fortress-1992
via Village Roadshow Pictures

An underappreciated dystopian gem blighted by a diabolical sequel hijacks the collective consciousness

Time has been kind to the futuristic action thriller damned by its own sequel.

Tales of dystopian terror can be told through the lens of action, drama, science fiction, or even romance when the occasion calls for it. Not many have been elevated into genuine classic territory, though, but supporters of 1992’s Fortress are nonetheless stating the case for the underappreciated gem that’s largely been lost to the sands of time.

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Directed by Re-Animator‘s Stuart Gordon, Christopher Lambert and Loryn Locklin star as John and Karen Brennick, a happily-married couple who end up being tossed into a maximum security prison for daring to break the strict population laws of the fascist United States government in the far-flung future of… 2017.

fortress-1992
via Village Roadshow Pictures

For opting to have a baby, the pair are locked up in a correctional facility where every inmate is implanted with an explosive device that detonates should they try to escape. Refusing to accept potential cranial carnage as the worst case scenario, the Brennicks begin to concoct a dangerous scheme to bust out and return to their life.

Fortress may have been greeted with less than enthusiastic responses when it first released, but it looked like The Godfather when compared to completely unnecessary and frighteningly bad sequel Fortress 2: Re-Entry. Even though the second installment continues to come under fire, Redditors have combined their hatred of the follow-up for their undying love of the original.

It may not rank among the upper echelons of dystopian adventures, but it’s clear for all to see that Fortress is deserving of a modern-day reappraisal, as long as nobody gets any bright ideas for more sequels or a reboot.


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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.