The plot of Fortress runs like a compilation of cliches from every corner of the genre the negative population growth dystopias of Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) (1971) and The Last Child (1971); cyborg villains; and of the mid-1990s attempts to combine the science-fiction action film and the prison movie subgenre in the likes of Moon 44 (1990), Wedlock/Deadlock (1991), New Eden (1994) and No Escape/Escape from Absolom (1994).
The ideas come with no thought having been placed into them the prison censors wet dreams, yet homosexuality is rampant throughout the establishment; the computer system is capable of infiltrating and taping thoughts but seems unable to work out who the guilty party is to punish after a fight. Gordon leaps in at every opportunity, piling on mindless gore bodies blown apart, eyes gouged, holes blown through chests. The result is a film that keeps pounding on in a way that frustratingly avoids any intellectual content whatsoever. Fortress wants to be a mindless comic-book of a film but is so relentlessly lowbrow it fails at even that.
Fortress 2: Re-Entry (2000) was a slightly better sequel, from the same scriptwriters and again featuring Christopher Lambert but with no Stuart Gordon. This essentially relocated the same story into an orbiting prison.
Stuart Gordons other films are the splattery H.P. Lovecraft adaptations Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986), Dolls (1987), his live-action Transformers film Robot Jox (1990), the vampire tv movie Daughter of Darkness (1990), the Edgar Allan Poe adaptation The Pit and the Pendulum (1991), Castle Freak (1995), Space Truckers (1996), the Ray Bradbury adaptation The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998), the Lovecraft adaptation Dagon (2001), the non-genre David Mamet adaptation Edmond (2005) and the true-crime based Stuck (2007).