Tuesday, August 20, 2013

G. Gordon, Stuart: Fortress

All locked up and nowhere to go.  Today's film is Fortress, a long-forgotten Sci-Fi film.  How can it be so forgotten though?  It's got Christopher Lambert- he was in one respectable Highlander film!  It's got Jeffrey Combs- he was in two good Re-Animator films!  It's got Vernon Wells- he was in The Drawn Together Movie- The Movie!  It's' got Kurtwood Smith- he did blow in Robocop!  It's by Stuart Gordon- he wrote Space Truckers!  Hell, even the Supporting Cast is made up of people who aren't big names, but were in a lot of great movies.  People like Lincoln Kilpatrick (The Omega Man), Clifton Collins Jr (most recently Pacific Rim) and Tom Towles (The Devil's Rejects) are here to fill out the ranks.  So what's the deal?  I don't know.  Regardless, I got it for $2.99, so I might as well Review it.  In the Dystopian future of...four years from now, you can only have one kid.  If you have a second, it belongs to an evil Corporation.  When you don't go along with the plan, you end up in the Fortress.  Just a side note: HBO used to *constantly* tease me by saying that they were going to play it, only to play a 1985 film of the same name.  Screw you.  So, yeah, the movie.  To find out whether it was worth my $2.99, read on...
Lambert and his wife try to flee the United States.  Traffic sure is rough the night before The Purge, huh?
Lambert gets caught- as their first child died in labor, they had to flee to deliver another- and sent to the Fortress.  I hope some TV Star isn't running the place.
Aw crap- it's Kurtwood Smith.  You can tell that this movie was made in 1992, since he isn't completely bald yet.

DNA is a bitch, huh?
Lambert and Collins Jr end up in a cell with...Jeffrey Combs?  Well, it is a Stuart Gordon film.  He wasn't the Warden like I guessed, but oh well.
Lambert gets in a conflict with 187 (Vernon Wells, as opposed to Snoop Dogg).  After the fight, The Warden shows him who's in charge by just blowing a chunk out of Wells.

It's a neat visual, but how can you not be sure that your stomach is missing?  I'm just saying...
As it turns out, The Warden is some kind of synthetic man, which is apparently what the Corporation does with the babies.  He has developed a man-bot crush on Lambert's wife- who is also in the Fortress-, which gives her a chance to help Lambert escape.
He'd better hurry up with that whole 'breaking out' thing as Smith is about to take his baby out to make some more...whatever the hell he is.
The living members of the crew make it to a Barn to deliver the baby.  However, the film is not content with that Climax, so it needs one more involving a robot-controlled truck.
We get a fake-out for a super-dark ending, but that just leads to all being well.

That is, of course, until Fortress 2: Re-Entry.  More on that in the future.  The End.
It actually holds up quite well.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it's a lot better.  Films like this really tend to live or die by the gimmick.  If you don't buy the setting, it falls apart completely.  This one works, however, as they really lay the 'you can't get out' schtick on really thick.  The place is so rough that they even monitor your dreams and punish you if you have happy ones.  That is one harsh place!  The film really works due to everyone involved doing such a good job.  Everyone plays their part to perfection, whether it's Combs' nerdy guy or Wells' super-mean bully.  They even add little nice touches to the characters like Wells fearing his imminent demise and Combs' dark back-story.  The film does its best to hide its budgetary limitations, giving you some nice robot explosions- complete with goo- and they do spring for one exploding barn.  It's more than a film I have coming up does, so bear that in mind.  If you love Lambert or Stuart Gordon, give this one a look.  If you're as lucky as I am, you'll easily get your $3 worth from it.  Take us away, familiar Jeffrey Combs character...
Next up, we take a quick break from Fortress films to discuss a recent bit of Foreign silliness.  It looks and sounds like an Asylum film, but comes from...China.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment