to escape (or so he thinks) and sent to a prison ran by the MenTel Corporation.
The regime is strict, with dreams monitored; and those which aren't authorised thoughts disrupted by pain, and each inmate is fitted with a device in the intestines. The device is automatically activated when a convict either crosses a yellow line (it inflicts pain) or crosses a red line (it explodes). Intestination can also be activated by the Prison Director, Poe.

Constantly watched by the prison computer and by the voyeuristic director - Brennick becomes involved in a fight and is brought to the Director.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Futuristic riot! 21 Jun 2011
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
2017, a dystopian future, and US Army officer John Henry Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen S. Brennick (Loryn Locklin) are expecting a second child. Strict one-child policies forbid any couples having a second child, but the Brennick's first child died at birth so they attempt to get away with a second pregnancy. They are caught trying to cross the border and sent to a maximum security prison that is owned and run by the "MenTel Corporation" A place where dreams are not your own and all thoughts of escape are dealt with severely by futuristic methods unheard of in the civilised world.

You got Connor MacLeod, Herbert West, Clarence J. Boddicker and one of the finest female bottoms in cinema, all crammed into one riotous, hokey and immeasurably fun movie. It probably wont come as much of a surprise to anyone to learn that this Christopher Lambert starrer is not going to have you scratching the cranial matter and pondering the future of mankind. But it does have some interesting ideas both in terms of its prison setting and in the technological advancements used. I mean hey, would you try to escape if you had an intestinal bomb set to go off outside the perimeters? {think The Running Man's neck braces but in your belly}. It can also be said of Fortress that it's not over ambitious, where director Stuart Gordon is aware of his restraints and keeps it simple but sparky, of which this is aided by Lambert buffing up and throwing punches left right and off kilter. Tho nothing much as an actor, Lambert none the less gives the likes of Sly and Arnie a run for their money here and looks every inch and sinew an action hero.

Kurtwood Smith, Jeffrey Combs, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Clifton Collins Jr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars FORTRESS
Published 12 days ago by black cat
4.0 out of 5 stars Fortress [DVD] [1994]
Good film
Published 1 month ago by R41
2.0 out of 5 stars Lame
Lame story, lame acting, lame set. Overall pretty lame. Maybe in its time it would have been OK, but now it seems very very dated
Published 4 months ago by Andrew Scooter Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Added to my collection on DVD as I had it previously on video, great film and got this for a great price.
Published 5 months ago by Kiwirob
2.0 out of 5 stars CRIME DOES NOT PAY,
I had a hard time believing the rave reviews. The story takes place in the near future. John Henry Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife (Loryn Locklin) get nabbed going into... Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Movie Guy
3.0 out of 5 stars Crime does not pay....
In the future it's forbidden to give birth to more than one child for each woman.

You can escape to Mexico to avoid the authorities in USA, which is exactly what John... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe
5.0 out of 5 stars fortress kicks butt
choose the rating because, good guys can save the day , well made and special afex brillant start of slow and like most 18 films gets to the fight and story strate away
Published 10 months ago by sarah barton
5.0 out of 5 stars Fortress
Received in Excellent condition and just what was required to keep the grown ups entertained an excellent film with good entertainment all around
Published 12 months ago by Les
5.0 out of 5 stars Old film but worth watching
I saw this film many eons ago, when I was but a kid - loved the story and although the acting wasn't brilliant, still a very enjoyable way to kill a couple of hours!
Published 14 months ago by Gayle McKenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars happy
great product, fast delivery, very happy with my DVD and such a great film, great film for the money i paid for!!!!!!!
Published 15 months ago by Phil Stokes
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