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Fortress (1992 film)

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Genre  Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
Budget  12 million USD
5.8/10 IMDb

Director  Stuart Gordon
Film series  Fortress Film Series
Language  English
Fortress (1992 film) movie poster
Writer  Troy Neighbors, Steven Feinberg
Release date  December 1992 (Hungary)3 September 1993 (USA)
Cast  Christopher Lambert (John Henry Brennick), Kurtwood Smith (Prison Director Poe), Loryn Locklin (Karen B. Brennick), Clifton Collins, Jr. (Nino Gomez), Jeffrey Combs (D-Day, the Computer Geek), Lincoln Kilpatrick (Abraham)
Similar movies  Mad Max: Fury Road, Blackhat, The Experiment, The Shawshank Redemption, RoboCop, A Clockwork Orange
Tagline  The high-tech prison thirty stories below ground. Built to withstand anything... Execpt an innocent man.

Outlaw parents (Christopher Lambert, Loryn Locklin) of the future are sent to a high-tech prison as punishment for a second pregnancy.


Fortress (1992 film) movie scenes

Fortress is a 1992 science fiction film directed by Stuart Gordon and shot at Warner Brothers Movie World in Queensland, Australia. The story takes place in a dystopian future. The main character in the movie, John Henry Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen B. Brennick (Loryn Locklin) are sent to a maximum security prison because they are expecting a second child, which is against strict one-child policies. It was followed by a sequel, Fortress 2: Re-Entry in 1999.

Fortress (1992 film) movie scenes

A futuristic prison movie. Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of the movie. The prison is a futuristic one run by a private corporation bent on mind control in various ways

Fortress 1992 trailer


Fortress (1992 film) movie scenes

In a dystopian 2017, ex-army officer John Henry Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) are attempting to cross the US-Canada border to Vancouver to have a second child. Strict one-child policies forbid a second pregnancy, even after their firstborn has died,so Karen wears a magnetic vest to trick the security scanners. A guard notices the trick and raises the alarm.

Brennick is caught, believing Karen to have escaped, and sentenced to 31 years in a private maximum security prison run by the "MenTel Corporation". To maintain discipline all inmates are implanted with "Intestinators" which induce severe pain or death, for serious infractions, as a form of physical control and mental conditioning. The prison is co-run by Director Poe (Kurtwood Smith), who oversees Zed-10, a computer that monitors day-to-day activities and represents MenTel. The prison itself is located underground, in the middle of the desert, inside a deep pit that can only be crossed by a retractable bridge, while the prisoners are kept in overcrowded cells secured by laser walls.

Fortress (1992 film) movie scenes

John is imprisoned with inmates Abraham, a model prisoner who works as Poes manservant and is awaiting parole; D-Day, a machine and demolitions expert; Nino Gomez and Stiggs, a tough inmate who tries to extort John. John also learns his wife has been captured and is held in another level with his unborn child who, being illegal, is now officially owned by the MenTel Corporation and will be confiscated at birth.

Fortress (1992 film) movie scenes

Stiggs has a friend called Maddox (Vernon Wells) who intimidates John and the two are involved in a violent brawl which culminates with Maddox being shot by a security turret. John manages to grab Maddoxs Intestinator and gives it to D-Day before he is taken away to be subjected to a mind-wipe procedure as punishment for the incident.

Fortress (1992 film) movie scenes

Poe, infatuated with Karen, tells her that if she lives with him he will treat John well and release him from the mind-wipe chamber. She accepts, resolving to help John as best she can. Poe is soon after revealed to be a cyborg, powerfully enhanced by MenTel cybernetics. Four months later, a heavily pregnant Karen manages to use her access to the prison computer in Poes quarters to help John by restoring him from his mind-wiped state. Karen also steals a holographic map (which shows the prison map under a laser light) and gives it to Abraham to pass on to John. She tells Abraham that Poe was never going to grant parole and was only using the incentive to control him.Meanwhile in their cell, D-Day dismantles Maddoxs Intestinator and uses a magnetic component to pull out the others Intestinators.

Fortress (1992 film) movie scenes

During their next work shift Johns group puts their Intestinators in an air-duct and stages a brawl, causing Zed to trigger the devices and blow the duct open to prepare their escape. Poe promptly flushes the duct with steam and sends in "Strike Clones", networked cyborgs armed with flamethrowers and machine guns. Stiggs surrenders and gets shot but the rest of the group kill a Strike Clone, steal its weapon and use it to kill the remaining clones.

Fortress (1993 film) movie scenes Many of the films so far have been profoundly 80s but Only the Strong is the early 90s It feels like the Full House of martial arts films chock full of

Zed alerts Poe of Karens actions. He reveals to her that her child, like all MenTel-owned babies, will be extracted in a fatal Caesarean to be made a cyborg like him. Abraham and Karen resist, but are powerless against the cyborg Poe and Abraham dies of strangulation.

Fortress (1993 film) movie scenes Fortress toys with some good ideas but never makes use of any of them for reasons other than advancing towards the next action scene

Hijacking one of the gun turrets, using it as an elevator, Johns group travels to Zeds control room. John takes Poe hostage and orders him to release Karen. Poe gives the order but Zed states that MenTel does not negotiate in hostage situations and a gun turret shoots Poe. D-Day hacks into Zed and accesses a virus confiscated at the start of his sentence. D-Day manages to activate the virus after being fatally shot, causing a complete systems crash and all automated security to fail. John and Gomez rescue Karen, hijack a truck, and escape to Mexico where Karen enters labor in an abandoned barn. In a final showdown (retained in the European release but omitted from the US release in favor of a happier ending) the truck stages an attack while Karen is giving birth. Gomez is mown down and Johns shooting sets the truck on fire, making it veer into the barn and explode. Karen, however, managed to escape the barn in time and has given birth to their child.

Fortress trailer 1993

Original ending

Fortress (1993 film) movie scenes Film Studies For Free was delighted when Spanish cinema scholar Rebecca Naughten responded to its request for information about online PhD theses

The original ending of Fortress has been edited from some versions of the film. After reaching Mexico, Brennick, his wife, and Gomez end up at a barn where she starts going into labor. Gomez goes out to the truck to get a blanket for the soon-to-arrive baby. The Fortress computer manages to establish a remote linkup with the truck, overriding its internal controls. The truck suddenly comes to life and runs Gomez down, killing him. Brennick shoots the truck with the Strike Clone machine gun. He then sets it on fire with the flamethrower attachment. The truck crashes into the barn, exploding. Brennick climbs into the burning ruins to find his wife sitting against an old tractor, clutching her newborn baby.


  • Christopher Lambert: John Henry Brennick
  • Loryn Locklin: Karen B. Brennick
  • Annika Thomas: Brennick baby
  • Kurtwood Smith: prison director Poe
  • Carolyn Purdy-Gordon: Voice of Zed-10
  • Lincoln Kilpatrick: Abraham
  • Jeffrey Combs: D-Day, computer geek
  • Tom Towles: Stiggs, Maddoxs Buddy
  • Vernon Wells: Maddox
  • Clifton Collins, Jr. (credited as Clifton Gonzalez-Gonzalez): Nino Gomez
  • John Pierce: Moustached Prisoner
  • Warwick Capper: cameo
  • Reception

    The film received mixed reviews from critics. Stephen Holden of The New York Times said: "Like so many other futuristic movies, Fortress is a lot better at setting up its premise than in developing a story around it, [but] for all its faults, [it] has an unusually energetic imagination. At its best, it blends RoboCop, The Handmaids Tale, and Brave New World into something scary, original and grimly amusing."

    Fortress (1993 film) movie scenes This Blu ray release of Fortress contains no supplemental content The menu features only options for Play and Scene Select

    Nathan Shumate of Cold Fusion Video Reviews said: "It’s a good little film, kept very interesting by a multitude of plot twists. [...] The beauty of this movie is that it’s not terribly ambitious; [director Stuart] Gordon knew that it was not meant to be this generation’s defining science fiction film, and so instead had fun with it. The characters are colorful and engaging, and the actors are b-movie all-stars; the story moves along at a fair clip; and the prison itself is a novel setting, with plenty of inconsistencies in future technology but none that sit up and insist that you notice them."

    James Berardinelli of ReelViews said: "Fortress has [...] an impressive visual style, [...] the set design is excellent, and the action scenes are well-paced, [but its] hampered by a poorly-constructed story line [and] never gets on track. Instead of entering the rarefied atmosphere inhabited by such films as Aliens and the original Terminator, it falls in line with the likes of Freejack and Alien 3."

    Similar Movies

    Fortress (1993 film) movie scenes Among Stuart Gordon s very best films Fortress actually made money at the box office unlike many of the entries on this list

    Fortress and Fortress 2: Re-Entry are part of the same movie series. No Escape (1994). The Terminator (1984). Kurtwood Smith appears in Fortress and RoboCop. Freejack (1992).

    Box office

    Fortress grossed $2,855,154 at the box office in Australia. Internationally it grossed 40 million dollars, turning into a very profitable movie for having been shot with a budget of $12,000,000.


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