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Fortress (1993)

Christopher Lambert , Loryn Locklin , Stuart Gordon  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 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: Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 1999
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0784012245
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,835 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fortress" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description


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 favorite 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 vigor 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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Sci-Fi Flick ! April 11, 2000
Fortress was not a major box office success back in '92. However, it is an awesome rental for those who enjoy sci-fi action packed flicks. True, this sci-fi film in no way can be compared to the phenomenal sci-fi StarWars movies; It barely rivals Terminator. But, for 95 minutes you get your money's worth ( just be thankful the film was not dragged out to 2 hrs +). It's sheer entertainment ! Lambert is known for pulling such roles as the outcast adventurer and rebel to full effect;He's very convincing. Take for example the scene after his mind was "wiped"; He literally looks like a ghost ! Lambert has that way of conveying either an expression of deadly seriousness or one of lunacy with his eyes ! The prison warden played by Kurtwood Smith from the current hit series That 70's Show (peculiar to see him with hair on his head in the Fortress)does an outstanding job as the mostly android/cyborg human bad guy.
The only drawback is the dvd edition sold between $10 and $14 is the standard t.v. screen format and not the letterbox. There is also very little "goodies" or bonuses. There are no extra languages either on the audio tracks or any subtitles.The big error is the fact the audio track was not re-mastered in true Dolby Digital 5.1 surround; It's only the regular Dolby Surround. No director's or actors' commentaries either.
Yet, the picture quality is superb and bright with no traces of digital artifacts (blocking,or digitized shading). Viewers can see the rich bright colors in the prisoner's uniforms (orange, red, green, blue). The picture is sharp in detail as well if you look at the whiskers on Lambert's unshaven face...
Fortress earns four stars for it's lack of widescreen and other dvd menu capabilities. Otherwise, it's an enjoyable film.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nicely done HD transfer June 1, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
i was browsing through the Blu-ray's under $10 section and came across this movie which i'd completely forgotten about until now...

the Blu-ray release of this film was put together by a company called: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, which i've never heard of so wasn't expecting much in the way of video quality. i guess i stand corrected however. let me just say that this is a much better HD transfer than Lionsgate did with the original "Total Recall." a lil a grainy side?, yes. but overall definitely not the worst i've ever seen. in fact i've fallen in love with the movie all over again :)

Blu-ray specs are
video: 1920x1080p 1.85:1 Widescreen
Audio: the back of the box just says English 2.0 Stereo, but it's actually
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (Surround).
subtitles are not available

there are also no special features, but overall still definitely worth buying. hope this review helps anyone reading it
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oooh, C. L. Great Job! November 23, 2002
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for Lambert... October 2, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
It is the future and breeding is controlled by the government. John Brannick and his wife are about to illegally have their second child. They are caught making their way out of the country and put in a fortress, a large prison in which the prisoners are controlled via a small device placed in the intestine. Silly? Yes. Fun? Definitely. I honestly can't give this movie more than three stars, but it was a fun action flick. The gore is big here and fans of this kind of movie, like "Robocop" or "Total Recall," will surely find much to like. Christopher Lambert does a nice job as the action hero who just wants to see his wife. The film is sort of like a futuristic "Great Escape." I had fun watching this film and if you're a fan of action or sci-fi, you should too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Built to hold anything . . . except an innocent man." October 17, 2003
You know all those anonymous video box covers you see when you walk down the aisle at the video store? Well, most of them are direct-to-video productions and aren't worth a second look. Some of them are films made with modest budgets that got a limited theatrical release. Most of them are horrible which helps to explain why they left the theaters so quickly. However, once in blue moon one of these obscure "lost" films actually manages to surprise. Stuart Gordon's "Fortress" is one of those rare finds.
The population in the United States in the early 21st century has increased beyond control. In an attempt to solve the problem, the government has passed a law that limits a woman to only one child. However, John Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) run afoul of the authorities when they try to have a second child to replace their firstborn who died as an infant. Imprisoned for their crime, the couple is sent to a maximum security prison called The Fortress and are tormented by its despotic director, Poe (Kurtwood Smith).
"Fortress" is neither a completely original film nor one that has had a tremendous influence on the medium. It is quite simply an odd film that somehow works despite its limited production values and its lack of big-name stars. As with most science fiction films set in the near future, "Fortress" paints a rather bleak view of the years to come. Those looking for a nightly rental that has some deep meaning to it might enjoy the film's cautionary messages on overpopulation and private-sector prison administration. Yet, the film also satisfies as a breezy time-killer for those who find themselves with free time on their hands and nothing else to watch. Either way, "Fortress" fits the bill.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Prison of the future
This movie I catagorise as a guilty pleasure. The story at some points is not too bad and at other points I have to wonder what they were thinking. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tony
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 7 months ago by The Movie Guy
Forget the previous dvd release's of this classic film FORTRESS
the previous dvd releases were only in Fullscreen format

for the first time ever FORTRESS is finally... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ben30
2.0 out of 5 stars Very bad transfer to blu-ray
Fortress is one of my favorite Sci-fi movies and was happy they finely put it on Blu-ray. But the transfer is horrible. It was not cleaned up at all. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film... at last re-mastered AND in widescreen!
This film is really a little bit of everything. Lambert is great as former soldier John Brennick. In the not too distant future, couples are only allowed to have one child; the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Hose Nose
4.0 out of 5 stars A great but largely forgotten Stuart Gordon classic.
It portrays a dystopian future in which the planet is starving so one child per couple limits have been instated. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Boddicker
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie with a decent story line ~
A very unique sci-fi movie! They definitely don't make movies like this anymore. I can watch it over and over.
Published 12 months ago by M. Reisbeck
4.0 out of 5 stars FORTRESS
Published 13 months ago by Linda P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie ever
Quality is good, exactly what I expected. Christopher gives a great performance, and the action is convincing. I would recommend it to sci-fi lovers
Published 14 months ago by Daniil I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fortress review
Certainly a great film to watch. Old school, simple story with great action. Before CGI and string work that created unrealistic sequences. Read more
Published 15 months ago by The game
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